New French accounting regulations for organisations appealing for public contributions means they must use a new method for their annual accounting of how they employ their resources. Reporters Without Borders’ use of its resources during the year ending 31 December 2012 is summarized below according to the new regulations.
The two main sources of RWB’s funding in 2012 were private in nature, namely: From the sale of publications and other merchandising (above all books of photos), which represented 36% of resources, down slightly from 37% in 2011 From private sector sponsorships and private foundations, which accounted for 14% of resources in 2012, compared with 18% in 2011.
Resources derived from the generosity of members of the public (donations by individuals in France and abroad, and legacies) represented 13% of the total in 2012, as against 6% in 2011. The big increase was due above all to one sizeable bequest.
In 2012, resources derived from the public’s generosity were used: In part to finance public fund-raising activities In part to carry out activities with a social benefit.
Public institution assistance and support in 2012 consisted mainly of funding by such public institutions as the European Union’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the French Development Agency and the International Organization of the Francophonie. They accounted for 20% of the resources, compared with 18% in 2011.
Funding from other sources represented 4% of the total (1% less than in 2011). This funding consisted mainly of contributions by RWB members, income from services to RWB International, revenue of financial origin (mainly currency transactions), funds rolled over from previous years and other payments (arising mainly from contracts and various professional training activities).
How it was spent
Activities with a social benefit accounted for 79% of RWB’s use of resources in 2012, namely €3.26 million euros. This represented a slight fall on 2001 (when it was 83.6%), a fall that was mainly due to two factors: An end to RWB’s programmes of support for independent media that target China and North Korea. These were three-year programmes funded by the EIDHR that began in 2008. A sharp fall in the cost of producing the books of photos.
RWB’s activities with a social benefit are of two kinds: Provision of information, advocacy and awareness-raising based on the work of RWB’s researchers and its approximately 140 correspondents worldwide and focusing on drawing attention to violations of media freedom and online freedom of expression. The awareness-raising uses such methods as press releases, investigative reports and communication campaigns. In 2012, the main subjects of the campaigns were the launch of the WeFightCensorship website (combatting online censorship) and the situation of freedom of information in Syria and Bahrain. This component also includes publishing three books of photos a year that highlight the importance of the work of photojournalists and media freedom. In 2012, Reporters Without Borders’ activities in this area also included reprinting and distributing the Handbook for Journalists during Elections and organizing training seminars on circumventing Internet censorship. The work of informing, advocacy and awareness-raising is also relayed with energy by RWB’s international sections and its bureaux in Washington, Brussels, Tunis (since 2011) and Tripoli (since January 2012). The costs of these international branches contributed to the costs of RWB’s international activities with a social benefit.
Assistance and support for journalists, bloggers and media. Reporters Without Borders has for several years had a unit dedicated to assisting journalists, bloggers and media. The grants made in 2012 helped journalists to flee abroad when they were in danger and paid the medical bills, legal fees or basic living expenses of journalists in serious difficulty. Support for news media that target the world’s most closed countries continued with funding for Radio Erena, an independent radio station based in Paris that broadcasts to Eritrea. The main beneficiaries of this activity are journalists, bloggers and media based in other countries, and it is therefore regarded as being carried out abroad
Fund-raising costs represented 13% of RWB’s expenditure in 2012 (as against 8% in 2011). They included: Expenses arising from public fund-raising activities (two paper mailings in 2012 and, since November 2011, the creation of online collection mechanisms) and processing of the funds raised. Expenses (including salary expenses) linked to fund-raising from private foundations and public institutions.
This big increase is above all due to: The fact that RWB began using an external contractor in December 2011 to organize online fund-raising, with the bulk of the resulting costs being paid in 2012. An increase in the share of human resources dedicated to fund-raising Exceptional charges linked to receipt of a legacy during 2012.
Finally, operating costs represented 8% of total expenditure, as against 7% in 2011.
In 2012, Reporters Without Borders received: Free media advertising for its activities worth €297,000 (as against €756,000 in 2011) Donations in kind worth €3,000 (similar to 2011).