Kids Company, the charity which collapsed in disarray earlier this year, once received 20% of the total funding given to charities by the Department for Education.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has shed light on just how much money the now defunct charity actually got from the government, and there are some pretty shocking statistics.
The most eye-catching is that, in 2008, Kids Company was given a £4.7 million ($US7.1 million) grant, equal to about one-fifth of all grant money set aside for charities by the Department of Education.
To put that into perspective, in that year, Department of Education grants were given to 43 different charities.
To follow up 2008’s huge grant, in 2011 Kids Company was given “more than twice the amount received by any other grant recipient”, or in other words another £4.5 million ($US6.9 million).
Overall, the NAO reports, Kids Company was given at least £42 million ($US64 million) in grants by the government, along with a series of ad hoc payments which totalled more than £2.5 million ($US3.8 million).
The 39-page report has other fascinating revelations about the charity. Here are the highlights:
- Over the course of five years between 2008 and 2013, the Department of Education gave Kids Company grants totalling £21.7 million ($US33.1 million), an average of more than £4.5 million ($US6.9 million) per year.
- From 2001-2013, the government relied “heavily” on self-assessments by Kids Company to judge its performance, rather than monitoring the charity more stringently.
- The government was fully aware that without its funding, Kids Company would have had severe issues with cash flow, and the report mentions that government funding was given to the charity “to keep it afloat financially. Kids Company was clear in repeating it would need to close services and make redundancies without continued grants from government.”
- A chart included in the report shows that between 2011 and 2013, Kids Company received more than twice the amount of funding than Barnados — a charity that covers the whole of the UK. Considering that Kids Company only operated in London and Bristol, this is pretty amazing.
- Kids Company was given government grants between 2013-15, despite being unsuccessful in official bids for funding through the government’s National Prospectus Grants programme.
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