2016 marked the start of our new Strategic Partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of our Syria programme with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). To top it all off, 2016 ended with the announcement by Nationale Postcode Loterij that it would substantially increase its structural funding for our work.

The latter event in particular is clearly reflected in our operating surplus for 2016. The funding increase was only announced late in the year, and Free Press Unlimited enters this income on the balance for the year in which the associated lottery tickets were sold. As a result, 2016 ended with an exceptionally high positive balance: totalling over € 760,000. We have added this surplus to our continuity reserve, which presently stands at close to € 2.3 million euro. This addition couldn’t have been timelier, since due to the recent growth of our organisation, Free Press Unlimited’s operating costs have increased to € 3 million per year. Our policy is to ensure that the continuity reserve covers 70 to 150 percent of our annual operating costs. The addition in the present financial year once again puts the continuity reserve at 75% of our operating costs, which is well within the established margin.

In addition to strengthening our continuity in 2016, we are pleased to say that over the past year, we also successfully rounded off a number of large-scale, long-term projects without having to record any losses or uncovered costs. For example, in June of 2016, we saw the final acceptance and approval of our report on the StoryMaker project, which started in 2012 and represented a total programme investment of € 2.2 million. And this list also includes the i-Stream project with Internews (USD 1.1 million), our project in Somalia, which was supported by the EU (with a budget of over € 1.1 million) and a project in Syria with a budget of € 3.0 million, which could also count on financial contributions from Sida.

We are able to continue our activities in Somalia with funding allocated within the new Strategic Partnership, and Sida has once again pledged its support to our projects in Syria. Through these and other programmes, we work to make a lasting difference in the areas that we are active in. We are still examining our options to follow up the aforementioned StoryMaker project.

We are not only extremely grateful to Nationale Postcode Loterij for their decision to increase their structural support to Free Press Unlimited. We also sincerely thank them for their contributions to three specific projects: ‘The Future is Now’ (a programme within which we set up news bulletins for children all over the world), Nepal Save the Date (in partnership with dance4life) and the Postcode Loterij Fund for Journalists. In 2016, we once again received an extra contribution for the latter project. This project contribution has allowed us to expand the funding programme, so that journalists can now apply for up to € 16,500 in funding for in-depth investigative reports that could not have been realised without the fund’s support.

And finally, 2016 was the year in which we really starting building the new Russian-language news platform Russian-Language News Exchange. After the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs pledged its support to this project in late 2015 – in the shape of a contribution of € 1.3 million – the European organisation European Endowment for Democracy joined as a donor in 2016. The European Union has also contributed € 1 million to the project. This means that we have presently achieved our target: the greater part of the project is presently covered in financial terms. Naturally, we will work to ensure that the Russian-Language News Exchange can continue its activities in the years ahead.

And of course, the same applies to all our activities in which we work to promote independent journalism and to achieve our mission: provide people all over the world with access to independent information. We are extremely grateful to our private and institutional donors for supporting us in this endeavour, because… People deserve to know!

Ruth Kronenburg
April 2017

Balance sheet as of 31/12/2016

All amounts in euro

Assets 31-12-2016 31-12-2015
Fixed Assets
Intangible fixed assets
Website 20,727 38,553
Tangible fixed assets
Renovation 69,836 90,430
Office supplies 26,565 27,514
Hardware and software 55,088 37,598
Total tangible fixed assets 151,489 155,542
Total fixed assets 172,216 194,095
Current assets
Accruals 509,356 450,967
Accounts receivable and advances 108,141 92,716
Grants to be received 2,588,014 2,442,257
Total current assets 3,205,510 2,985,941
Liquid assets
The Netherlands 5,808,664 4,031,054
Abroad 99,892 65,590
Total liquid assets 5,908,556 4,096,643
Total assets 9,286,282 7,276,679


Liabilities 31-12-2016 31-12-2015
Reserves and funds
Continuity reserve 2,264,712 1,500,581
Reporters Respond Security Fund 27,490 27,490
Total reserves and funds 2,292,202 1,528,071
Current liabilities
Payables related to staff 304,454 339,118
Payable to suppliers 263,441 220,298
Other short-term liabilities 219,708 254,967
Obligations in connection with current projects 2,145,053 1,410,981
Grants received in advance 4,061,425 3,523,244
Total current liabilities 6,994,080 5,748,608
Total liabilities 9,286,282 7,276,679

Statement of income and expense

All amounts in euro

Income 2016 budget 2015
Income from own fundraising activities 817,935 1,445,000 1,058,694
Income from third-party activities 2,199,035 1,580,000 1,305,461
Government grants 13,370,935 13,565,000 12,613,457
Other income 110,292 25,000 75,477
Total income 16,498,196 16,615,000 15,053,090
Spent on the organisation’s objective
Media support programme 14,993,126 15,719,199 14,675,453
Spent on the acquisition of new funds
Costs of own fundraising activities 60,763 182,731 45,901
Acquisition costs for government grants 243,052 310,100 183,605
303,814 492,831 229,506
Spent on management and accounting
Management and accounting costs 437,864 398,294 249,352
Total expenses 15,734,804 16,610,325 15,154,312
Balance of income and expenses 763,392 4,675 -101,222
Appropriation of the balance
Additions to/withdrawals from:
Continuity reserve 764,131 4,675 -92,660
Withdrawal Security Fund 0 0 -8,562
Total 764,131 4,675 -101,222
Financial ratios 2015 budget 2014
Spent on the organisation’s objective/Total income 90.88% 94.61% 97.49%
Spent on organisation’s objective/Total expenses 95.29% 94.64% 96.84%
Costs of own fundraising activities/Income from own fundraising activities 7.43% 12.65% 4.34%
Management and accounting costs/Total expenses 2.78% 2.40% 1.65%

Cash flow statement

All amounts in euro

Cash flow statement 2016 2015
Operational activities
Balance of income and expenses in the financial year 764,131 -101,223
Depreciations 85,400 70,870
Gross cash flow on the basis of operational activities 849,531 -30,353
Changes in current assets -219,569 628,603
Changes in current liabilities 1,245,472 -1,389,792
Net cash flow on the basis of operational activities 1,875,434 -791,542
Investment activities
Changes to fixed assets -63,521 -66,701
Divestment fixed assets 0 0
Changes in liquid assets 1,811,913 -858,243
Liquid assets at the start of the financial year 4,096,643 4,954,885
Liquid assets at the end of the financial year 5,908,556 4,096,643
Changes in liquid assets 1,811,913 -858,242



Accounting principles

Free Press Unlimited’s statement of accounts is drawn up in accordance with the revised Dutch Accounting Standards for Fundraising Institutions, Richtlijn 650 (version 2011). This Standard is in line with international standards, general guidelines and the CBF quality standard.

Accounting principles 

The financial report for 2016 has been drawn up on the basis of a consolidation of the financial accounts of Stichting Free Press Unlimited, Free Voice South Sudan (FVSS) and our office in Eastern Europe. We are obliged to include the items from the latter two organisations in our accounts, to comply with the stipulations of the Guideline for annual reporting and our formal consultation and participation structure. Nevertheless, Free Press Unlimited intends this to be a purely temporary arrangement – one that we strive to abolish as soon as possible in the case of both FVSS and our office in Eastern Europe. Free Press Unlimited wishes to emphasise that in actuality, both foundations will operate on an independent basis.

Intangible fixed assets
The intangible fixed assets are valued at their purchase cost minus the depreciations determined on the basis of the asset’s estimated lifespan. The depreciation term for the website is 3 years (33.3%).

Tangible fixed assets
The tangible fixed assets are valued at their purchase cost minus the depreciations determined on the basis of the asset’s estimated lifespan.

The depreciation term for the switchboard, computers and other hardware and software is 3 years (33.3%). The office furniture and equipment are depreciated in 5 years (20%) and the renovation is depreciated in
7 years (14.3%).

Receivables and accrued receivables
Receivables and accrued receivables are valued at nominal value minus certain impairments.

Obligations in connection with current projects
The item ‘Obligations in connection’ with current projects is the balance of contracts actually entered into with partner organisations (obligations) minus advance payments to these partner organisations.

Grants received in advance/Grants to be received
Many grants have a term that extends beyond a single calendar year. The difference between the advance awarded by the donor (the organisation issuing the grant) in a specific financial year and the project funds that are spent in that same year (realised grant income) is accounted for on the balance sheet as a ‘Grants received in advance’.

If the realised grant income amounts exceed the donor’s advance, the difference is entered on the balance sheet as a receivable.

Accrued liabilities
Accrued liabilities are valued at nominal value.

Accounting principles for the balance of income and expenses 

Grant Income
Grant income amounts are allocated on the basis of the realised direct and indirect spending on the organisation’s objective within the guidelines established in the grant decision.

Contributions and donations
Contributions and donations are accounted for in their year of receipt. Consequently, contributions and donations received in advance are not taken into account.

Allocation of costs
Management and administration costs, the costs of the organisation’s fundraising activities and costs of various objectives have been calculated based on an apportionment formula in accordance with the revised Dutch Accounting Standards for Fundraising Institutions (Richtlijn 650), as explained on page 92.

Balance of income and expenses
The balance of income and expenses is calculated as the income that can be allocated to the relevant financial year minus the expenses required to realise this income.

Remuneration of the Board of Directors

The remuneration policy complies with the standards for top incomes set by the WNT (max. EUR 163,000) and the DG standard set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The remuneration policy is explained in the notes to the 2016 Annual Report. These notes indicate that the members of Free Press Unlimited’s Supervisory Board are not…

The remuneration policy complies with the standards for top incomes set by the WNT (max. EUR 163,000) and the DG standard set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The remuneration policy is explained in the notes to the 2016 Annual Report. These notes indicate that the members of Free Press Unlimited’s Supervisory Board are not reimbursed for their activities.


All amounts in euro 

Name/position employment contract gross salary holiday allowance pension

employer’s contribution





L.A.M. Willems

Director of Policy and Programmes


38 hours per week

01.01 – 31.12

87,570 6,981 11,210 105,761 106,836
R.C.E. Kronenburg

Director of Operations


38 hours per week

01.01 – 31.12

78,649 6,270 9,887 94,806 95,826


Staffing ratios

Over 2016, Free Press Unlimited employed an average of 60.9 FTE (2015: 50.9 FTE). This includes both permanent and temporary contracts. The workforce can be subdivided into 51.4 FTE in organisation positions at Free Press Unlimited and 9.5 FTE working within the Radio Dabanga project. Please refer to the Annual Report for further details.