2017 was mainly dominated by a number of large multi-year programs that ran for the second year; the Strategic Partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Language News Exchange program and the 5-year Syria program with the Swedish development agency Sida. Besides this continuation, 2017 was characterized by the expiry of several grants for our project Radio Dabanga. That is why Free Press Unlimited partly financed this project in 2017 from its own resources.

The latter is partly reflected in the operating deficit of 2017, although this remained limited to an amount of 30,000 euros. The fact that the deficit is not larger is mainly due to the fact that the structural contribution from the Dutch Postcode Lottery increased from 500,000 to 900,000 euros since last year. We have been able to use this increased amount mainly to support Radio Dabanga.

The operating deficit has been withdrawn from the continuity reserve, which remains virtually the same as the reserve at the end of 2016; nearly 2.3 million euros. That is about 75 per cent of the operating costs and as such well within the margin. The policy is to keep the continuity reserve at between 70 and 150 percent of the operating costs.

Compared to the budget, the total income was almost 950,000 euros lower; a total of just over 14 million euros. This was due in part to the fact that, as mentioned above, we were unable to find new funding for Radio Dabanga on time. In addition, the budget assumed that co-financing would be found for our Syria program. However, competition in acquisition processes is high, and particularly for this region, limited. During the year, these ambitions were revised and we discussed this with Sida. Along with the lower incomes from government grants, these are the main causes of the lower total income.

As far as the benefits of lottery organizations are concerned, a positive picture can be seen compared to the budget. On balance, 575,000 euros more income was realized than originally budgeted, with the main reason being the increase in the structural contribution of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, which was not known at the time the budget for 2017 was being prepared. Of course we are very pleased with that, especially since this contribution is not linked to a specific project and can therefore be used optimally and flexibly in places where Free Press Unlimited can make a lasting difference for the objectives for which we were founded.

Unfortunately, 2017 also meant the end of the project financed by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery: ‘Our Future is Now’ (with which we set up news programs for children all over the world). A new application aimed at young people and media has been submitted to the Swedish Postcode Lottery, and of course we now make sure that the youth is included in various other projects. Because it also (or maybe precisely) applies to them: People deserve to know!

Finally, in terms of risk, we can also conclude that obtaining financing for our activities continues to appear high in our risk analysis for the coming year. Followed far behind by much more manageable risks that can be identified for our organization, such as working in conflict areas. We will therefore make an extra investment in our Donor Relations department in the coming year.

Ruth Kronenburg
April 2018

Balance sheet as of 31 December 2017

All amounts in euro

Assets 31-12-2017 31-12-2016
Fixed Assets
Intangible fixed assets
Website  3,614 20,727
Tangible fixed assets
Renovation  123,636 69,836
Office supplies  52,447 26,565
Hardware and software  28,545 55,088
Total tangible fixed assets  204,628 151,489
Total fixed assets  208,242 172,216
Current assets
Accruals 172,928 509,356
Accounts receivable and advances 66,249 108,141
Grants to be received 1,883,399 2,588,014
Total current assets 2,122,576 3,205,510
Liquid assets
The Netherlands 4,387,495 5,808,664
Abroad 294,670 99,892
Total liquid assets 4,682,164 5,908,556
Total assets 7,012,982 9,286,282


Liabilities 31-12-2017 31-12-2016
Reserves and funds
Continuity reserve 2,233,407 2,264,712
Security Fund 27,490 27,490
Total reserves and funds 2,260,897 2,292,202
Current liabilities
Payableto staff 235,118 304,454
Payable to suppliers 407,246 263,441
Other short-term liabilities 131,188 219,708
Obligations related to current projects 1,459,570 2,145,053
Grants received in advance 2,518,963 4,061,425
Total current liabilities 4,752,085 6,994,080
Total liabilities 7,012,982 9,286,282

Statement of income and expense

All amounts in euro

Income 2017 budget 2016
Income from government subsidies 11,469,865 13,801,000 13,753,598
Income from Dutch Postcode Lottery 1,655,187 1,080,000 1,870,449
Income from other non-profit organisations 698,290 720,000 644,328
Income from companies 207,647 100,000 68,111
Income from individuals 51,208 50,000 51,418
Total income 14,082,197 15,031,000 16,387,904
Spent on the organisation’s objective
Media support programme
 13,303,362  14,183,718  14,993,126
Cost of income generation  316,441  390,653  303,814
Management and accounting costs  448,817  450,754  437,864
Total expenditure 14,068,620 15,025,125 15,734,804
Result excluding financial gains and losses  13,577  5,875  653,100
Financial gains and losses  -44,144  -25,000  110,292
Balance of income and expenses
-30,566 -19,125 763,392
Appropriation of the balance
Additions to/withdrawals from:
Continuity reserve  -31,305  -19,125  764,131
Reserves for private donor projects  0  0  0
Withdrawal Security Fund  0  0  0
Total -31,305 -19,125 764,131
Financial ratios
Spent on the organisation’s objective/Total generated income 94.5% 94.4% 91.5%
Spent on the organisation’s objective/Total expenses 94.6% 94.4% 95.3%
Costs of income generation/Total generated income
2.2% 2.6% 1.9%
Management and accounting costs/Total expenditure 3.2% 3.0% 2.8%

Cash flow statement

All amounts in euro

Cash flow statement 2017 2016
Operational activities
Balance of income and expenses in the financial year -31,306 764,131
Depreciations 102,194 85,400
Gross cash flow on the basis of operational activities 70,887 849,531
Changes in current assets 1,082,934 -219,569
Changes in current liabilities -2,241,995 1,245,472
Net cash flow on the basis of operational activities -1,088,173 1,875,434
Investment activities
Changes to fixed assets -138,219 -63,521
Changes in liquid assets -1,226,392 1,811,913
Liquid assets at the start of the financial year 5,908,556 4,096,643
Liquid assets at the end of the financial year 4,682,164 5,908,556
Changes in liquid assets -1,226,392 1,811,913


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.

The figures in these financial statements are presented in accordance with the new Guideline 650, which must be applied with effect from the current financial year. This has led to a gradual reclassification of the different income categories and to changes in the cost allocation. There is no longer a distinction made between the different types of fundraising costs. In addition, the cost allocation summary is now called “Explanation of Expenditure”and two expenditure categories have been added: Communications Expenses and Deprecations. Up to the 2016 financial year, these costs were included in the General expenses.

The financial report for 2017 has been drawn up on the basis of a consolidation of the financial accounts of Stichting Free Press Unlimited, Eastern Africa office 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 Eastern Africa Office 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 the purchase price minus the depreciations based on the estimated life span. The depreciation period for the telephone exchange, computers and other hardware and software is 3 years (33.3%). Office inventory is written off over 5 years (20%) and the renovation over 7 years (14.3%).

All (in)tangible fixed assets are held for business operations.

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, revised in 2016), as explained on page 20 and 21 of the financial report.

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 members of the Board of Directors

The Standardisation of Top Incomes Act came into effect on 1 January 2013. The Act is applicable to the Free Press Unlimited foundation. In 2017, the applicable remuneration maximum for Free Press Unlimited is € 168.000. The remuneration policy is explained below and in the notes to the 2017 Annual Report. These notes indicate that…

The Standardisation of Top Incomes Act came into effect on 1 January 2013. The Act is applicable to the Free Press Unlimited foundation. In 2017, the applicable remuneration maximum for Free Press Unlimited is € 168.000.

The remuneration policy is explained below and in the notes to the 2017 Annual Report. These notes indicate that the members of Free Press Unlimited’s Supervisory Board are not reimbursed for their activities.

Table 1a. Senior Executives. All amounts in euro.

bedragen x € 1 Willems, L.A.M. Kronenburg, R.C.E.
 Details of position
Director Policy and Programs Director Operations
 Start and end of position fulfilment in 2017  01/01-31/12  01/01-31/12
 Part-time factor in FTE  1,0  1,0
 Appointed Senior Executive No No
 (Fictitious) employment contract No No
 Remunderation plus taxable expenses  99,371  89,248
 Remuneration payable over time  12,740  11,245
 Sub total
112,111  100,493
 Individual applicable maximum remuneration  168.000  168,000
 -/- Undue amount paid  N.a.  N.a.
 Total remuneration
112,111  100,493
 Reason why this may or may not be surpassed  N.a.  N.a.
Details 2016
 Start and end of position fulfilment in 2016  01/01-31/12  01/01-31/12
 Part-time factor 2016 in FTE  1,0  1,0
 Remuneration plus taxable expenses  94,551  84,919
 Remuneration payable over time 11,210  9,887
 Totale remuneration 2016  105,761  94,806

Table 1d. Supervisory board senior officials with a remuneration of € 1,700 or less*

Position Name
Chairperson Supervisory Board Daalmeijer, J.J.
Member Supervisory Board Eenkhoorn, B.
Member Supervisory Board De Vries, C.C.
Member Supervisory Board Schaake, M.R.
Member Supervisory Board Gijsbertsen, R.J.
Member Supervisory Board Boer, J.H.
Member Supervisory Board Fuller, M.E.

Staff ratios

Over 2017, Free Press Unlimited employed an average of 56.1 FRE (2016: 60.0 FTE). This includes both permanent and temporary contracts. The workforce can be subdivided into 47.8 FTE in organisation positions at Free Press Unlimited (2016: 51.4 FTE) and 8.3 FTE working within the Radio Dabanga project (2016: 9.5 FTE). Please refer to the Board of Directors report for further details.

* Tables 1b and 1c are not applicable to our financial report.