How we’re funded

Around half of our income comes from amazing individual supporters making regular monthly donations. The remaining income comes from group fundraising efforts and events, specific appeals, corporate sponsors and other grants.

We aim for as much flexibility in our funding portfolio as we can achieve, working in partnership with those that fund us. We are careful in the management of the funding we receive, which may fall into one of the following types:

Unrestricted funds are those that are spent at the discretion of Medic Malawi’s trustees for use on any of the charity’s general charitable purposes. Most of our regular giving is treated as unrestricted funds.

In addition to general unrestricted donations from our regular supporters there are three types of donor appeals that we may run as part of our work.

These donor appeals may contain requests for either unrestricted, restricted or part-restricted funding which can be a combination of both.

Unrestricted appeal

For unrestricted appeals, the money raised can be spent wherever we choose, as long as it is in line with our charitable objectives, and we typically communicate this as “wherever the need is greatest”.

This may not always be in the core area that might be given as an example in the appeal, and we’ll make this very clear when we send out the appeal.

Vitally, any unrestricted funds raised can be spent on a very wide range of needs, all of which are critical to Medic Malawi functioning effectively.

They can allow us to fill funding gaps in less popular projects, pay our building costs and rates, pay staff, or ensure long-term commitments to programmes where funding is sporadic or time-limited.

Restricted appeal

In contrast, we can only use restricted funds for the projects stated in a specific appeal, for example, a response to a humanitarian emergency, or a funding request for support in a particular community.

Most often, this is restricted to an area within Malawi, and/or to a specific theme of work.

Since restricted funds are given for very specific purposes, sometimes we’re not able to use those funds as outlined. On these occasions we may need to return the donations to the donor as per the Charity Commission rules unless agreed in advance. 

Following are some instances when we may be unable to use restricted funds: 

Because the need has been met in other ways e.g. via other funding.

Fulfilling the request will require significant administrative support that we aren’t able to provide.

Part-restricted or combination of both appeals

It is also possible that appeals can be a combination of both restricted and unrestricted appeals – we call this part-restricted appeals.

In this case, it’s likely that the majority of the donation will go to the main subject of the appeal, but some funds may go towards either related needs (other types of work within that area), or unrelated, unrestricted costs to support Medic Malawi’s wider work.

This split will be clearly highlighted within the appeal literature so that donors will have complete knowledge and understanding of where their funds will be used.

How we use Gift Aid

As part of our fundraising appeals, we also request an optional Gift Aid contribution to your donation.

Gift Aid lets charities claim back 25p from every £1 that you donate.

At no extra cost to you, Medic Malawi can claim this money from the Government from the basic tax that has already been paid on your donation.

We claim Gift Aid back from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and this will always be treated as unrestricted funding, even if the original donation is restricted.