About us

ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want. Learn about our vision, our mission, our approach, and our impact.

About ActionAid

Our vision

A just, equitable and sustainable world in which every person enjoys the right to a life of dignity, freedom from poverty and all forms of oppression.

Our mission

To achieve social justice, gender equality, and poverty eradication by working with people living in poverty and exclusion, their communities, people’s organisations, activists, social movements and supporters.

Our approach

Our human rights-based approach aims to ensure that people are drivers of their own change and able to claim the rights they are entitled to. We focus on women and girls because the denial of their rights is a grave injustice and one of the underlying causes of poverty worldwide.

By working directly with communities, women’s movements, groups and networks, social movements and other allies, we aim to tackle the structural causes and consequences of poverty and injustice.

Accountability

For every £1 you donate we spend:

67p on humanitarian and development programmes and strengthening our global federation

20p on fundraising

10p on support costs (running the organisation)

3p on campaigning for change

Read our supporter promise and how we are funded.

We’re transparent and accountable

With over 40 years’ experience in international development, we have a long history of building effective partnerships with local organisations and running our programmes in the most responsible and financially-secure way.

We are committed to being transparent and accountable to the local communities we work with as well as to our partner organisations, local governments and, of course, to our supporters.

For ActionAid, transparency not only means being open about our financial affairs and how we spend the money we raise, but also working in a way that clearly shows how we put our values into action.

From using transparency boards to share information about our projects, to publishing financial information every year, we are committed to being transparent and open about our work.

17,000
new regular supporters joined ActionAid in 2019

£49.1 m
raised by ActionAid UK in 2019

250,000
Rohingya refugees helped by ActionAid in 2019

Our history

ActionAid was founded in 1972, when we started working with local communities in India and Kenya. Our programmes focused on meeting local needs in areas including education, health and livelihoods.

We were one of the first UK charities to offer child sponsorship, and we have been transforming the lives of children and their families ever since.

In the 1980s we shifted the focus of our work to tackling the root causes of poverty as well as meeting people’s immediate needs. We realised that in order to create lasting change we had to look at the reasons why people are poor. We support people from poor and marginalised communities to challenge injustice and claim the rights they are entitled to.

We also work with local communities to improve livelihoods, increase access to water, gain access to basic healthcare and find new ways of making a living.

Today we work with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries.

See the full list of countries

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments, our supporter care team would love to hear from you.

  • Email: supportercontact@actionaid.org
  • Phone: call us on 01460 238 000.
  • Post: Supporter Care Team, ActionAid UK, Chard Business Centre, Jarman Way, Chard, Somerset, TA20 1FB.

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Page updated 12 October 2021