Kindernothilfe. Working together.

Transparency is a key priority for us

Transparency has alway been a matter of highest importance to us. A comprehensive internal and external controlling system ensures proper use of donations and verifies the impact of our work. We provide detailed accounting reports to our donors on how donations are spent. To further enhance transparency and prevent corruption, we have committed ourselves to publicly recognised codes of conduct. In recognition of our responsible use of donations, we have received the DZI donations seal of approval on an annual basis since 1992. Within the scope of the Transparency Award, which PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Germany, has conferred to charity organisations since 2005, Kindernothilfe has been honoured numerous times for its high-quality and transparent reporting on its goals, activities, internal structures and use of funding.
Show more

Our revenue sources

Our income, amounting to 56.6 million euros comprises donations, subsidies and grants as well as miscellaneous and extraordinary income.

90 percent of our income is provided by approximately 313,000 donors. Around 75,000 of these donors support us through sponsorships which make up 61 percent of the income.

Every year since 1992, Kindernothilfe has been awarded the Seal of Approval from the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) for its responsible and statutory use of donations.

In the context of the PwC Transparency Prize, Kindernothilfe has received several awards for its high-quality, transparent reporting.

Show more

Financial accountability

Trust is good, but careful supervision is so much better – and this is particularly true when it comes to ensuring that all donations are used for their intended purpose. Kindernothilfe conducts comprehensive internal and external audits, as do our local partner organisations that work with us to conduct projects on site.

The Kindernothilfe Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct serves as a policy for preventing corruption within Kindernothilfe and among its partner organisations. Ombudspersons are equally important in combating corruption. They act independently of the organisation and gather information whenever there are reasonable grounds to suspect corruption connected with Kindernothilfe projects.

Show more

Kindernothilfe’s monitoring approach

1. Internal monitoring

Internal monitoring and suitable internal supervision systems ensure that workflows proceed correctly, laws and regulations are respected and corrupting and corrupt behaviour is prevented. This includes process-independent monitoring carried out by Kindernothilfe internal auditors, as well as the monitoring of the Executive Board by the supervisory body. The Kindernothilfe Diaconic Corporate Governance Code, approved in 2007, is designed to contribute to this effort. It defines how the Association’s bodies cooperate with each other and how the Executive Board is monitored.

2. External audits

Kindernothilfe’s operational and financial management, its partners, project partners and projects are regularly audited by independent bodies. This requires accounting standards and financial statements, comprehensive financial reporting and the preparation of an annual financial statement that is audited and tested by an independent auditor. Internal monitoring mechanisms are an integral part of these audits. Fundamental principles of accounting and compiling financial statements, financial reports and annual reports by partners, project partners and projects are explained in the relevant valid KNH guidelines. It is also possible to conduct random audits on the use of funds at the partner, project partner and project levels.

3. Effective monitoring thanks to a clear division of responsibilities

Kindernothilfe’s Statutes and relevant rules of procedure stipulate a clear division of responsibility among the organisation’s bodies. The members of the Association elect the Board of Trustees, which appoints the full-time members of the Executive Board, and advises and supervises them. Furthermore, Kindernothilfe has introduced a modified version of the Good Governance Code of the Protestant Agency for Diaconia and Development, which specifies the distribution of responsibilities, and requires that the Executive Board present its annual and budget planning to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Monitoring local partners

1. Project supervision and assistance

Kindernothilfe pursues two key objectives here: First, it ensures that the funded projects steadily improve the living conditions of children, their families and communities. Second, it safeguards that project funds are used effectively and efficiently. To achieve this, Kindernothilfe has developed the following key components:

2. Project application

Every new project requires a proposal that includes information on the project partner, goals, target groups, monitoring, risks and financing. All applications are reviewed: from a content-related and a professional perspective by the relevant international division; and from a financial perspective by the controlling department.

3. Contractual basis

A cooperation agreement defines the collaboration with partners and projects. This contract contains a general section with rights and obligations, and a special section that covers agreements on goals and areas of focus.

4. Annual plan

All projects and partners have to present a plan with goals, benchmarks, requirements and activities along with a budget. This plan is mandatory to receive funding. No payments will be made without a plan that meets all requirements.

5. Acknowledgment of receipt

A written acknowledgment of receipt of payments is required (date, amount in euros and in the local currency).

6. Progress report

Projects should report on their progress. All projects that annually receive more than €75,000 must present semi-annual reports that provide information on deviations from plans and budgets.

7. Project visits

Projects and partners are regularly visited. Kindernothilfe staff evaluate project progress, design and management. They also audit the accounting, financial management and financial statements. Furthermore, they conduct workshops to improve the work. If projects fail to use funding as agreed, or even misappropriate funds, those responsible will be held accountable (repayment of funds and, in some cases, legal prosecution).

8. Annual report

All projects are required to present annual reports that include information on activities and whether objectives have been met. These reports are supposed to illustrate both successes and difficulties/problems. The annual report serves as the basis for the project report that is sent to all sponsors every year.

9. Annual financial statement

All projects and partners are required to submit annual financial statements (balance sheet, profit-and-loss statement) that must be reviewed by an independent auditor and include an audited report. All annual financial statements are evaluated and comprehensive audits are conducted randomly. If an annual financial report is not submitted in a timely manner, fails to meet the required standards, or does not include an unqualified auditor’s opinion, no payments will be made until these shortcomings are remedied.

The Kindernothilfe ombudsperson

Stephan Konrad
Mauerstraße 8
33602 Bielefeld

Our Commitments

Striving for excellence requires that all actors adhere to clearly defined principles, a reliable framework and precise monitoring to maintain our high standards of work. Kindernothilfe has established policies and committed itself to a range of existing codes of conduct. The goal is to make our work even more transparent, verifiable and effective.

Kindernothilfe Statutes

Who: Kindernothilfe official governance bodies /committees
When: 1961, in the 2012 version
What: guiding of the work in Germany and abroad, composition and responsibilities of the Association's bodies

Kindernothilfe Policy for Preventing and Combating Corruption (Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct)

Who: Kindernothilfe
When: since 2008 (updated in 2016)
What: code of conduct and integrity; requires all staff members to act with integrity and out a sense of responsibility, in compliance with the law and according to high ethical and moral values; preventing and combating corruption; Kindernothilfe staff members in Germany and abroad must report every act of corruption that they witness or fall victim to; establishing an ombudsperson position.

VENRO Code for Development Related PR

Who: Kindernothilfe and members of the Association of German Development NGOs (VENRO)
When: signed in 1998
What: professional and ethical standards for communicating with the media and donors; transparent, efficient and responsible use of funds; a ban on releasing, selling or exchanging donor addresses; Kindernothilfe does not represent populations in need in texts or photos in a degrading manner, does not present sponsored children in a catalogue-like manner, and does not use extreme language to persuade people to donate.

Diaconic Corporate Governance Code (DCGC)

Who: Kindernothilfe
When: since 2007
What: transparency and openness in communication; clear lines of responsibility between the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board; qualified work at all levels; establishing the tasks of the association's bodies, departments and the Executive Board; monitoring the work; goal: achieving an efficient and respectful interaction at all Kindernothilfe levels.

VENRO Code of Conduct

Who: Kindernothilfe and VENRO members
When: since 2008
What: uniform standards, greater monitoring and demonstrable professionalism; greatest possible degree of transparency; establishing universally applicable standards for aid organisations; supporting independent supervisory authorities like the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI).

VENRO Code for Protecting Children from Abuse and Exploitation in Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid

Who: Kindernothilfe and VENRO members
When: since 2009
What: stipulations require all members to protect children from sexual, emotional and physical abuse as well as to shield them from exploitation and negligence; creating an environment that safeguards children's rights and human rights; involving children in decisions that concern them; raising awareness of this issue within one's own organisation and among cooperation partners; ensuring that children's dignity is preserved in national media coverage, education and PR.

Transparent Civil Society Initiative

Who: Kindernothilfe and VENRO members, Transparency Germany, the Association of German Foundations, the Deutsches Zentralinstitut für soziale Fragen, the German Fundraising Association, the German Cultural Council, the German League for Nature and Environment, the Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society
When: 2010
What: Ten fundamental facts that every civil society organisation should publish on its website including its statutes, the names of key decision-makers and details on the sources and use of funds as well as information on staff.

Show more