Aidex Voices

When you transfer money to your counterparts in other countries and your partners or suppliers, you are likely to face exchange rate risks. Many of the currencies you deal with are probably highly volatile and this could jeopardize your projects. 

NGOs of all sizes can move funds cost-efficiently across the globe with our dedicated solutions, created by a team of NGO experts. Our services include tailored risk management in addition to money transfers and distribution solutions.

Here is how Glad’s House and Save the children have benefited from our solutions:

Glad’s House

Glad’s House works with street children and young people in Mombasa, Kenya, providing them with the resources and means to leave the streets permanently and reintegrate into society.

In a country where one care package, put together by the NGO for a child in prison, costs just £2, every pound really counts.

Glad’s House saves £60 per transaction by working with Ebury. This has a significant and tangible impact because it funds 30 care packages for children or a home visit for a child leaving the streets or 14 days’ worth of meals for all the children in the Glad’s House centre.

Commenting on the difference that Ebury has made to the NGO, Vicky Ferguson, CEO of Glad’s House, said:

“Every penny we are able to raise has a direct impact on the lives of these young street children in Mombasa. That is why we work with Ebury – it is so important that we make the most of the money we have.

When we worked with traditional banks, not only could we not guarantee that we would receive the best exchange rates, but the banks also charged us £27 per transfer. Although we aim to transfer money only once per month, the charges meant there was no flexibility as we could not risk the extra funds.

Working with Ebury, not only is there no fee for transferring money, but they save us about £60 per transfer which makes a huge difference to the operation of the charity. It makes life easier and any unforeseen costs less damaging.”

Save the Children

Protecting funds against exchange rate volatility was for Save the Children. "There is nothing more frustrating for an NGO than seeing how their funds can be distorted by market tensions," explains David del Campo, Head of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action at Save the Children.

Ebury worked with Save the Children around their humanitarian aid programme developed in the Philippines to alleviate the consequences of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the country in 2013. Having analysed the needs of the NGO to find the best strategy going forward, Ebury suggested solutions that help Save the Children maximise value, reduce the impact of exchange rate volatility and employ best-practice distribution methods.

Emerging market currencies, such as the Philippine Peso, are less frequently traded and accessing them carries greater exchange rate risk. That is because these currencies are often subject to reduced liquidity as well as increased volatility.

To mitigate the NGO’s risk and optimise the transfer of funds to their programme, Ebury helped Save the Children employ comprehensive risk management tools to cover their market exposure for the duration of the project. This provided a set exchange rate and peace of mind that their international transactions would not be affected by market volatility. The solution gave Save the Children visibility into the exact amount of funds which would be available on the ground and allowed them to maximise their impact.

David del Campo, Head of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Save the Children (Spain), said:

“We intend to achieve real and sustainable change in the lives of children and, especially, those who are in vulnerable situations. But exchange rate fluctuation is a nightmare for any NGO and can cause major disruptions to budgeting.

"With Ebury’s help we are able to counteract market volatility and thereby mitigate our risk. We know in advance when, and at what rate, we will convert donations into the local currency and  see the total amount that will reach our target destination.”

Founded in the UK in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb, Save the Children’s original mission was to help the millions of refugees and displaced children scattered across Europe after the First World War. They now work in 120 countries globally, allowing them to help 17.4 million children in 2014 alone.