Annual report of the Deaconess Foundation 2021 – a year of strategic clarification


For the Deaconess Foundation, 2021 was a year of collective development and the formulation of a new strategy. Changes in the operating environment of the social welfare and health sector and the rapid growth of the Group created the need to enhance the role of the Deaconess Foundation in society.

“Finland needs value-based social actors like the Deaconess Foundation. We are needed not only to ensure that people who require special support receive help and services, but also to ensure that their interests are taken into account in decision-making,” says Olli Holmström, CEO of the Deaconess Foundation.

Boldly working for human dignity

The Foundation’s diaconal work concentrates on the most vulnerable people. In 2021, the Deaconess Foundation carried out a total of 65 projects to strengthen the experience of human dignity.

“The experience of human dignity can be undermined by complex problems and realities. These include discrimination, exclusion, unemployment, substance abuse, refugeeism or statelessness. In particular, the coronavirus period has already made life harder for vulnerable people. In 2021, we spent more than €3 million of our funds on human dignity work. We received almost €8 million in external grants. I consider this to show a very high level of confidence in our work,” says Holmström.

Services close to people

For the Group, the service business is an important means of bringing about social change and a better everyday life for customers. The Deaconess Foundation’s expansion and growth nationally and is driven by the desire to bring expertise to meet the needs of an urbanising Finland and its people with particular support needs. At the end of 2021, the Deaconess Foundation’s operations were located in a total of 15 future welfare regions.

“Our aim is to continue our growth strategy and expansion into new welfare areas. We will develop our services based on needs together with our clients. We have strong expertise in delivering effective services for children and young people, people with intellectual disabilities, people with autism spectrum disorder, people with multiple disorders, people with addiction problems and older people.”

Working with heart

At the end of 2021, the Deaconess Foundation had 2,700 employees. Despite a challenging financial year and staff shortages, staff wellbeing remained at a good level. This was also reflected in client satisfaction.

“I’m really proud of our staff,” says Holmström. “Working with people who need a lot of support is demanding and not for everyone. It was not an easy year either, with many units having to deal with the hard times caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That is why I greatly appreciate the active involvement of staff in training, development work and the preparation of our strategy. We want to develop the Deaconess Foundation into the best working community in the sector. We want to show that work in the social sector is bold, innovative and technologically advanced – the work of the future.”

Financial result 2021

The Group’s operating income in 2021 was €214 million (€179 million in 2020). The years 2021 and 2020 are not comparable because Caritas Palvelut was acquired by the Group in August 2020, after which Caritas Palvelut’s revenues are included in the Group’s figures.

  • The Group’s surplus for the financial year was €17.6 million (€7.3 million in 2020).
  • The result from ordinary activities was a surplus of €0.1 million (€4.8 in 2020).
  • The market value of the Group’s investment securities at the end of 2021 was approximately €223 million (approximately €190 million in 2020). The market value of the Group’s real estate and forestry assets exceeded €150 million at the end of 2021.
  • Investments €3.8 million (€12.7 million in 2020)
  • The Group’s equity ratio at the end of 2021 was 82% (82% in 2020).
  • Grants received for non-profit activities €7.8 million (€8.4 million in 2020)

Report of the Board of Directors of the Deaconess Foundation, including financial statements and auditor’s report (pdf in Finnish).

Further information:

CEO Olli Holmström,, tel. 050 483 6313
Director of Finance Jukka Rautavalta,, tel. 040 753 2166
Director of Communications Laura Niemi,, tel. 050 373 8602

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