Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Winston's Wish

Patrick McCurry

Winston's Wish provides services to bereaved children and young people, and to people who work with them. These include face-to-face services for children and families, as well as a helpline, an interactive website and training and consultancy services.

Total income: £872,000 (up from £807,000 in 2003).

Highest salary: Chief executive Julie Stokes earned £55,000-£60,000.

Reserves policy: Total reserves at the end of the year were £336,000, equivalent to about four months' spending. The charity does not have a precise formula for reserves, other than an intention to build up reserves in the medium term from their present level.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £276,000 on fundraising. Its voluntary income was £787,000. This gives it a fundraising ratio of 35p in the pound. This was slightly lower than the previous year, when it was 36p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The annual report is readable and describes the charity's activities during the year. A significant part of the report is devoted to the charity's objectives for the following year. Unfortunately, it is not available online. The website, www.winstonswish.org.uk, includes information about the charity's achievements in recent years, including statistics on the use of its telephone helpline.

The charity says "It has become increasingly difficult to raise the funds that are needed and extra pressure has been placed on the charity by the move to new premises during the year. A number of changes were made that increased the efficiency of Winston's Wish while maintaining the effectiveness of the services offered. We were particularly pleased to have been awarded a grant under the Government's parenting fund to deliver child bereavement services."

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