The numbers: Action For ME

Action for ME works to improve the lives of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalopathy.

Total income - £693,000 for the year ending 31 March 2007, compared with £956,000 for the previous 12 months.

Highest salary - The interim chief executive was paid £55,000.

Reserves policy - The charity seeks to hold free reserves equivalent to at least three times its monthly running costs. The charity says the trustees scrutinise the accounts closely every month to make sure this target is met. Reserves at year-end were £200,000, equivalent to 3.8 months of spending.

Fundraising costs - The charity spent £206,000 on fundraising for its voluntary income, which totalled £596,000. This gave the charity a fundraising ratio of 35p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was 36p.

Pension - The charity operates a defined-contribution scheme, to which it contributes 3 per cent of salary.

How performance is communicated - The annual review, which is available at the website www.afme.org.uk, contains basic information on activity, as well as pointers to future strategy and objectives. But the review for 2006/07 is not yet available online. The trustees' report and accounts give more detail on the charity's strategy and how it is seeking to implement it. But they do not fully explain the dramatic 25 per cent fall in the charity's income between 2005/06 and 2006/07.

The charity says: "Much of the reason for the fall in income in 2006/07 was that the previous year's income was greatly enhanced by an outstandingly successful fundraising dinner. This event, which was organised by two of our most valued supporters, raised more than £200,000. In 2006/07 we had a more typical year, but income from 2007/08 will again exceed £900,000."

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