The numbers: The Children's Trust

Surrey-based charity the Children's Trust provides care, education, therapy and rehabilitation for children with disabilities and complex health needs.

Total income: £17.5m for the year ending 31 March 2007, compared with £15m for the previous 12 months.

Highest salary: One employee was paid between £80,000 and £90,000.

Reserves policy: The charity seeks to hold free reserves equivalent to at least three months of operating costs. At year-end, reserves were £3.06m, below the target of £3.95m. In 2006/07, the trustees designated a further £300,000 of unrestricted reserves to help finance developments such as a planned national rehabilitation centre, which will cost £7m.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £1m on fundraising its voluntary income, which totalled £3.2m. This gives the charity a fundraising ratio of 31p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was roughly the same.

Pension: The charity operates a defined-contribution scheme, to which it contributes 6 per cent of salary.

How performance is communicated: The annual review, which is available on the charity's website (, communicates data in a well- presented way and highlights the charity's plans. It also talks about awards the charity has won, such as 'top charitable organisation to work for' from a nursing magazine. There is more detail on performance in the trustees' report and accounts, such as increases in average occupancy rates.

The charity says: "Overall financial growth was impressive, with income up 17 per cent on the year before. The challenge of this growth is to maintain sufficient numbers of skilled staff to meet demand as it arises, while also persuading funding authorities to pay the full cost of the service. The financial risks associated with any unplanned drop in occupancy have increased, which only underlines the importance of our donors."

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