The numbers: The Pasque Charity

The Pasque Charity provides palliative care for people who have terminal or life-limiting conditions.

Total income: £4.2m for the year ending 31 March 2006, compared with £4.4m for the year before.

Highest salary: No employee earned more than £60,000.

Reserves policy: The charity aims to set aside free reserves equivalent to 50 per cent of annual spending. But a deficit in 2005/06 led it to vary its reserves policy and use free reserves to maintain the existing level of services, even though further reductions in reserves could affect future services.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £551,000 on fundraising, and voluntary income was £2.2m, giving it a fundraising ratio of 25p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was 18p.

Pension: The charity has a defined-contribution pension scheme for employees. Some employees are members of the NHS pension scheme.

How performance is communicated: The website has a good description of the charity's work and also covers how it is funded and its future plans. The annual review is available online and includes candid descriptions of the challenges facing the charity. Unfortunately, the most recent review available online is for 2004/05. The trustees' report and accounts go into more detail on the charity's activities, and include an assessment of its impact in various areas.

The charity says: "The impact of a much lower income from voluntary sources, notably legacies, and of increased spending is that reserves decreased by £500,000. If this situation continues, the charity will be under serious threat. The trustees agreed a clear strategy to address this. This includes the prospect that there may be more statutory income after changes in how NHS funding is calculated and a review of government policy on children's hospices."

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