The numbers: Send a Cow

Christian charity Send a Cow enables poor African farmers to become self-reliant by providing them with training, advice and livestock.

Total income: £5.4m for the year ending 30 June 2006, compared with £4.6m for the year before.

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

Reserves policy: The charity's policy is to hold free reserves equivalent to at least three months' unrestricted spending. At year-end,reserves stood at £1.58m, slightly below target. Send a Cow also sets aside designated reserves of £1.4m to support its farming and livestock programmes.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £1.08m on generating voluntary income, which totalled £4.9m. That gave it a fundraising ratio of 22p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was 23p.

Pension: The charity operates a money- purchase pension scheme. The employer's contribution is 7 per cent of gross salary.

How performance is communicated: The annual review, available at the website (, is thoughtfully written and communicates the charity's strategy fairly well. There is also information on performance and impact, but there could perhaps be more evidence, such as indicators, to back this up. The trustees' report and accounts do have more detailed evidence on how Send a Cow is making a difference. The website has a useful section of frequently asked questions, which addresses issues to do with the charity's work, approach and management.

The charity says: "This was our fifth consecutive year of growth. Income increased to £5.4m from £4.6m for the 15 months to June 2005. This increase was largely thanks to generous giving by our supporters. Our principal source of income is voluntary, which is raised from the general public, schools and churches."


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