Finance: The Numbers - Leonard Cheshire

Patrick McCurry

Leonard Cheshire is the largest voluntary sector provider of care for disabled people in the UK. Its services include care homes, supported living, domiciliary support and day services. It also provides training and development assistance in 57 countries.

Total income: £126m for year ending 31 March 2004, up from £115m in 2002/03.

Highest salary: A director was paid between £100,000 and £110,000. The charity would not say who it was.

Reserves policy: The charity had unrestricted reserves of £106m at year end, but £91m of this was tied up in property and other long-term assets or set aside for service developments already in progress. The charity says that the reserves should be higher to enable completion of the development programme.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £2m on fundraising, and its donated income was £12.7m. This equates to 16p for every £1 raised, lower than the previous year's ratio of 20 per cent.

Pension: The charity operates two final-salary pension schemes. Under the FRS17 accounting standard, these were in deficit by a combined £11m.

How performance is communicated: The annual report gives a good overview of the charity's work and includes details on its future strategy. There is interesting information on Leonard Cheshire's campaign to ensure that voluntary income is not used to supplement fees. But there is little analysis of performance against previously defined targets. The website contains more information on specific schemes - www.leonard-cheshire.org.

The charity says: We are now operating financially secure services in most parts of the UK. This means that we no longer have to use voluntary income to supplement fees, and makes possible an acceleration of our plans to modernise, redevelop or diversify our residential services to offer more opportunities in support of disabled people.

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