Finance: The Numbers - Save the Children

Patrick McCurry

Save the Children works in the UK and across the world. It provides emergency relief alongside long-term development and prevention work to help children, their families and communities to be self-sufficient.

Total income £124m for year ending 31 March 2004, up from £113m in 2002/03.

These figures include the net retail income.

Highest salary Mike Aaronson, director general, was paid £91,100.

Reserves policy Save the Children's target for base and operating reserves is £20m to £25m. Its reserves at the end of the financial year were £15m.

In the coming years, it may be necessary to set aside some of the reserves to cover pension deficits.

Fundraising costs The charity spent £16.7m on fundraising and publicity, and its donated income was £50.4m. This equates to 33p for every £1 raised.

This was slightly down on the previous year, when the ratio was 37 per cent.

Pension The final salary scheme was closed to new members in 2002. Under the FRS17 accounting rule, the scheme was in deficit by £16m at the end of the financial year.

How performance is communicated The annual report is very good, describing the charity's activity and performance in a clear way and with real-life examples. It also contains an accessible description of the charity's finances. The website has more information on Save the Children's worldwide work. Visit

The charity says Total income was at its highest level ever. Gifts in kind showed a significant increase - mainly related to food aid in emergency situations. Its policy is not to hold more reserves than it needs in order to meet short-term financial fluctuations in the event of a major downturn.

The FRS17 pension deficit fell by 33 per cent in 2003/04. Steps to reduce this further are being considered.

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