Finance: The Numbers - Sight Savers International

Patrick McCurry

Sight Savers International works to combat blindness in developing countries, primarily those in the Commonwealth, by working with partner bodies in poor communities.

Total income £19m, up from £18m in 2002. Figure excludes gifts in kind.

Highest salary: Executive director Richard Porter was paid £70,000- £79,999, as was another director whom the charity refused to name.

Reserves policy: There is some flexibility, but the charity's general policy is to have unrestricted reserves equivalent to about 25 per cent of annual unrestricted spending. At the end of the year reserves were £3.8m, representing 20 per cent of future spending.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £4.3m on fundraising and its donated income was £18.6m. This equates to 23p for every £1 raised, down on the previous year, when the ratio was 24p.

Pension: The final salary scheme was closed to new members in 2002. Under the FRS17 accounting rule, the scheme was in deficit by £2.1m at the end of the financial year.

How performance is communicated: The annual report is rather dense. The more accessible annual review gives more detail on the charity's performance and achievements. The website has more information than the published reports and includes details of the charity's strategic plan for 2004-2006. In its annual report, Sight Savers says it is planning to put in place more sophisticated measurement of outcomes and impacts. Reports at

The charity says: The main area of growth in income was voluntary donations, generating an additional £1.2m (9 per cent) in the year. This reflects the society's continued success in attracting support from members of the public through its direct marketing activities. Corporate donations also grew strongly this year.

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