Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - AgeCare

Patrick McCurry

AgeCare delivers residential care to vulnerable older people and runs a training division to raise standards of care.

Total income: £5.96m for the year ending 30 September 2005, down from £5.99m in 2004.

Highest salary: One employee earned between £50,000 and £60,000.

Reserves policy: A general unrestricted fund of £195,000 is held to support administration and overhead costs and to act as a back-up should any project need funding. There is also an unrestricted building fund, a development fund and a repairs fund.

Fundraising costs: Voluntary income was £333,000 and the cost of fundraising and publicity was £118,000, giving a fundraising ratio of 35p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The trustees' report and accounts give a good description of the charity's work and the 'achievements and performance' section compares objectives with impacts in areas such as 'making every pound count' and 'becoming an ever more effective organisation'. There is also a good description of future objectives. However, this approach does not extend to the annual review, which has much less on objectives and impacts.

The charity says: "Like many smaller charities in the older persons' residential sector, AgeCare has experienced serious and long-standing financial challenges, which we have now overcome. Net asset movement this year was a positive £300,000, the underlying operational budget is now balanced, our investments are substantially up and our debt ratio is continuing to fall.

"This has been achieved without compromising care standards. We've won or been finalists for nine national-level awards in the past three years, and we have just launched our campaign to commit £6m over six years to expand and refocus our services."

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