Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Epilepsy Action

Patrick McCurry

Epilepsy Action is a member-led charity that campaigns on behalf of people with epilepsy and provides assistance through its branches, volunteers, conferences and helplines.

Total income £3m for the year ending 31 December 2004 - about the same as 2003.

Highest salary: Chief executive Philip Lee earned between £60,000 and £70,000.

Reserves policy: The charity's aim is to hold unrestricted reserves equivalent to 18 months' spending. At the end of the last financial year, reserves stood at £2.6m, equivalent to 11 months' spending.

Fundraising costs: The charity raised £2.5m in voluntary income and its fundraising costs were £620,000. This gave it a fundraising ratio of 25p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The annual review gives a thorough description of the charity's work, breaking down performance into various categories and presenting information clearly.

Each category also has a list of goals for 2005, although it would have been better to link this year's achievements to goals from the previous year. The annual review and full accounts are available at

The charity says: "Income from legacies was again excellent, contributing 32 per cent of the association's total income for the year. Income from donations and fundraising also performed well, providing 50 per cent of total funds.

"During the year, trustees agreed to the formation of a corporate governance committee whose aim will be to recommend improvements to the operating practices of the association and minimise risks. This should lead to increased confidence from the general public."

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