Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Gingerbread

Patrick McCurry

Gingerbread provides help, advice and information for 3.5 million lone parents and their children.

Total income: £1.33m for the year ending 31 March 2005, down from £1.36m in 2004.

Highest salary: No employee earned more than £50,000.

Reserves policy: The charity aims to hold unrestricted reserves of between £120,000 and £250,000, and it hopes to achieve this target over the coming years. At the end of the year, unrestricted reserves were £31,000.

Fundraising costs: The charity is largely dependent on contract income, although it raised £140,000 in donations and gifts in kind. Its fundraising costs were £37,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 26p in the pound.

The ratio was 14 per cent in the previous year.

How performance is communicated: The trustees' report is detailed, if a little dense, and it can be hard at first for the newcomer to understand the various strands of Gingerbread's work. This work includes providing services, supporting self-help groups and campaigning.

The report does give useful information on the charity's future aims.

The website has a lot of detail but is also rather dense in its presentation.

The report is available online at www.gingerbread.org.uk.

The charity says: "Income fell by 2.5 per cent compared with the previous year. During the year, trustees and senior management took steps to reconfigure the cost base.

"Management and premises costs have been reduced significantly as a result of improved controls over expenditure. The full extent of these initiatives should be seen in the financial year ending 31 March 2006.

"In fundraising, a new team was recruited in the autumn with an emphasis on attracting grants for regional projects."

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