Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Health Unlimited

Patrick McCurry

The charity builds health services in partnership with communities and service providers in remote and difficult areas affected by conflict. Last year, it ran 20 projects in 11 countries, ranging from Rwanda to Cambodia.

Total income - £4m for the financial year ending 31 March 2004 (up from £3.1m in 2003).

Reserves policy - At the end of the year, unrestricted reserves were £215,000, which represented 6 per cent of overall spending, against a target of 10 per cent set by the trustees. The charity reviews its reserves policy annually.

Fundraising costs - The charity spent £115,000 on generating unrestricted income. Its voluntary income was £542,000. This gives it a fundraising ratio of 21p in the pound.

Pension - There is a money-purchase scheme that is open to all UK staff, to which the employer contributes up to 5 per cent.

How performance is communicated - The annual report is jargon-free and contains good information on the charity's performance and on outcomes, including excerpts from external evaluations. Graphics are used to communicate financial information. The annual review fleshes out the charity's work and highlights some of its performance indicators. Reports are available online at www.healthunlimited.org.uk.

The charity says "There was a substantial increase in income from the previous year, which was due mainly to higher project income in south-east Asia. The EU has become by far our most substantial donor, but we embarked on a new strategy in fundraising from individuals in the UK with a direct debit campaign. The intention is to continue investing in fundraising and increase our voluntary income to at least 15 per cent of our total income."

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