Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - National Autistic Society

Patrick McCurry

The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading organisation for people with autism and those who care for them, spearheading national and international initiatives and providing a strong voice for autism.

Total income £64.3m (up from £59.2m in 2004).

Highest salary Vernon Beauchamp, chief executive, earned between £90,000 and £100,000.

Pension Under the FRS17 accounting standard, the charity's two defined-benefit pension schemes had a combined deficit of £5.5m at the end of the year. Increased employer contribution rates have been agreed to cover this.

Reserves policy The charity holds a 'risk reserve' as a precaution against short-term funding problems and a 'growth reserve' for strategic opportunities.

The aim is for the combined reserves to be £8m-£14m. At the end of the financial year the reserves were £10m, equal to two months' spending.

Fundraising costs The charity spent £1.9m on fundraising and its voluntary income was £6.1m. This gives it a fundraising ratio of 31p in the pound.

How performance is communicated The annual report gives a good description of the charity's work. In a section called 'achievement and performance', the report presents performance indicators on various services and compares them with the year before. The report is available online at

The charity says "Fee income from statutory bodies for pupils and adults educated and cared for by the charity continues to account for most income.

However, voluntary income increased in the year by 28 per cent, thanks in large part to the society's new relationship with Vodafone. In March 2004, Vodafone entered into a three-year 'cause partnership' with the charity, and the company hopes to raise £6m for the NAS during this period.

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