The numbers: Association for Children's Palliative Care

ACT works to achieve the best quality of life and care for children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Total income: £181,000 for year ending 31 March 2006, down from £208,000 in 2005.

Highest salary: No employee was paid more than £35,000.

Reserves policy: The charity is working towards unrestricted reserves of at least six months' operating costs, but there were no reserves at year-end.

Fundraising costs: During the year, the charity spent more money on fundraising than it raised in voluntary income. The previous year it spent £14,000 and raised £110,000, giving it a ratio of 12p in the pound. The charity says the low voluntary income for 2005/06 was because it is in the process of developing its fundraising, and that income in 2004/05 was boosted by a one-off individual donation.

How performance is communicated: The trustees' report and accounts contain useful information about ACT's objectives for the financial year and what it did to meet them, and on plans for the future. The report and accounts are available on the website: www.act.org.uk. The report refers to the need to establish financial stability, but does not spell out why there was a large fall in voluntary income compared with the year before. The website has a section on 'milestones' in its FAQ section, listing key achievements since the charity was set up.

The charity says: "ACT appointed a treasurer this year to provide an overview of financial management and report back. It also recruited its first paid fundraising manager to tackle some of the funding difficulties ACT has faced during its existence. There remains a difficulty over the low level of unrestricted funding, which ACT is addressing with a membership drive and by applying to government, major donors and grant-making bodies for core cost funding, and applying full cost recovery to all new projects."

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