The numbers: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People provides dogs trained to alert deaf people to certain everyday sounds.c

Total income: £4.7m for the year ending 31 March 2006, which was roughly the same as 2005.

Highest salary: No employee was paid more than £60,000.

Reserves policy: The charity aims to hold unrestricted general funds that could cover at least 12 months' normal spending and finance future expansion plans. At year end, reserves were in line with this target.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £121,000 on fundraising, and voluntary income was £707,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 17p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was 9p.

How performance is communicated: The website (www.hearingdogs.org.uk) is well presented, but feels a bit light in terms of showing how well the charity is doing. An annual review is available online. This has more information, including statistics on the number of dogs trained and placed with deaf people, but no comparable figures for previous years or information that could demonstrate increased effectiveness.

The trustees' report and accounts highlights research showing the effectiveness of hearing dogs, but little about the effectiveness of the charity itself.

And the report is not available online.

The charity says: "Total income was down slightly on 2004, when we gained a profit of nearly £500,000 with the disposal of one of our centres. During 2006, we benefited from increased legacy funds and income from Rotary International as its charity of the year. The year's spending reflects an increase in costs in line with our expanding operations.

Our work requires a large investment in dedicated premises, which are used as kennels, training facilities, accommodation and offices. The waiting list for dogs continues to grow and stands at 24 months, but we have plans to expand our training capacity."

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