The numbers: Sound Seekers

Sound Seekers works to improve the lives of deaf children and children suffering from ear disease in the developing countries of the Commonwealth.

Total income: £390,000 for the year ending 31 May 2006, compared with £278,000 for the year before.
Highest salary: No employee was paid more than £60,000.
Reserves policy: The charity's policy is to hold free reserves equivalent to three months' operating spending and to cover net investment in fixed assets and cessation costs. At year-end, free reserves were £143,000, generally in line with the charity's target.
Fundraising costs: The charity spent £64,000 on generating funds of £390,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 16p in thepound. The previous year's ratio was 10p.
How performance is communicated: Sound Seekers is a relatively small charity, a fact that is reflected in the quality of some of its communications. The website (www.sound-seekers.org.uk) is fairly clear and describes in an accessible way what the charity does and where it works. But there islittle performance data or information toshow that the charity is working efficiently. The annual review has a lot of information on what it has done during the year and there are some lively photos. The text is rather dense, however, and it can seem hard to put the activity into a wider context.
The charity says: "Our income was up by 40 per cent on the year before, but unrestricted funding fell by 38 per cent. As this form of income allows the charity to develop, this presents a real challenge. Nevertheless, the charity reported a surplus, reflecting strong fundraising for new projects. We continue to receive donated audiology equipment, which we distribute to partners across the Commonwealth."

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