At Work: Finance and IT - The numbers - Toybox

Patrick McCurry

Toybox is a Christian charity rescuing street children in Latin America. It operates outreach, residential and educational programmes.

Total income: £1.17m for the year ending 31 March 2006, compared with £1.07m for 2005.

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

Reserves policy: The charity aims to hold unrestricted general funds equivalent to three months' revenue. At year end Toybox held reserves equal to 2.2 months' revenue.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £188,000 on fundraising and voluntary income was £938,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 20p in the pound.

The previous year's ratio was 18p.

How performance is communicated: There is evidence of the charity's effectiveness in an impact report on its website (www.toyboxcharity.org.uk). A subsection called 'What difference are we making?' gives an impact assessment of the charity's work in Guatemala that can be downloaded. This includes both achievements and areas of learning for the organisation. The annual review, however, is more of a marketing publication focusing on case studies and human interest material.

The charity says "Income grew by 9 per cent in a year of tragic world disasters, including Darfur and the Pakistan earthquake. These overshadowed Hurricane Stan in autumn 2005, which affected Central America, a key area of activity for us.

We raised income through focusing on beneficiaries in our communications with donors, on developing international partnerships and developing an alternative gift range. We also improved our database of donors and increased regular giving. A five-year strategic plan included revising our corporate identity to highlight what makes us different in a crowded market. We aim to raise more income in future from trusts and community fundraising."

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