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Powerful income benchmarking tool launched

Powerful income benchmarking tool launched
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Powerful income benchmarking tool launched2

Finance | Gareth Jones | 4 May 2011

Civil Society Media has launched a new online application allowing charities to compare their long-term income data with the financial performance of other charities.

The tool is based on data taken from the Charity 100 Index and the Charity 250 Index, and covers income results from as far back as 1996 through to the latest available figures.

It enables users to view the results of individual charities, groups of charities and/or the entire data set, create custom graphs and then export them as images or as a pdf file.

Data can be divided into five main streams - voluntary, legacy, grants and fees, investment and trading - and also into groups based on the charities’ aims, such as children’s, international aid or medical research charities.

Both Indexes are long-standing features of Charity Finance magazine; the Charity 100 Index tracks the income of the UK’s largest 100 charities while the Charity 250 Index covers the next-largest 250 charities.

Simply click the 'benchmark' tab at the top of this website to access the tool, or visit http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/benchmark/graph.

Marian Nicholson
Herpes Viruses Association and Shingles Support Society
9 May 2011

If you can usefully compare your charity with others, this means that you are doing the same thing with the same 'stakeholders'. To my mind, this means that you could perhaps useful merge!
Surely if a charity is doing its own thing, there is no point in comparing with other chariites.
Or am I missing the point somewhere along the line?

Gareth Jones
Senior reporter
Civil Society Media
9 May 2011
Response to [Marian Nicholson]

Hi Marian, thanks for your comments. It's certainly not for us to tell you how to use it but here are some thoughts:

Although the charity sector is not adversarial in the same way as the private sector, would you not be interested in the performance of charities working on diseases other than Herpes? For example, if they were increasing their income and you were not then perhaps you could investigate what they are doing to make more money. I can't imagine your funding sources would be that different from theirs even if you are working to tackle a different ailment. Or as another example, if you have put in place a new 5-year fundraising strategy, you could see if it is enabling you to grow at a faster rate than other charities over that period.

As for mergers, I don't think you are alone in thinking that more charities with similar objects should merge, but I'm not sure they are doing so in reality. Indeed, perhaps they should be using the tool to identify healthy merger partners!

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