View Full Version : Double dutch

25th September 2012, 19:26
I saw the news that a new chief exec. has been appointed....this led me to start probing what salary does a Chief Exec get paid as obviously they don't do it for free?
I managed to find the annual report 11/12 and started to think seems double dutch and full of 'corporate speak' like the news article re: chief exec..."We believe we’ve taken decisions over the past year to protect our position but have still improved the quality of some of our services"
What exactly does this statement mean??
I can find nowhere in the annual report the salary for a Chief Exec. but I did see the ad for the Regional Care Advisor for £31,000 only 5k short of my salary as a copper and work from home! Bonus!
I was staggered to finally find the figure of the overall staff costs 2012 of £6.3million is this right? With a total expenditure of £14m..thats almost 50% on staff costs, which surely begs the question when public office workers are facing cuts how are the association planning to make savings? Run the AGM at National office save £4,800 or maybe increase the publicity budget making some difficult decisions...almost got me at it!!!

All in all v. confused and started to make double dutch reading..

25th September 2012, 19:55
it is in there somewhere ... I looked into the accounts last year after attending the agm and recall chief exec was on £150k pa. Sure Robyn can clarify ?. The topic became quite fractious last time it came up on here....

In short I was surprised by the staffing costs and top heavy management structure but this may have been thinned down since. I'll have a read of the latest accounts out of interest ;-)

25th September 2012, 21:30
Oh right, bit before my time I guess but it is contentious issue but I struggle to grasp how so much can be spent on buildings, management, staff and so little on publicity and a such a small amount on MND research and equipment.

Found this in The Telegraph, 20th September 2012, 5 days ago "Under the squeeze on pay overseen by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude since May 2010, any salary above the prime minister's £142,500 has to be signed off by the Treasury."

If the Chief Exec of the MNDA is on £150k I would like to know why?

Sadly a large proportion of the income according the report comes from legacies and again proportionately a small amount raised from fundraising. ummmmmm

26th September 2012, 08:18
Hi Scott, Adie,

The issue that was raised was a matter of law. The constitution of charities demands the officers of the charity be nominated and voted by the membership at the AGM. Appointment of officers is unlawful, would you agree?

26th September 2012, 11:19
Telegraph poll 9th August 2012

According to research conducted by nfpSynergy, the public believe that charity chief executives are overpaid. 1000 people were asked what they thought chief executives at voluntary organisations should earn and the response was that their salary is £20,000 too much.

The Charity Commission examined public trust in voluntary organisations and found that, whilst confidence in charities remains high, concerns about how money is used, staff pay, and the way that donations are spent could have a negative effect.

On the network this week, nfpSynergy founder Joe Saxton wrote that, rather than focusing solely on regulating street fundraising, voluntary organisations should think about other parts of the sector that influence public trust, such as chief executives' pay:

"Is there a code of best practice for charity CEOs and their pay levels – not that I know of."

What do you think? Do you think that charity chief executives should be willing to take a pay cut in order to safeguard public trust?

Cast your vote in our poll and let us know.

Should charity chief executives be willing to take a pay cut?


No – if anything, chief executives should get paid more


Yes – in tough times, leaders must set an example

Hi Graham,

Nice to see you posting trust you are o.k. Based on your post I would say 'Yes' surely living in a democratic society it would make sense to vote in candidates by members and those who cannot attend an AGM should have the right to vote by postal/proxy due to a disability be that MND or any other type of disability.

However, that said our Chief Executive has been appointed so that's that. Will Sally Light announce she is going to take a pay cut? Doubt it..

What I would like to know is how in this economic climate the MNDA is to cut back expenditure and maintain the level of support and care for those with MND and carers and continue its work with research while the pot of cash decreases from fundraising etc. I'm pretty sure Robyn will no doubt provide an answer but feel it will be the 'corporate' answer but not really fully answer I may of course be corrected.

Based on the piece in the Telegraph if Chief Executives are overpaid by 20k that could fund a multitude of things equipment, meetings etc.

Sadly, I could not make the AGM due to work but will have to book the time off to go in future.

Robyn Copley-Hirst
27th September 2012, 12:05
it is in there somewhere ... I looked into the accounts last year after attending the agm and recall chief exec was on £150k pa. Sure Robyn can clarify ?. The topic became quite fractious last time it came up on here....

In short I was surprised by the staffing costs and top heavy management structure but this may have been thinned down since. I'll have a read of the latest accounts out of interest ;-)

Hi Adie,

Staffing - Like all national charities which provide services the MND Association would not be able to function without paid members of staff. The MND Association has many services that require staff - MND Connect providing expertise, support and advice, managing our £7.5 million research portfolio, our network of MND Care Centres attached to 19 hospitals, educating and influencing health and social care professionals, producing care and research information, campaigning, providing support advice and training for volunteers and of course fundraising. All staff salaries are set by the Charity's Board of Trustees, are in line with charity market rates, and we regularly benchmark salaries with similar organisations.

All of our financial reports are made public, the latest can be found here: http://www.mndassociation.org/NR/rdonlyres/D703082C-854B-48CC-BB7E-273BFF3AA890/0/MNDAnnualReport2012.pdf

I think page 29 of the report is probably the information most relevant to your question.

The Association has also made some big changes to its staffing this year, which will be reflected in the next 2012/2013 report period which will be available next year.

I hope that helps,


27th September 2012, 16:42
thanks Robyn,
as when this subject came up before, it is not about challenging the services the users receive. That should be made abundantly clear.

Having a cursory look through your link there a couple of aspects which puzzle me.

MNDA merchandising & fundraising generate £1.08 million using 48 FTE staff (exclusive of £11.29 million from public / corporate donations, legacies etc) however fundraising expenditure is stated as £2.8 million. This doesn't equate to the reported £3.60 income per £1 spent ?? if you exclude income generated by public, patient, friends / family fundraising (7.8 million), it's more like 39p per £1 spent. I hope you can correct me on this.

Income from grants is £882k whereas grant expenditure is £2.96 million. How much of this is for direct research specifically aimed at finding a cure? I ask this because the Psychiatric Institutes grant is £421k, almost double that of SITRAN at £234k.

It appears that more is spent on leasing vehicles (£177k) than leasing land/buildings (£167k). I appreciate vehicles are required to deliver equipment, but would be interested to know what is the split between commercial vehicle & staff vehicle expenditure.

27th September 2012, 22:50
I fail to see exactly where the Chief Executive salary is mentiooned only than a mention of 1 individual of a salary brackets (£100,000 - £109,000) I presume this is the Chief exec. salary and 4! staff at 60-70K that's almost 250k total ! Who are these people???
I only wish I earnt that salary with a pension to boot!
With the greatest respect unless you're an accountant its all gobbledegook and quite frankly a bit wishy washy....I thought that accounts were supposed to be transparent?
Perhaps i should ask my poor accountant brother another potential Kennedy's patient to explain in laymans terms the accounts...my maths is limited but I do know that I now have 2 sisters, and 2 brothers all confirmed with Kennedy's in the past four weeks :( leaving only two brothers left to await their results.

28th September 2012, 20:46
Hi Scott,

4 x £70k + 1 x £110k + 5 x £25k(pension) = £515k

5k PALS, so £103 from each and every one of us each year!

This information could be construed as "A significant financial loss" to our charity impacting "vulnerable beneficiaries". In line with the Charities Commissions guidelines on "good governance", the board of trustees are required to justify this level of expenditure.

29th September 2012, 11:48
hi Scott,

Have been reading your posts, certainly opened my eyes, I had assumed wrongly ,it appears. That charities , are mainly for the benefit of those affected by the disease, I. Guess looking through Rosé tinted specs, I always thought that most staff would be doing this as a way of wanting to help, and offered time for free so to speak, Having other jobs they donated some free time too good causes,

just wondering now what do all these staff do to warrant the wage,car,pension,and other perks, Until MND I had worked 50hrs plus every week of my life , never claimed any benefits ,until forced into it, I just wished I known there where jobs that paid that kind of salary, f or me it was buy everything you use and got back a mileage allowance, the pension was a joke, like many others, Sour grapes yes a touch, I did have the loan of a light writer for some months, Just hope a pray that all the money used gets some tangible results, so far nothing has yet been seen, only hot air and more waiting times that never seem to end ,and when they do are replaced with more waiting times,just wish someone would mention to the guys that run these trials ,that our time is not infinite,


29th September 2012, 13:39
Well Pete,they ain't worried mate,there's always someone to take our place,until someone finds the cure,then they're all redundant,that's why there's never any rush.
Regs Bob Ps say hello to the family

29th September 2012, 15:41
Hi Big Bob,

Regards to other half, hope your well matey, Yes Adie,and Scott really have opened my eyes reading the posts, Yes appreciate the forum and the good they do along with the Mods on here ,just as Scott says, it does seem to be quite a nice job for some, Makes you wonder if we are such a small concern ,what on earth do the Cancer Execs get paid !!!! with all there money and still have so much left over for endless TV ads or is it that they are just better at getting air time maybe.


30th September 2012, 09:41
Hi Scott, Adie,

Pete makes a valid point, 'Did the board of trustees make any attempt to recruit senior officers from the pool of volunteers, or even pwMND?'

This is our charity. Our chairman, Mark Todd, correctly stated at the AGM the MNDA will be accountable to us.

We are due clear answers from the MNDA, without "Double Dutch". Using the Charity Commission to get clear answers is an option.

30th September 2012, 11:05

Oddly enough the Kennedy's disease association is :-

"is an all-volunteer organization, 91¢ of every dollar funds Kennedy’s Disease Research Grants (79¢) and Education (12¢).

The remaining 9¢ pays the association's operating costs*."

Annual report 2011

Robyn Copley-Hirst
3rd October 2012, 11:09
Hello Adie, We have spoken to a number of people across the Association so our response has taken a bit of time to get together. I hope this answers a few of your questions,


__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

The MND Association annual accounts are laid out according to the SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) guidelines produced by the Charity Commission and in line with charity law. This is done to ensure that all charities publish their annual accounts in a similar manner.

On your fundraising query , it means that different types of fundraising often have to be split between different income lines in the accounts to comply with this format.
In the day to day running of the MND Association we break our income into 4 main types – fundraising by the team in National Office, gifts left in legacies, funds raised by our local branches and groups, and earned income e.g. income from scientists paying to attend our international symposium each year (which just about breaks even), a small number of grants from the statutory sector, and advertising. This breakdown represents the different areas of income generating activity across the Association.
However, because of the definitions required by the charity Commission the National Office fundraising income and that of the Branches and Groups are split between a number of different lines in the accounts - “Donations & gifts”, “Merchandising income” and “Fundraising”. The same is true for expenditure and so this does make it difficult to disentangle the different strands, but we are constrained by how we are required to report.

So, along with the statutory annual accounts we also publish an Annual Review which seeks to explain our activities in a more accessible form – the care and support we provide, the research we fund, and the income we generate to fund the work of the Association. The Annual Review for the year ending January 2011 can be accessed here (http://www.mndassociation.org/about-us/how-we-make-a-difference). The January 2012 version is just being finished and will be available in the next few weeks.

In answer to your specific question, for the year ending January 2012 the fundraising activities run specifically by the team at the National Office generated just under £6.6 million at a total cost of £1.8 million giving a return on investment of £3.60 for every pound spent, which compares well with other charities. As a general guideline I would always want our activities to run at a ratio of 3 to 1 to ensure we were getting a suitable return for the Association, so our current performance represents an efficient use of money in generating the funds needed to support our work for people with MND.

Income from grants and expenditure on research grants represent two separate functions with the Association. We fund both biomedical research (into the causes of MND, the search for a diagnostic test, and to find a cure) and healthcare research (to improve the quality of life for people living with MND) and this represents our research grant expenditure. Just to clarify, despite the name, the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings is the leading research organisation for neurodegenerative research including MND.

We do not lease any commercial vehicles for the Association, we lease vehicles for our 40 regional staff to enable them to carry out their duties. This includes our Regional Care and Development Advisers, who cover large geographical regions with a number of branches and health settings to travel between. The leasing contracts are reviewed each year. The vehicles are currently leased on 3 year contracts, which from next year will extend to 4 years in order to drive down costs.

3rd October 2012, 12:25
Teynhambees - so the Kennedys association is volunteers only? How big is it in USA?

Robyn - thanks for your response - but it doesnt really answer the questions raised, does it? It smacks of, as the title of the thread suggests, double-dutch! (Not aimed personally at you)

3rd October 2012, 13:34
Thanks to you and your colleagues for supplying the above response. As you say, the reporting method doesn't allow for further analysis on this matter so must accept your statement. I would however hope you can consider a more transparent report that allows users an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the income & expenditure in view that many sufferers and their friends and families raise significant amounts.

Expenditure of £4,275 pa (356pcm) per officer vehicle is high, and hope that a review process realises significant savings in this area. Are the vehicles available for officers private use aswell? Also, what are the salary bands for these 40 officers?

In relation to the research teams that receive grants, I like many others would welcome further detailed information about their activities and outcomes, plus it will enhance accountability in funded research.

3rd October 2012, 15:09
Call me cynical Robyns reply sounds like something management have 'scripted' reminds me of a politicians answer when in fact you dont get a straight answer! It still doesn’t answer the point I raised what exactly is the chief executive paid and will she take a pay cut in these austere times? Perhaps Sally Light may even take the time to reply to her members.
I have to agree with Adie 385pcm per vehicle is high considering motability take about £200 apprx. to take a vehicle for 3 years inclusive of tyres, insurance, servicing etc.

Robyn Copley-Hirst
4th October 2012, 13:39
Hi Adie and Scott,

As we said we do hope that the review of our vehicle leasing will cut our costs. Our staff who drive lease cars are taxed on these and pay their own private mileage. They do a variety of roles at different salary levels, and these salaries are comparable to similar roles in other charities and organisations. It is not possible to comment on individual staff salaries on this forum but Directors’ salaries (including the CEO’s)are included in each annual report.

If you are interested in the research activities you can see all our current projects on our website http://www.mndassociation.org/research/Our+research/Research+we+fund

6th October 2012, 14:34
thanks Robyn.

As I said I don't wish to know individual details hence I referred to salary bands. I at no point questioned their salaries in comparison to other charities either. It seems that these 'corporate' responses are overly defensive which the begs the question, among other things, on comparability to private sector salary & benefits.

7th October 2012, 16:07
I think we can all hear plain as day that this is not really robyn speaking anywhere in these scripted statements I completely agree.

shame as i agree these 'corporate' responses as G60 puts it just make everyone suspisious. usually we get much more open and straight forward answers. i don't post every day but i read and keep up to date. this kind of political talk seems to be happening more and more and it defeats the whole point . this is for people in the forum community not for strangers to start speaking at us

I don't understand why they are so defensive. i thought your question was to the point G60. we will just have to read the next report when they come out. completely agree with G60 and teynhambees :(


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