Cash Machines or More?

  • Diana Leat


One of the charges charities fear most is being seen to spend too much on ‘overheads’. In a charity’s publicity and fundraising materials, there are often prominent claims that ‘every penny/cent’ goes to help those in need, implying that the charity spends nothing on offices, utilities, staff, and so on. Endowed foundations do not need to make such claims for fundraising purposes, but trustees may nevertheless keep a tight rein on any spending that is not directly related to the foundation’s mission. Organisations that work to support and advise foundations are frequently asked what percentage of a foundation’s income it is reasonable to spend on overhead, and whether there are any benchmarks.


Administrative Cost Overhead Cost Public Benefit Expense Ratio Melinda Gate Foundation 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Leat
    • 1
  1. 1.Cass Business SchoolLondonUK

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