Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Musicians Benevolent Fund

Patrick McCurry

Provides help and support to musicians and their dependants

Total income: £5.9m for the year ending 31 December 2005, down from £6.3m in 2004.

Highest salary: Two employees each earned between £50,000 and £60,000.

Reserves policy: In 2005 the charity set aside a designated development fund of £1.5m to be used for research, enhancement of existing programmes and new work over the next few years.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £330,000 on fundraising and generated £4.1m from donations and legacies, giving it a fundraising ratio of 8p in the pound. The previous year the ratio was 6p in the pound. The charity says its fundraising costs principally cover profile-raising work through advertising and events.

How performance is communicated: The trustees' report and accounts give an adequate description of the charity's work, and there is useful information about the organisation's future plans and its aim to raise its profile.

However, there is no explanation for the drop in income, due to a fall in legacies, between 2004 and 2005. The report is available online at www. mbf.org.uk. There does not seem to be much information on the charity's performance on its website, but the charity says it is planning to update the site.

The charity says: "The arrival of a new chief executive prompted a review of our organisational procedures, which led to a more formal planning process, involving both staff and trustees. We also recruited new trustees and committee members, who will help to broaden the range of expertise available to us.

"We are reviewing our services and have commissioned a major piece of research into the needs of musicians in the 21st century. This will form the basis of the five-year strategy taking us to our 90th birthday in 2011."

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