The numbers: Marwell Preservation Trust

The trust operates Marwell Zoological Park near Eastleigh in Hampshire, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Total income: £8.2m for the year ending 31 December 2006, compared with £6.6m for the year before.

Highest salary: One employee earned between £70,000 and £80,000.

Reserves policy: The charity's policy is to hold a base reserve, over and above that held in fixed assets, equivalent to at least three months' operating spending. At year-end, these free reserves were equivalent to four months' operating spending.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £741,000 on generating voluntary income and this raised £1.75m, producing a fundraising ratio of 42p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was 31 per cent.

Pension: The charity operates a defined-contribution scheme for certain employees.

How performance is communicated: The website is aimed at visitors to the zoological park and does not give a great deal of information about the charity or its performance. The trustees' report and accounts do give reader-friendly information on what the charity's objectives for the year were and how the organisation attempted to meet them. There are plans to put the report online. There is also a good description in the report of future plans and how the charity aims to implement them.

The charity says: "There were 457,000 visits made to the zoo, slightly up on the year before, but with more repeat visits made by annual pass holders than previously. This was due, in part, to the sale of straightforward annual passes rather than requiring people to buy membership of the charity. These visits enabled us to claim £425,000 in Gift Aid. During the year, 84 per cent of our spending, excluding trading, was on charitable activities - most going on the operation of the park."

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Marwell Preservation Trust

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