The Numbers: Pelican Cancer Foundation

The foundation funds research into and provides training for precision surgery for bowel, liver and prostate cancer.

Total income: £533,000 for the year ending 31 March 2008, compared with £1.22m for the previous year.

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

Reserves policy: The charity aims to hold sufficient reserves to allow it and its associated activities to continue for 18 months in order to complete any outstanding research. Free reserves at year-end were £1.29m, roughly in line with the target.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £90,000 on generating voluntary income, which totalled £116,000 during the year. This gave the charity a fundraising ratio of 77p in the pound, compared with 25p in the pound the year before. The charity says that accounting regulations produced a disproportionately high fundraising spend in 2007/08. It says the real fundraising expenditure was about £10,000, which would have produced a much lower ratio.

Pension: The charity offers a defined-contribution pension scheme, to which it contributes 4 per cent of salary. Employees in the scheme contribute 6 per cent.

How performance is communicated: The charity's website contains some useful background on the formation of the charity and its activity. This is expanded upon in the trustees' report, which also provides information about future strategy. However, the report, which is not available on the website, does not explain why the charity's income from voluntary sources and grants fell so sharply between 2006/07 and 2007/08.

The charity says: "The drop in income was because of the completion of a major education programme. We now have a more diverse curriculum of training and development as part of a programme to train surgeons in keyhole surgery. We are undergoing a review of research governance so as to meet the highest standards in the sector."

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