The numbers: Prospects

Prospects is a Christian charity that helps people with learning disabilities lead their lives as independently as possible.

Total income: £8.4m for the year ending 31 March 2006, compared with £7.9m for the year before.

Highest salary: One employee earned between £60,000 and £65,000.

Reserves policy: The charity's policy is to hold a services reserve equivalent to one month's spending on its main operations, which would be £651,000. At year-end, the reserve was £328,000, and the charity said it was seeking to bring this closer to the target reserve.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £58,000 on generating voluntary income and raised £280,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 21p. The previous year's ratio was 20p.

Pension: Prospects offers a defined-contribution pension scheme and a stakeholder pension. The defined contribution scheme is no longer available to new members of staff.

How performance is communicated: The annual review, which is available on Prospect's website, has a good description of the charity's recent activity and includes graphics illustrating its financial position. There is mention of a five-year strategy, but this does not seem to be available online. The website is a little bit confusing. The trustees' report and accounts, which are not available online, go into more detail about activity and performance during the year.

The charity says: "Growth in our operational turnover continued; it was up by 8 per cent on the year before. But there was a continued decrease in gift income, which will stretch our church-based 'Causeway' projects. The environment in which we work continued to change, with more emphasis on supported living and away from residential homes."

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