At Work: Finance and IT - The numbers - Hansard Society

Patrick McCurry

The Hansard Society exists to promote knowledge of and interest in parliamentary democracy.

Total income: £1.24m for the year ending 31 December 2005 (down from £1.49m in 2004).

Highest salary: No employee was paid more than £50,000.

Reserves policy: The charity aims to hold free reserves of £200,000 by the end of 2006. After that, the aim is to have a minimum of three months' running costs in the free reserves, or about £170,000. Given its reliance on the scholars' programme, the charity says reserves may need to be increased in the longer term.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent £26,000 on fundraising and raised £92,000 in voluntary income and core funding - a fundraising ratio of 28p in the pound. In 2004 - the 60th anniversary - the ratio was 7p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The trustees' report and accounts describes the events and programmes the charity was involved in, but at times it seems like a number of long lists of events, rather than a demonstration of effective performance. The annual review is a compact publication that perhaps tries to include too much text and is not always easy to read.

The review is available at the website, www.hansardsociety.org.uk.

The charity says: "Income was healthy in 2005 and continued to benefit from the success of the scholars programme, in which talented students from overseas visit Britain to study its politics. We had exceptional fundraising activity in 2004, our 60th anniversary, and in 2005 we expected income levels to drop back. We continue to be funded from a wide range of sources, including project-based funding from government departments, statutory bodies, public and private organisations."

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