At Work: Finance and IT - The numbers - Royal Horticultural Society

Patrick McCurry

The Royal Horticultural Society fosters horticulture and promotes good gardening

Total income - £38.5m for the year ending 31 January 2006, which is up from £35.5m in 2005. This figure includes net trading income.

Highest salary - One employee was paid between £100,000 and £110,000.

Reserves policy - Following a financial risk assessment, the trustees increased the charity's reserve policy fund from £7m to £7.5m.

Pensions - A triennial valuation of the final-salary pension scheme was carried out during the year. This confirmed an underlying deficit of £1.6m, which the charity says it is committed to clearing.

Fundraising costs - The charity spent £859,000 on fundraising and voluntary income was £2.9m, giving it a fundraising ratio of 30p in the pound, about the same as the previous year.

How performance is communicated - The charity has a comprehensive website, www.rhs.org.uk, which carries a wide range of information about its activities.

The Royal Horticultural Society website includes the trustees' report and accounts and the annual review, as well as minutes from the AGM.

The trustees' report contains a lot of detail on performance, comparing activity against five new strategic objectives, and listing aims for the following year.

The charity says: "Income grew despite poor summer weather, the General Election and the terrorist attacks, which depressed ticket sales for our major July shows.

"Later in the year, new initiatives in our gardens, combined with kinder weather, reversed a decline in visitor numbers. This showed our vulnerability to the weather in our ability to generate revenue from our gardens and shows.

"We will continue to face some financial challenges, notably the completion of fundraising for our Bicentenary Glasshouse Appeal and plans to improve the infrastructure and gardens at three of our sites."

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