Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Bible Society

Patrick McCurry

The society is a missionary organisation that funds work overseas and in the UK.

Total income: £9.6m for the year ending 31 March 2005, up from £8.8m in 2004.

Highest salary: James Catford, chief executive, earned between £60,000 and £70,000.

Reserves policy: At year end, general reserves were £3.5m, equivalent to about five months' spending.

Pensions: There is a final-salary scheme, which was closed to new members and future accruals in 2003, and a money-purchase scheme. To reduce its deficit on the final-salary scheme, the charity made a special contribution of £2m during the year, as well as increasing regular contributions.

Fundraising costs: The charity raised £7.2m in voluntary income and its fundraising costs were £1.6m, giving it a fundraising ratio of 22p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The annual report describes activity during the year fairly well, but there is little on future objectives or strategy. There is a lively, single-page 'annual review', which illustrates how the charity is financed and where the money goes. From the website it can be difficult at first to work out exactly what the charity does because there is a lot of information, some of which isn't particularly well presented. The annual report and review are on the website, at

The charity says: "Overall funds reduced by £165,000, the main reason being a contribution of £2m to the society's pension scheme. Legacy income was up by 43 per cent, or nearly £900,000, and general investment income by 28 per cent. Trading made a deficit of £300,000, about the same as the previous year. A bicentenary fund was launched in 2004, and this rose in value to more than £450,000 during the year, thanks to appeals and fundraising."

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