Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - BirdLife International

Patrick McCurry

BirdLife International is a secretariat to a global alliance of more than 100 conservation NGOs engaged in research, monitoring, advocacy, capacity building and conservation.

Total income: £7m for the year ending 31 December 2004, down from £7.6m in 2003.

Highest salary: The highest-paid director earned £90,000-£100,000.

Reserves policy: The charity's aim is that the combined total of its unrestricted income funds and its expendable endowment fund should be between £0.6m and £1.5m. At the end of the last financial year, the total stood at £0.9m.

Fundraising costs: The charity spent about £200,000 on generating funds but it says this was across all income streams, not only voluntary income, and that none of its income from grants is automatic or related to service delivery. As its total income was £7m, that would give it a fundraising ratio of 3p.

How performance is communicated: The annual report is quite dense, but it does communicate performance in a reader-friendly way. The charity says communicating its own performance as a secretariat supporting a global conservation partnership is challenging, but it is working on improvements in view of the new Sorp and Standard Information Return. The website - - contains useful information on the charity's activities and those of the BirdLife Partnership.

The charity says "Despite the continued support of funding sources such as the UN, the EU and national governments, our total income fell. Most of our recent growth in funding up until 2004 was restricted programme and project funding from institutions.

"Over the same period, our unrestricted fund generation has not grown as planned. During 2005, some reorganisation and investment in fundraising capacity is planned."

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