Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Link Community Development

Patrick McCurry

Link Community Development works to improve education in sub-Saharan Africa and build partnerships between the UK and Africa.

Total income: £1.14m for the year ending 31 October 2005, down from £1.23m in 2004.

HIGHEST SALARY: No member of staff earned more than £50,000.

RESERVES POLICY: The charity aims to hold reserves equivalent to three months' UK office spending. At year end, reserves were just under this level. The forecast for October 2006 is one and a half months, which reflects planned investment during the year. The directors expect reserves to be back above three months' spending during 2006/07.

FUNDRAISING COSTS: The charity raised £1.14m in voluntary income (including legacies) and its fundraising costs were £152,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 13p in the pound. The previous year's ratio was 12 per cent.

HOW PERFORMANCE IS COMMUNICATED: The trustees' report contains a lot of information but is rather dense and not easy to read. The report and accounts are available online at www. lcd.org.uk. The site has helpful graphics on the charity's income sources and spending. But the web pages describing the charity's work are rather jargon-laden and there is little reader-friendly information on achievements or performance. The charity says it is updating the website with a view to improving these areas.

The charity says: "In 2005, income from events and direct marketing increased by 48 per cent on 2004, reflecting the growing support for our work from the public. This is an exciting time for LCD. Recent confirmation of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the Scottish Executive Education Department is enabling us to expand our existing projects, as well as to begin work on a new project in Malawi."

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