Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Marine Conservation Society

Patrick McCurry

The Marine Conservation Society works to conserve the marine environment and its wildlife.

Total income: £806,000 for the year ending 31 March 2005, up from £743,000 in 2004.

Highest salary: No employee earned more than £60,000.

Reserves policy: The charity aims to hold general reserves to cover six months' operating costs. At the end of the last financial year, general funds stood at £624,000, equivalent to about 11 months' spending.

Fundraising costs: The charity raised £285,000 in voluntary income and its fundraising costs were £83,000, giving it a fundraising ratio of 29p in the pound. The previous year, the ratio was 47 per cent.

How performance is communicated: The annual report gives a lot of detail on the charity's activities, including useful statistics and examples of campaign successes.

The MCS is a relatively small charity, so its annual review is only four pages long. But it does provide a good overview of its work during the year and its main areas of activity. There is a separate policy and strategy report on the charity's long-term aims, although these are not specifically reported in the annual report or review.

The charity's website, www.mcsuk. org, is informative, but the publications are not available online.

The charity says: "Voluntary income was up significantly compared with the previous year, partly thanks to an increased legacy income. Part of this money was used to extend conservation programmes in the year, such as the Marine Planning programme and Adopt-a-Beach.

"We continued to push the marine protection agenda forward, and marine issues have continued to gain the attention they deserve from government, the media and the public."

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