Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture

Patrick McCurry

Founded in 1985, the foundation provides care and rehabilitation to survivors of torture and other forms of organised violence.

Total income: £6.9m for the year ending 31 December 2004, up from £6.2m in 2003.

Highest salary: Malcolm Smart, the foundation's then director, earned between £70,000 and £80,000.

Reserves policy: The charity's aim is to hold a general reserve of between two and four months' direct charitable spending. At the end of the last financial year, reserves were equivalent to a little more than two-and-a-half months' spending.

Fundraising costs: The charity raised £6.6m in voluntary income and its fundraising costs totalled £1.9m. This gave it a fundraising ratio of 28p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The trustees' report and accounts are relatively thorough, particularly the description of the foundation's finances and difficulties concerning its fundraising strategy.

There is a section on plans and targets for 2005, but the achievements of 2004 are not linked to earlier targets. The website,, contains a lot of useful information on the charity and its work, including a helpful 'frequently asked questions' section. The annual review and accounts are also on the website.

The charity says: "Total income rose by 13 per cent compared with 2003, but this was less than forecast and at the end of the year there was a programme of cuts, including 10 redundancies, to bring down our spending level for 2005.

"This was as a result of the reduction in response rates to our direct mail appeals. Such appeals are a mainstay of our income generation - the reduction caused us to revise income forecasts for future years."

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