Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Motor Neurone Disease Association

Patrick McCurry

The Motor Neurone Disease Association seeks to ensure that people affected by the disease get the care and support they need. It also promotes research into causes and treatments

Total income: £8m for the year ending 31 January 2005, up from £7.1m in 2004.

Highest salary: Two employees earned between £50,000 and £60,000 each.

Reserves policy: The target level for cash held by the national office is five to six months' general spending. The target for total reserves at branches is one to two months' spending.

At the year end, general reserves represented about four months' spending and branches two months'. This was a big improvement on the position in January 2004.

Fundraising costs: The charity's voluntary income was £7.5m and its fundraising costs were £1.5m, giving it a fundraising ratio of 20p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The annual report and the glossier annual review are both clearly written. As well as describing what the charity does, the reports link its activities during the year with objectives from the previous year, thus making it accountable.

The reports also flag up objectives for the following year. Both reports are available on the website www.mndassociation.org.

The charity says: "Following a period when our level of reserves impeded progress, the year saw a significant improvement in the key reserves, and this enabled a number of programmes to be funded. Income from charitable trusts was up by 28 per cent, reflecting an experienced trust team. Likewise, we built on our volunteer fundraising activities, increasing income by 45 per cent. Our donor base performed well during the year, beating income targets for mailings to existing donors."

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