Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Nacro

Patrick McCurry

Nacro aims to cut crime by giving offenders and those at risk of offending a positive stake in society through resettlement, education, employment and other services.

Reserves policy: The charity aims to build free reserves to one month's spending, but at the year end there was an unrestricted reserves deficit of £175,000. Losses in recent years have eroded free reserves and the charity's trustees have approved both short-term and long-term measures to improve margins.

Pension: There is a final-salary pension, which was closed to new entrants in 1998. Under the accounting standard FRS17, there was a deficit of £11.3m at the year end, and the charity has drawn up a plan to rectify the deficit over 10-12 years.

Fundraising costs: The fundraising department has a budget of £79,000 and raised £680,000 - giving it a ratio of 12p in the pound.

How performance is communicated: The annual review includes case studies, but it is light on performance statistics on Nacro's work. There is more information on how the charity works and its objectives in the 2004-2007 corporate plan, which, like the annual review, is on www.nacro.org.uk.

The charity says: "The group's operating profit of £37,000 improved on the loss of £1.2m in 2003-2004, but remained unsatisfactory. Nacro's future priority is to strengthen its financial position by improving its profitability and cash flow, while diversifying and securing its sources of funds. Like many charities, we find that resistance to full cost recovery remains strong in some parts of government, and we continue to work with funders on this issue."

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