Reserves is unrestricted income that is not yet spent, committed or designated.

Having a reserves policy is a sign to funders and donors that you are following good practice and that you take financial management seriously. 

Your reserves policy should include 4 things:

  1. A justification for holding the reserves in the first place.
  2. The level of reserves that it has been agreed should be held.
  3. The steps that you are taking to get to or maintain that level of reserves.
  4. The arrangements for reviewing the policy and the level of reserves.

Help with reserves policy and more

A range of services provided by WYCAS (West Yorkshire Community Accounting Service) are available to help your organisation with its reserves policy including Reserves: A Good Practice Guide. To find out more contact WYCAS

The Charity Commission also provide comprehensive advice on this subject.