Income grew to £11.2 million for the year 2011-12. Income from all sources, other than legacies and donations, was up £0.6 million from the previous year, largely due to increases in conference and endowment income. Expenditure at Merton in 2011-12 was £10.3 million, a decrease of £0.2 million from the previous year as the College achieved cost savings across its activities. At the end of the financial year 2011-12, the College reported a surplus of £0.9 million. However, this surplus would have been eliminated, and a deficit of about £0.5 million would have been recorded, were it not for the many generous donations received during the year.
Merton received in excess of £3.5 million in donations from Alumni and Friends of the College, as well as from Trusts, Foundations and Grants in the 2011-12 financial year. £1.5 million was donated towards endowments, including Student Support, the Classics Fellowship, the Chemistry Fellowship, the Philosophy Fellowship, the Mark Reynolds History Fellowship, the English Fellowship, and the Choral Foundation.
Over the past five years £2.6 million has been received for building projects. These donations have enabled the College to create the T. S. Eliot Theatre and the Fitness Room, install new lighting in the Upper Library and Chapel, and refurbish the Merton Street Lodge and residential sets in Fellows Quad.
The Unrestricted Fund, which allows the College to allocate funds where the need is greatest, benefited from nearly £1.4 million of legacies and donations last year.
Over the five years up to 2011-12, the College has received £19 million in donations from all sources. Despite the difficult economic background, Mertonians and Friends of the College have continued to demonstrate their generosity, which has enabled Merton to plan for the £30 million target for its 750th Anniversary Campaign, Sustaining Excellence.
The College endowment grew by £5.7 million in 2011-12. In the five years leading up to 2011-12, the endowment has increased by £36.3 million, including donated endowments of £11.5 million.
Merton also enjoyed solid investment returns during this period, with a return of 5.2% for 2011-12 and average returns of 6.4% compared with the benchmark of 4.7% for the past five years.