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Sunday 22 October 2017

Donations fall by 10pc in public backlash over top-up scandal

Deirdre Garvey
Deirdre Garvey

Clodagh Sheehy

Charities around the county were counting the cost of a 10pc dip in donations even before this week's CRC revelations.

Staff and volunteers have also reported suffering negative and abusive comments from members of the public upset over the recent scandals.

A survey of 150 charities shows that 53pc have suffered a drop in fundraising, 97pc believe public trust has been lost and 54pc believe the damage may be permanent.

The study was carried out by The Wheel, a national network representing 930 charities nationwide.

One in five of the charities surveyed this week said their fundraising income was down by more than 10pc.

More than one in four have received concerned phone calls or correspondence from donors or members of the public and 14pc of volunteers, fundraisers or staff have been subjected to negative or abusive comments.

Over 80pc said the Government had not done enough to implement the Charities Act 2009 despite an announcement last July by Justice Minister Alan Shatter that the Charity Regulatory Authority would come into operation this year.

CRISIS

Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel, pictured right said: "A crisis of public confidence has engulfed the charity sector since the revelations about the failures at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC).

"While we know that the Charities Regulatory Authority will not be a panacea against governance failures and malpractice in charities, all stakeholders agree that it will set clear requirements in relation to governance practice, activity and financial reporting, and increase transparency."

Ms Garvey said The Wheel had consistently emphasised the need for charities to comply with the Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations. They were happy to see that several hundred charities had already embraced these initiatives.

Irish Independent

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