Friday 21 November 2014

Cancer charity in red after washout of fundraiser

Gordon Deegan

Published 08/07/2014 | 02:30

The intervention of Majella - wife of singer Daniel O’Donnell - made up for the shortfalls in other areas
The intervention of Majella - wife of singer Daniel O’Donnell - made up for the shortfalls in other areas

THE one-day deluge that cost the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) more than €500,000 in fundraising last year contributed to the charity slipping into the red in 2013.

According to the society's annual accounts for 2013, the ICS recorded a loss of €1.2m last year and this followed a surplus of €1.5m in 2013.

The accounts show that the amount raised on Daffodil Day last year was €2.738m – a drop of €506,000 from the €3.24m in 2012, with the torrential rain across the country on the day a major factor behind the drop in Daffodil Day income.

The society also suffered a sharp drop in money raised through its Shave or Dye campaign in association with Today FM – accounts show that last year the initiative raised €1.6m compared to €2.5m in 2012.

However, the intervention of wife of singer Daniel O'Donnell made up for the shortfalls in other areas. Majella O'Donnell agreed to have her head shaved live on RTE's 'Late Late Show' and the initiative earned €700,000 for the charity.

Support

A spokeswoman for the ICS said: "The society is very pleased with performance in 2013 given the economic climate and how the weather affected Daffodil Day.

"We were able to make back much of the Daffodil Day shortfall due to the fantastic support of many volunteers running fundraising events all over the country, and the successful support and appeal by the wonderful Majella O'Donnell.

"However, 2013 was still a difficult year overall and the society's income was €1.3m, or 6pc, lower than 2012 with a number of income sources affected.

"During 2013 the society grant-funded the first collaborative cancer research centre. The first year commitment is €1.6m, total funding will be €7.5m over five years. This is largely the reason for the deficit in 2013 and the society is managing this within its reserves."

The figures show that in spite of the reduction in income, the society's spending increased from €20m to €21.4m.

Earlier this year, the society ended its controversial loss-making lottery.

The lottery last year recorded €251,000 in ticket sales with running costs amounting to €247,000. However, prize payouts totalling €116,000 resulted in an operating loss of €112,000.

The charity's balance sheet remains strong, with €9.4m in cash; while its total funds amount to €14.2m.

Irish Independent

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