Friday 22 September 2017

Charity's decision to cut grants just didn't add up

Jon Kenny at a Daffodil Day launch – volunteers’ tremendous work must not be undermined by the public backlash against the charity
Jon Kenny at a Daffodil Day launch – volunteers’ tremendous work must not be undermined by the public backlash against the charity
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

There is nothing like a mugging on live radio and the white heat of public anger to produce a spectacular U-turn. Sometimes the grievance aired is justified - and this week, although the target was a charity and not the Government for a change, the outrage was no less vocal. It was a public relations crisis for a well-regarded charity.

The recession has had a bruising effect on all charities, requiring severe cutbacks. High-profile disclosures relating to Rehab unfairly cast a pall over the whole sector, leading to reduced donations and enhanced public scepticism about financial probity and governance.

But even set against that context, the Irish Cancer Society's decision to cut hardship grants to cancer sufferers and their families seemed a cut too far - one which could not be explained away by lack of funds.

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