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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Collapse in wills leaves ISPCC with loss of €1m

Gordon Deegan

LOSSES at children's charity, the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) almost doubled to €1m last year, new figures show.

Yesterday, the charity confirmed that it continues to be loss-making in 2012, though the level of losses will be reduced through cost-cutting.

An ISPCC spokeswoman said yesterday that the charity "is hopeful though that the deficit will be around 50pc of last year's level".

The loss of €1m last year follows a loss of €574,187 in 2010.

In response to the charity's worsening financial position, the spokeswoman said: "We had a rationalisation programme earlier in the year which resulted in the loss of 10 full-time equivalent positions (down to 94 from 104) and a 5pc salary reduction for all employees.

She pointed out: "This, together with an ongoing cost-reduction programme, has meant that the society has reduced its cost base by €1.5m in the last three years."

The chief factor behind the loss was the ISPCC's money from legacies and wills collapsing -- in 2010, the society received €696,073 in legacies and this dropped sharply to €120,674 last year.

The directors admit that the charity last year had to dip into its reserves "prudently built up in better times" in order to respond to the unprecedented demand for its services in 2011.

The drop in legacies contributed to the charity's income declining from €6.4m to €5.9m with the society's expenditure dipping from €7.1m to €6.9m.

The figures show that the ISPCC spent €5.4m in services to children.

In the accompanying report to the 2011 results, ISPCC's directors state: "The fundraising environment was extremely challenging in 2011. The obvious issue of lack of disposable income for both corporate (entities) and individuals was clearly paramount, however, this was further exacerbated by the amount of competitive activity in the charity space."


The accounts show, however, that monies raised from fundraising last year increased marginally from €4.25m to €4.27m.

The amount spent on raising funds and promoting the service topped €1.36m. The society's worsening financial position coincided with the busiest ever time for the charity.

According to the directors, "the ISPCC has never helped as many children as it did during 2011. The number of calls received by Childline was at an all-time high with well over 2,000 calls being received every day of the year."

Irish Independent

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