Our friends in the Irish Cancer Society are in the news a lot this week and the subject of all the coverage is money, that root of all evil!
The story begins on a high note for them when a donor left €2.5m to the Society. That donation allowed it to increase its revenues by 21.5% last year from €17.5m to €21.2m. Excluding the donation, the society managed to buck the recessionary trend by increasing revenues by 7%. They also have fixed assets to the tune of €6.4m.
We learned that Daffodil Day brought in €2.4m after costs, the Shave or Dye campaign run by Today FM raised €1.3m, and the figures for the Movember campaign numbers are not in yet. Throw in revenue from their string of shops and their corporate sponsorships, and you can see that this "charity" is a right old money spinner.
The bad news for smokers is that they are earmarking an additional €1.5m of the mystery donor's money for 'additional research' into cancer, and we smokers know what that means. Chosen researchers will send out loads of questions to the general public, feed the answers into their computer and then politely ask the Irish Cancer Society what answers they want to hear in return for their generous grant to them. "Would you like us to show that smoking causes road-rage?" I can hear them ask.
Continuing on the theme of money for themselves, we learned that the ICS is a member of the Charitable Lotteries Scheme, who are in line for a big injection of compensation should the Government offload the National Lottery. Many years ago at the inception of the Lotto draws, our home grown charities jumped around protesting that they also ran their own lotteries and they would lose out to "the big one". It is one of the perks of charitable status that the 'Gaming Act' is waived for these quangos. Anyway, as a result of their protests, the Government earmarked even more money from the Lottery profits and the ICS found itself once again at the public trough.
Now, fronted by REHAB, the combined charities are attempting to prevent the sale of the National Lottery going through, apparently seeking to protect their free money. The real reason of course probably has more to do with kicking up enough of a stink now so that they will get a big one-off payment when the sale actually takes place. As far as these clever cancer lads are concerned, charity begins at home!!!