An F2C Triblogology (Part2)
This is the second of a three-part blog looking at ASH (UK).
Here we take a look at its finances. All information has been taken from its published accounts on the Charity Commission Website.
First, let us look at all ASH sources of income over the past five years: (for the technically-minded, we have consolidated its “voluntary income” and “income arising from charitable activities”).
In total, over the past five years its income has amounted to almost £4 million, and grant income has been about £3.35 million.
INCOME : ALL SOURCES
BECOMING EVEN MORE DEPENDENT ON GRANTSOver the past five years ASH has become even more dependent on grant money. The proportion of income deriving from grants rose from 74% to 86%. By the end of the last published financial year it had no contract income; sales of literature and services had dwindled from £7,289 to £1,283, and its already small subscription income had reduced from £2,544 to £1,580.
FIVE YEARS AGO: Income for 2005 - 2006
LAST YEAR: Income for 2009-2010
WHO GIVES GRANTS TO ASH?
Major funders in 2009-10 were: the Department of Health, The British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK, and ASH International. ASH UK’s published accounts and annual report don’t indicate how much BHF and Cancer Research UK granted respectively, nor indeed if other smaller charities contributed. But they do acknowledge that “The principal sources of project funding for the charity are the Department of Health Section 64 General Scheme, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Cancer Research UK. Both Cancer Research UK and BHF also provide the charity with core funding for our entire programme of work.”
MAJOR GRANT GIVERS, 2009 - 2010
ASH International is an interesting newcomer, but an increasingly significant one. It receives part of its own funding from the community engagement programme of Pfizer, manufacturers of Champix/Chantix and other smoking-cessation products. It has only been giving grants to ASH UK for the past 3 years but is now providing over one-fifth of its grant income.
Just for interest, let’s have a look at how the funding trends of these three major grant givers -the Dept of Health, the 2 Big Charities, and ASH International- compare over the past 5 years.
MAJOR GRANT-GIVING TRENDS, 2006 - 2010
OBJECTS, OPERATIONS AND EXPENDITURE
ASH has four strategic priorities:
- to press for ...measures to reduce the harm caused by tobacco
- · to service the day-to-day information needs of the tobacco control community in the UK
- · to be the main hub for uk tobacco control policy networking. To be the main feed in point and key contributor for regional and international networking...
- · to secure appropriate funding...for the achievement of the organisation’s objectives..
There is very little that is significant about its expenditure: again it is within normal boundaries for an organisation of this size.
The expenditure reflects the organisation’s purposes and priorities, including overseas staff travel for “international networking”.
COMPARING ASH WITH SANDS
The charity Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS*) has three simple aims:
- · to support anyone affected by the death of a baby
- · to work in partnership with health professionals to ensure that bereaved parents and their families receive the best care
- · to promote and fund research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.
(*17 babies die EACH DAY in the UK at birth or within 28 days of birth.)
SANDS, like ASH, is also a small-to-medium size registered charity, employing (in 2010) an equivalent of 8 full time staff. The salary of its Chief Executive is also within the range £60 - £70,000. It is also a national charity based in London. SANDS also co-operates and works internationally.
Both ASH and SANDS have a net annual income of around £1 million.
However, the contrast in sources of income for the two health-based charities is both immense and - to our minds - shocking.
SANDS gets only 4% of its income from grants, but raises an impressive 95% of its income from public donations and from public fundraising.
SANDS SOURCES OF INCOME 2009 - 2010*Fundraising income after costs have been subtracted
WHICH IS THE “TRUE” CHARITY?SANDS is a registered charity with thousands of public supporters and volunteers, helping and supporting thousands of grieving parents, working directly with health professionals, and funding research to prevent the deaths of over 6,000 babies a year. It quietly and modestly gets on with its job.
4% of its income is from grants.
ASH is a registered charity, but it is neither publicly-supported, nor representative of those it claims to speak for: ALL non-smokers. It operates as a fanatical Tobacco Control lobbying and networking pressure group that seeks changes in the law not just within the UK but internationally. It loudly proclaims its work through slick and cynical public relations. It is greedy for more money.
86% of its income is from grants.
If you were responsible for giving a grant to a charity, which one would you choose?
ASH is unloved and unwanted by the general public: but, hey, it has other people’s money to spread around.....
“I’m not a bad person
I don’t drink and I don’t kill,
I’ve got no evil habits
And I probably never will....”
Dr. Hook: “The Millionaire”