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Monday, 21 March 2011


 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.

Over 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
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.”

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.

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..
It is a small to medium-size registered charity, employing (in 2010) an average of 10 staff.  The salary of its Chief Executive was within the range £60 - £70,000, which is normal for a London-based national charity.
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”.
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.

*Fundraising income after costs have been subtracted
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”


Anonymous said...

I bitterly resent not having the choice as to what charities I support.

Every taxpayer in the land contributes to the Charity called ASH whether they want to or not, given the choice I would rather have the portion of my £tax paid to ASH back in my pocket and decide for myself which charities I patronise.

John W.

Anonymous said...

Not only that, but it's all a bit incestuous! The Treasurer of ASH (Simon Hopkins) just happens to be the paid Finance Director of the British Heart Foundation - one of ASH's major funders! And another of ASH's trustees, Betty McBride, is the BHF's paid Policy and Communications Director. And another trustee is Dr. Martin Jarvis, Principal Scientist of "Imperial Cancer Research" - which is now fully incorporated within Cancer Research UK, ASH's other major funder.
"Curiouser and curiouser"......

Rosemary Williams, Friern Barnet.

Anonymous said...

Based on this obvious evidence which apparently government is unable to discover on their own, ASH should be totally decommissioned as a "charity", all government grands defunded and forced to pay tax on its sources of funds, as if it were revenue, which it is.

Step two would be the following year outlawing them altogether and forcing them to disband for their crime against humanity and against the people, the real people, not the fake-kind cited in propaganda sources.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that Cancer research U.K. and the BHF were giving the money that I raise to organisations like this.
Many of my friends raise funds for Cancer research U.K. and will be stopping immediately once I show them where the money goes.
They will be disgusted that the person in charge of ASH gets that huge wage that takes at least 50 of us volunteers a year to raise for Cancer research U.K.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 08.47pm
Please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! Many local cancer charities, or MacMillan Nurses, are very honourable indeed. You, and your friends, can always specify what you do - or don't - want your contributions to be used for, and the receiving charity has to accept that. For example, re ASH, you can always say that you don't want any of your donations to be given to ASH, but to be spent on anything else but ASH..or..say what you do want. Choose. Childhood leukaemia? Prostate cancer? Bone cancer? Palliative care? There's some wonderful and excellent charity work on cancer going on. It's just a shame that little cultish shits like ASH are creaming off money that could be better spent on helping to solve REAL cancer problems.

Rosemary Williams, Friern Barnet.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people I know take a lot of things to the cancer and heart charity shops and also buy things there. The shop can't decide where that income goes.
I think that I will tell people to put their money to a charity where they know where the money goes.
I am shocked at this article and as a smoker will never support the cancer charity or the heart on again.

Anonymous said...

I think from an accounting perspective, one the money goes in, however it is parceled out can be hidden in the details one way or another. They might say it was designated for only a certain purpose, but those fund balances can be sloshed around in various ways and so there's no real way of knowing that specific dollars raised for any charity end up going to specific end results in the long run. Once a charity has tainted themselves by giving funding to ASH, they are tainted, no matter how much they say otherwise or give false guarantees that funds will remain designated, when they may not in the long run. A lot of nonprofits, such as Tides Foundation, for example, that is the only reason for their existence, is to launder the funding so that money from one source for one purpose can be reapportioned to something entirely different and nobody will be the wiser.

Anonymous said...

And too, to designate funding be given only for one such disease or another - what's to say that ASH won't just call smoking the cause of it, of everything, and then appropriate the funding for more anti-smoking measures and smoking bans, in the name of stopping every disease ever known to mankind.

Anonymous said...

Plus, once a charity is tainted by giving to ASH, giving that charity more money and saying designate for something specific, just fills up that bucket but releases the burden from other buckets of funds so that general funds will have more in them to be designated to ASH. You donate money, even if it goes to some legitimate research effort, that donated money means less money pulled from their general fund, thus more money remaining in their undesignated general fund which they can then have more to give to ASH and anti-smoking. I won't give to any of them anymore, none and not a red pence.

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