Income from ISPCC street collections falls by 80%


Children’s charity manages to reduce its deficit despite fall in income by decreasing staff numbers and introducing significant pay cuts, writes GORDON DEEGAN

INCOME FROM street collections and flag days for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) plummeted by 80 per cent in 2009.

The drop from €162,072 to €32,302 contributed to the ISPCC’s operating deficit increasing by 45 per cent from €1.1 million in 2008 to €1.6 million in 2009.

The figures are contained in documents now available at the Companies Office where they show that the ISPCC’s income decreased by 9.5 per cent in 2009 from € 6.65 million to €6 million.

A spokeswoman for the ISPCC said yesterday: “2010 will show a further drop in income of around 5 per cent which will be more than compensated for by a substantial reduction in costs which will lead to a significantly reduced total deficit.”

She said: “The society has decreased its numbers employed by 14 per cent from 125 to 107 over a two-year period whilst still maintaining the same level of services to children.

“During this time, all employees have taken a significant reduction in income – the exact percentages varying by job.”

She added: “It should be noted that despite taking such a large figure out of our cost base, there has been no reduction in our services to children and that this would not have been possible without massive goodwill and co-operation from the ISPCC staff and its volunteers.”

The figures show that the substantial drop in income from street collections was offset somewhat by a marginal increase in takings from church gate collections to €173,000 and an increase of €102,000 to €4.3 million through “subscriptions, donations, events and function income”.

The ISPCC’s directors report that to limit the decline in overall fundraising income to less than 10 per cent year on year is to be considered “no mean achievement”.

The figures show that the ISPCC spent €5.2 million on “services to children” in 2009 compared with €5.3 million in 2008.

The accounts show that it cost the ISPCC €2 million in “fundraising and services promotion”, with its administration costs increasing slightly to €275,855.

The figures show that the ISPCC’s income from statutory bodies decreased by 10 per cent from €675,191 to €603,242 in 2009.

In spite of successive years of operating deficits in 2008 and 2009, the ISPCC’s finances remain strong with funds totalling €11.5 million at the end of 2009.