BEN funds under threat

Time 9:07 am, October 28, 2008

INDUSTRY charity BEN is facing challenging conditions as the economic slowdown takes hold.

With spending down in almost every sector, businesses are rationalising internal expenditure.

This is cause of concern for BEN, whose income is ‘intrinsically linked to the industry’s profitability’.

Over half the charity’s income is from contributions by corporate and individual supporters. These may be the first cuts made as the recession starts to bite.

Charles Davis, director of fundraising and communications at BEN, said:
‘The issues we are facing as an organisation reflect the issues being faced by many others in the wider industry.

‘Like those other companies, we are conscious of our expenditure, but realise that as a charity we can’t cut back on delivering care and financial assistance at a time where it is most needed. We also realise that it is essential to invest in spreading awareness of BEN amongst the industry, so that everyone who may need our help knows about us, and how to get in touch.’

The irony is that, as funds become harder to generate, they’re also more in demand from members who, as victims of the recession, turn to BEN for support.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive at BEN, said: ‘This charity exists to provide care and support. It is not out to make a profit, but like any other business, we need to protect our income to ensure its longevity.

‘We realise how hard it is becoming out there for many of our colleagues, and whilst we hope for the best, we fear that we will see an increase in the numbers needing our assistance. These individuals need to know that we are here and ready to help when they need us too, and therefore we are asking all companies to ensure their workforce are aware of BEN and the methods they can use to get in touch in times of need.

‘We also ask that all those who still have it in their power to maintain their support for BEN, and if it is possible, to consider whether they can afford to increase it.’

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