Charity Employees Benevolent Fund 'faces closure because of a lack of support'

Michael Brophy, a trustee of the CEBF, says that chief executives of major charities have ignored requests for help

Michael Brophy
Michael Brophy

The Charity Employees Benevolent Fund faces closure because of a lack of support from the sector, according to one its trustees.

Michael Brophy, former chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said in a statement that chief executives of the major charity employers had declined or ignored requests for support from the charity, which supports past or present charity employees and their families.

"Without the large charity employers signing up to the CEBF, we will have to hibernate and, if summer doesn’t come soon, shut down," said Brophy.

"This plain-speaking letter seeks to provoke a response. On behalf of all those who need the fund’s assistance, we ask you not to pass by on the other side."

Brophy said all occupational benevolent funds received some money from employee contributions, but employers provided the bulk of it. "But charity sector employers don’t seem to feel they're under the same obligation," he said.

He said that the excuses major charities gave for not giving included that it was not within their objects, that they could not afford to and that the welfare state provided for everything.

Brophy praised some organisations for being supportive. He said the NSPCC agreed to donate £1 per employee, and the NCVO and the law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite had made donations of £10,000 each.

The NCVO also recently announced that it would ask all its members to make an annual donation of £1 for each of its employees to the CEBF.

Brophy was not available for further comment, but Judith Rich, another trustee of the CEBF, confirmed it had a funding problem. "Applications are increasing and funding is not," she said. "The problem is serious."

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