Civil Service Benevolent Fund changes name to the Charity for Civil Servants

Merrick Willis, the charity's chief executive, says the rebrand better reflects its work

Charity for Civil Servants
Charity for Civil Servants

The Civil Service Benevolent Fund has changed its name to the Charity for Civil Servants.

The charity, which supports civil servants and their families, said that a consultation of more than 800 civil servants found that benevolence, particularly among younger people, was no longer understood.

The 126-year-old charity’s revamp, which cost between £50,000 and £60,000, includes a new website, launched today.

Merrick Willis, chief executive of the Charity for Civil Servants, said a lot of people had thought the charity was an official organisation.

"Despite considerable efforts, expressions like ‘benevolent’ don’t mean a lot to anyone anymore," he said. "Also, the name referred to the civil service rather than civil servants, so people thought it was an organisational thing.

"We were in danger of losing our relevance to thousands of supporters, donors and potential beneficiaries across the civil service."

He said the new name better reflected the charity’s work and the fact that it provides more than just financial support.

The new tagline, "for you by you", refers to the fact the charity is funded by its potential beneficiaries in the civil service.

"As a charity we are unusual because we cannot go out to fundraisers," said Willis. "Our funds come from civil servants and we feel that’s something we should celebrate."

In 2011 the charity had an income of £8.1m and helped 10,000 beneficiaries.

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