Charity top-ups: Questions & Answers
Q: Is the Irish Cancer Society one of those charities where senior executives are getting a so-called “top-up” to their salary?
A: No. The Irish Cancer Society is an independent charity, funded almost 100 percent by donations from the public and from fundraising events such as Daffodil Day.
The exception is two grants we get every year from the Government to run the National Smokers' Quitline and a travel grant for cancer patients. So we are not in the group known as Section 38 agencies which are paid by the HSE to run a service, such as a disability service. All the salaries of Irish Cancer Society employees are paid from the funds we raise ourselves.
Q: How is the Irish Cancer Society funded and what is the money spent on?
A: We currently raise around €20 million a year from donations and fundraising. From these funds we provide a range of services, including a free Night Nursing service for cancer patients who want to end their journey at home with their family. Almost two thousand families have used this service this year so far.
We are the largest voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland. We run the Cancer Information Service, which consists of a free phone-line service staffed by specialist cancer nurses, extensive information on our website (view our Cancer Information pages here) and Daffodil Centres in 10 cancer hospitals also staffed by a specialist cancer nurse. Thousands of people use this service every year.
We run a driving scheme called Care to Drive, where volunteers take cancer patients to and from their appointments. This service now runs in 14 hospitals all over Ireland and more than 500 patients have used it this year.
We have a fund to support cancer patients who are experiencing financial hardship during their treatment. We give funds to a number of cancer support centres to provide counselling for cancer patients in their community. We train cancer survivors to give support to newly-diagnosed patients. We publish a range of leaflets and booklets about cancer which are used in hospitals and GP surgeries and are available on our website.
We run awareness campaigns about cancer for the public. We work with youth groups around the dangers of smoking. We lobby the Government for the best possible cancer services, as well as on legislation to do with smoking and sunbeds, for instance.
All this and more is achieved thanks to the funds the public give us.
Q: How much does the Irish Cancer Society’s CEO get paid?
A: The CEO of the Irish Cancer Society earns an annual salary of €145,000. The CEO also sits on a number of boards in his capacity as Chief Executive and does not receive any director’s fees. All salaries in the Society, including that of the CEO, have remained static since 2008. The Chief Executive also has the use of a company car due to his extensive travelling on behalf of the Society, is a member of the Society’s pension scheme and receives a contribution towards his health insurance.