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Epilepsy Society results buck trend
Epilepsy Society is bucking the trend of falling voluntary income by announcing an increase of around 15 per cent*, as it publishes its latest annual report and accounts.
Bridget Gardiner, director of fundraising and marketing at Epilepsy Society said: “This is really significant, as we’ve also brought down the cost of fundraising by around five per cent.”
As a result, Epilepsy Society has been able to increase expenditure on its helpline and information services by almost 20 per cent.
Bridget Gardiner commented: “I believe our success can partly be attributed to our supporter stewardship programme and the ways in which we report what we are achieving. Supporters want to know what their money is buying. We also changed our name to Epilepsy Society in 2011, which has made it easier for people with epilepsy to find support. We get double the number of visitors to our website than before the rebrand.”
Recent developments include piloting longer opening hours and increasing the number of operators on the charity’s helpline, and a new resource for people newly diagnosed with epilepsy. A grant from the Department of Health has enabled the Society to begin an innovative project in north and east London, delivering early interventions for people with epilepsy amongst hard-to -reach groups.
More than £1 million of voluntary income was received in the last financial year for a new Epilepsy Society Research Centre, which is due to open in late 2012, the charity’s 120th anniversary. The research centre, based in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, will enable Epilepsy Society to turn translational research into the causes and treatment of epilepsy into clinical practice, quickly and cost effectively
However, Bridget Gardiner remains cautious: “It is still a very difficult economic environment. Our legacy income has been declining year on year, so compensating for this through other sources will continue to be challenging. We have started to work on some new and exciting fundraising initiatives, including a major donor programme and student fundraising, in order that we can maintain services for people with epilepsy and their families in the future.”
*This excludes the value of a significant one-off gift in kind in 2011 used to provide supported housing for people with epilepsy.