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Irish Hospice Foundation Statement on Funding

A core value underpinning the work of the Irish Hospice Foundation is its commitment to transparency and accountability.

We have never received core funding from the state for the services we provide.  Since 1986, we have always relied on the public to fund our work.  So it is essential that you feel confident in what we do and particularly in how we use your hard earned money.

So here’s what we do to ensure that your funds are used well:

  • Our accounts are externally audited and published annually on our website
  • We are a registered charity; CHY6830 our CRA registered number is 20013554  in accordance with the charities section – Office of Revenue Commissioners.
  • We have voluntarily adopted the Statements of Recommended Practice (SORP) as issued by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales in March 2005.
  • We are fully compliant with The Governance Code for Community and Voluntary Organisations in Ireland since 14th April 2015.
  • We have signed up to the Irish Charities Tax Research (ICTR) Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising
  • We respond fully to every public and media query we receive on our funding.
  • We are governed by a Board of Directors , all are volunteers and donate freely of their time, skills and experience. An independent financial expert sits on our Finance and Audit Sub-Committee.
  • Our strategic plan (2016-19) sets out our goals and objectives for the coming years.
    *SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice).

We exist because we believe that no one should face death or bereavement without the care and support they need.  We know that you, the public share that belief, because we have received your support for 27 years – and we thank you for that support.  We are fortunate to be able to attract significant philanthropic funding for our work.

Please continue to support us into the future. 

Everyone deserves the best care at end of life and bereavement

Our Work

Every year, 29,000 people die in Ireland and up to 290,000 are newly bereaved.  Dying, death and bereavement are everyone’s business.  The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) strives to reach people of all ages, all conditions, all care settings to ensure that we and the people we care about  have comfort and dignity at the end of our lives and that our loved ones have the support they need.

We are ambitious.  Thanks to your support – we are already having an impact.  Our programmes are changing how people are cared for at end of life and help people to make choices about their care.  All programmes are designed, delivered, monitored and evaluated by professionals, those caring for people at their most vulnerable time, and those who help to shape that care.

Here are some of the things The Irish Hospice Foundation delivers:

  1. Children’s Hospice Home Care: We have invested €3.2 million in providing eight Children’s Outreach Nurses around Ireland, a Consultant Paediatrician with a special interest in palliative care, Irish Childhood Bereavement Network and a children’s oncology liaison nurse.  All of these programmes are delivered in partnership with the HSE.
  1. Education and research: We providing training, resources and grants to improve learning around death and bereavement. Every year nearly 3,000 staff – nurses, doctors, psychologists and the public participate in our training programmes. We estimate that over 50,000 people have received training in aspects of good end of life care and bereavement in our lifetime [my estimate].  We fund cutting-edge research, run a specialist library as well supporting the Forum on End of Life in Ireland- aimed at awareness raising, and promoting public debate on issues relating to death, dying and bereavement in Ireland.
  1. Hospice Friendly Hospitals: This programme aims to improve the experience of dying in hospital for patients and their families. Most people (43%) will die in hospital. We work closely with staff to ensure that end of life, palliative and bereavement care is central to their work. Over 40 acute hospitals countrywide have embraced the hospice ethos and through our Design & Dignity Project in partnership with the HSE mortuaries have been revamped and 20 family rooms constructed to provided dignified spaces for families.
  1. Innovation in residential care settings and in people’s homes: To ensure better end-of-life care can be delivered everywhere and for everyone. Our training programme (costing €219K) carried out in nursing homes, hospitals etc  includes Final Journeys, ‘Dealing with Bad News’ and ‘What Matters to Me’ as well as end of life care audit tools to support healthcare sites to implement highest standards possible.
  1. Palliative Care for All ensures that palliative care is available to all who need it – regardless of their diagnosis. Our national programme Changing Minds promotes excellence in end-of-life care for people living with dementia. We also provide Hardship Grants for people at end of life who are experiencing financial difficulties.
  1. Nurses for Night Care: A free national service for people with illnesses other than cancer enables more people fulfil their wish to die at home and supports family carers. In 2015, we provided 1,700 nights of care to 540 families at a cost of €550,000 per annum.
  1. Supporting the hospice movement: We coordinate two national fundraising programmes for hospice care each year – Sunflower Days and Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning. These events raise an estimated €2.5 million for the 32 hospice groups across Ireland.  All funds raised locally go towards local hospice services.
  1. Bereavement support: We aim to make the experience of dying as supportive as it can be; for those going through it and for those left behind. Our Bereavement Education and Resource Centre –provides information leaflets and services as well as high quality training for professionals, volunteers and others with an interest in learning more about bereavement. Our dedicated website www.BEREAVED.ie  provides advice and information for bereaved people, those supporting them and professionals working with them.
  1. Think Ahead: helping people think about and record their end of life preferences. This important project is a citizen-led public awareness initiative to guide members of the public in expressing their wishes in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves due to serious illness, injury or death.  Its provision for the making of Advance Healthcare Directives is in line with recently enacted legislation.  www.thinkahead.ie

We lead the debate on all issues relating to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland and make the case for better end of life care and policy development, both inside and outside the health service and in all public and political arenas. The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) carries out an extensive programme in all matters relating to dying, death and bereavement.  We receive no core funding from the State.  We could not do our work without public support.

In 2015, 78% of the funds we raised were donated by the public. Of every €1 we spend, 75 cents of our funds is spent directly supporting service delivery and in the development for new services areas.  23% is invested on generating funds and 2% is on governance.

Regrettably our income has declined in recent years.  Despite this challenge, we have made a commitment not to cut our services. We believe in openness, transparency and accountability in the charity sector. We will continue to seek new ways of fundraising to maximising efficiency and will continue to use our reserves to meet our programme needs.

Public trust in us is essential. We strive to be transparent in how we do our business. Your donations are used wisely and carefully to provide much needed support and services those at end of life and bereavement.
The Irish Hospice Foundation is 100% committed to the best care at end of life for all.

For every €1 Irish Hospice Foundation spends:

Funding pie chart

We cut our fundraising costs significantly last year by bringing 3rd party service costs in-house and will continue to look for reductions where possible.

Our People

We can only run our services and deliver quality care for people at end of life with the commitment and experience of our professional staff.  We employ a Chief Executive Officer and a current staff of 38, primarily based in our Nassau Street office. This includes permanent full-time, permanent part-time and contract staff engaged to work on specific projects for a limited period. For example Changing Minds which is a labour intensive project requiring high calibre and highly qualified professionals to develop a code of practice for people with dementia.

We welcome transparency on charity salaries, and adopt the Standards of Recommended Practice for Charities (SORP) which recommends the reporting of all salaries over €70,000 in bands of €10,000.

The number of higher paid employees in 2016 is detailed below. The CEO of The Irish Hospice Foundation earns an annual salary of €111,958. In 2013, all senior management including the CEO voluntarily took a 5.5% pay reduction. Another member of the senior management team took a voluntary pay reduction of 5% in 2015 and a further 11% in 2016.

The IHF have a Board Finance committee who independently review and approve salaries for the organisation. All members are externals who kindly volunteer their time and expertise.  No bonuses are paid to any staff.

We receive no core state funding – we are totally reliant on public and philanthropic donations to fund our work.

Through the work of the professional staff, we are able to harness the efforts of a tremendous team of volunteers who assist us at Board level and in many of our projects underway.  We are extremely grateful for their time and expertise.

In our work we remember the words of the founder of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cicely Saunders:

You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”

Jean McKiernan                                                                Sharon Foley

Chairperson of the Board of Directors                     Chief Executive Officer

The Irish Hospice Foundation                                     The Irish Hospice Foundation


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