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Cancer charity aims to raise €20 million

Howard Lake | 8 January 2009 | News

The Irish Cancer Society’s new chairman has set ambitious funding targets for the charity which will aim to grow the charity’s income to €20 million over the next few years.
Bill McCabe, an entrepreneur and investor who is best known for running e-learning firm Smart Force, plans to use his business links to raise more funding from companies. He will also lobby the government for more public support and better services.
McCabe said the charity would use some of the money to open new centres in hospitals that treat cancer patients. The so-called Daffodil centres will offer patients information, counselling and help with financial matters.
McCabe said that the charity received no funding from the government and relied on donations, which will also be a point of focus during his term as chairman. However, he acknowledged that the economic slowdown would have a knock-on effect on charities.
“Things are going to be difficult in business, and we anticipate it will be just as difficult for the charity sector. We are under no illusions that the next two, if not three, years will be very difficult,” said McCabe, who has interests in technology, waste and property.
The Irish Cancer Society raised about €18 million in 2008 and has set a financial target of €19 million for this year. It hopes to significantly increase that target over the coming years.
“One of the things I hope to grow in my time as chairman is support from corporations,” McCabe said. “I know as well as anyone that this is a difficult time for corporations, but at the end of the day, it is the employees of corporations who get cancer.”
McCabe said the charity also hoped to generate more funds from bequests and would concentrate on direct mail campaigns. Its campaigning is focused on three goals: fighting cancer, zero tolerance for smoking, and a nationwide campaign for colorectal screening.