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More Cuts in the Pipe Line

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    More Cuts in the Pipe Line

    I have just received an e-mail stating that the MNDA is short of finances, and have asked branches to think twice about helping those with MND with this winters fuel costs. The e-mail also states that new rules governing branch expenditure can be expected early next year (2013).

    Since the MNDA are saying they are so short on funds with reserves for only two or three months (the Charities Commission recommend minimum reserves of 6 to 9 months), is it not time for all executive officers to give back the large salary increases paid to them between 2009 and 2010. This, I must point out, was the time when there was a large decrease in the Associations income.

    The Association is only classed as a medium size charity by British standards, therefore I ask, is it right for our Association to continue providing one fifth of all money given to research throughout the world to find a cure for MND, and should it still provide all the funds to hold the International Symposium in different countries every year?

    Given that the Association is trying to force Government agencies to provide the equipment we need, should they not be bringing pressure to bear on the Government, who I understand is responsible for funding medical research.

    I call upon the MND Association to come clean over these issues, and tell us the truth about their intentions.



    can you confirm that this is the case




      Hi Laurence,

      Robyn is on her Christmas holidays so I will PM her so she can answer this when she gets back!



        I dont think it needs to be Robyn, anybody from the MNDA will do.


          As Emily said Robyn is currently on her Christmas break I hope to be able to answer some of your questions.

          As we have said previously on the forum, we have made some changes to the way we provide financial support to people with MND, to ensure we use our finite resources to help as many people with MND as possible.

          We have been open about the fact that tough economic times, coupled with changes to NHS and social services, has put our finances under pressure.

          You can see more detail in our previous message thread on the forum:

          Research is consistently the number one priority for pabMND, as shown by our last three major strategic tracking surveys in 1995, 2005 and
          2009. It constitutes around a fifth of the Association’s spend, but a significant proportion is restricted by charity law for Research only – we are obliged to use it for this purpose. All Association budgets are being tightened, research is no exception.

          The Symposium operates on a cost neutral budget, with expenditure balanced by income from delegate registrations plus a small amount of sponsorship. Holding it in other countries does not necessarily make it more expensive – in fact the UK is one of the most expensive places to host the event.

          I hope this clarifies the issues raised.



            With all respect Claire, Your reply does nothing to explain the cuts our
            branches have been asked to make, and the new rules governing branches
            plus their finances that will come into force in the new year. I respectfully
            request you ask someone who knows about these cuts to step forward
            and answer the question asked. Another question that needs to be
            answered is, how did the trustees lead by Mark todd not pick up on
            the shortage of reserve finances? That after all is said and done, is
            why they are trustees in the first place.



              Posted on behalf of Farah Nazeer - Director of External Affairs

              Financial support

              The guidance has been produced in response to both the current economic climate and to requests from branches and groups.

              Many branches and groups have asked us for guidance in making decisions on financial support decisions, as they are facing increasing numbers of requests for support, while finding it more difficult to fundraise during the current economic downturn. The guidance we will be sharing in January is aimed at helping everyone provide a more equitable service to people with MND, and to make sure we can continue to help as many people as possible with increasingly limited resources. It’s based on making sure we do not replace services that should be provided by the NHS or social services and suggesting some maximum upper limits for certain kinds of support.

              We are also giving some advice and helpful straight-forward information next month to help branches and groups work with the health and social care professionals to get state funding where this is something people with MND have a legal right to get. We’ve also recently improved our information and advice on benefits and entitlements such as DLA (Disability Living Allowance). Once again, this is in response to a direct ask from many branches and groups for this practical help and advice, because they are keen to put pressure on local services to keep providing help to people with MND.

              Overall finances

              Over the past few years we have been able to achieve steady growth in fundraising, despite a tougher economic environment, but income from legacies and bank interest have dropped. Meanwhile, we have increased our spend particularly on providing care and support, because of the unprecedented increase in demand from people with MND for our financial support and equipment services, which in turns is linked to cuts in public (NHS, social care, housing and welfare) spending. As you will know, all charities are currently finding it tough to keep raising money and providing support because of what’s happening in the outside world – this is a common challenge and not one just faced by the MND Association.

              We are in a more fortunate position than many other charities, as we have previously built up healthy reserves as a result of fundraising success. The Board of Trustees took the decision in 2009 to dip into these cash reserves to make up the growing shortfall between money coming in and money going out on both care and research activities, so that we could sustain our support to people with MND. Trustees recognise that it’s not possible to keep drawing on our cash reserves as we have, which is why we have had to look at all areas of our spend to see how we can best use the resources we still have to support as many people as possible. This is good financial management, aimed at helping us remain a strong organisation.


                Hi Claire, as a person involved in branch affairs I can tell you that I do not know
                of any branches that have approached the MNDA on their financial position.
                They have asked about the best way to tackle the problem of enforcing the
                provision of equipment from Government agencies.

                As for a steady increase in fundraising the annual Financial Statements tell
                a different story, though there was a small increase in the year ending January
                2011. The truth is the MNDA has not complied with The Charities Commissions
                Recommendations of keeping at least six to nine months finances in reserve.
                Northampton has allowed the MNDA's reserves to drop to only two months.

                We have also been told that job cuts are on the cards. Unfortunately I see
                innocent people losing their jobs and not those responsible for the present

                So please put on this thread the notices sent out to branches detailing the
                cuts being made by Northampton that affect all patients, plus those due to
                be imposed on all the Associations branches.

                In the meantime I wish you the complements of the season.

                Best wishes,