It was agreed at the most recent meeting of the General Assembly that an increase in the Irish Red Cross membership fee was required.
It is never an easy decision to ask members to pay a higher membership fee but following a Board recommendation, the General Assembly recognized the increase was necessary given the significant rise in the costs of meeting new compliance and governance requirements.
Costs have escalated across a number of areas including Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) accounting, data protection, pre-hospital emergency care, meeting Road Safety Authority requirements, meeting safeguarding and fundraising standards as well as implementing the new Charities Regulator governance code. There are also increased costs associated with insurance, maintenance of the membership database as well as the annual membership cards.
The youth (ages 4 to 17 inclusive) membership fee is now €10.
The adult (ages 18+) membership fee is now €25.
These charges apply to both new and renewing members.
Members were notified of the increase in December following changes made to the Irish Red Cross membership IT system to accommodate the new fees. Members who had already paid will not have to pay the increased fee until January 2021. There was a significant volume of complaints from members regarding the increase, the lateness of the notification and the fact that members feel they’re already contributing through volunteering their time. Some members felt there must be other ways to raise funds to cover the additional costs identified. Some suggested reducing the staffing in Merrion Square but the Board had already acknowledged that there are nine staff less in Merrion Square in 2020 than in 2017.
Further feedback, ideas or suggestions to National Secretary Barry O’Donovan who can be contacted on NationalSecretary@irishredcross.com.