History of the Benevolent Fund
The Benevolent Fund was established in 1920 by the Institute of Chemistry, [the RIC - the Institute received its Royal Charter in 1944] as a memorial to its members who died in World War I. Prior to this Council had raised money from members to assist members in need. The corner stone was laid for the Fund's ethos of 'Members helping Members'.
The aim of the Fund was 'to help necessitous persons who are, or have been, Fellows or Associates of the Institute, their wives or children, and the widows and dependant relatives of deceased Fellows and Associates'. It was to be voluntary funded and to this day there is no requirement for members to contribute.
1920 - Council was given the power to adapt the aims of the Fund to changing circumstances.
1960s - The Volunteer Visitor system was introduced. Members were asked to assist the staff by visiting applicants, beneficiaries, elderly and housebound members in their area. Fund Representatives were also appointed to Local Section Committees to strengthen the links with the members.
1980 - RIC and the Chemical Society merged. The Fund became known as the RSC Benevolent Fund.
1980s - Membership of the newly merged Royal Society of Chemistry was 40,000 and support to the next of kin of deceased members.
1990s - 'GiftAid' was introduced by the government which allows a charity to claim 25% tax back on each donation.
1998 - RSC membership had increased to 45,500, and applications to the Fund for financial assistance increased.
The Fund in the 21st Century
During 2003-2004 the Fund underwent a major review and re-organisation with the aim of modernising its approach and responding to the current needs of members, their partners, and dependant family if they are going through troubled times.
A new strategy document was written, and this continues to be updated on a three yearly basis. As a consequence, in July 2006 the Fund's Trust Deed was amended.
The range of help provided by the Fund continues to grow; while the awarding of financial assistance to members remains an important part of its work, the Fund's scope is increasing to encompass a more holistic approach to helping RSC members and their immediate families who are in need.
The Benevolent Fund is led by the Benevolent Fund Committee which meets four times a year. The Committee members are volunteers, all are members of the RSC and some are members of the RSC Council.
To consider and advise the Membership and Qualifications Board (MQB) on all matters relating to the Benevolent Fund that are used to support the Fund's beneficiaries and activities...