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CIOB Benevolent Fund

Illness, redundancy or plain bad luck can happen to anyone. Regardless of qualifications or career pedigree, members sometimes undergo periods of extreme hardship, finding it difficult to make ends meet.

If you’re struggling at work or at home, don’t suffer in silence. The CIOB Benevolent Fund has been providing support for thousands of members and their families since it was set up in 1992. It may be able to help you too.

Our Fund Secretary, Frank MacDonald, is a trained counsellor who offers advice on issues ranging from career development and retraining to employee rights and benefits. Every day Frank talks to members who have, for one reason or another, fallen on hard times. He can be a sounding board for members worried about job security. He can also help those seeking financial assistance in circumstances of temporarily inability to work through unemployment, illness or injury.

Grants can be issued for a range of reasons, including: helping with general household costs; enabling essential travel to work and supporting children and spouses. All financial assistance is overseen by an independent board of trustees and cases are handled swiftly, sensitively and in the strictest confidence.

The Benevolent Fund has been created almost entirely through the generous donations of members, either through annual subscriptions or fundraising events. It is a unique resource available to members around the world. Students are eligible from their second year of CIOB membership onwards.

If you’re having a tough time, we can lend a sympathetic ear. Sometimes talking really does help.


To find out more about the Benevolent Fund:


Contact us here


+44 (0) 1344 630 780



Benevolent Fund FAQs

Can any member ask for help?

It doesn't matter where you are based in the world, the fund is open to all past or present CIOB members and their dependents. Students can apply for help from their second year of membership.

What kind of problems can the fund help with?

We support members who are undergoing financial hardship through redundancy, unemployment, illness or accident. Members worried about the security of their jobs are welcome to contact us to discuss retraining options, as well as their employee rights and access to benefits.

What kind of financial help is available?

The fund provides financial help for a variety of daily living costs such as household bills or essential travel for work. Grants are also provided for food and clothing for children living at home and in hardship.

What does the fund not help with?

We regret that the fund does not cover:

  • Membership fees
  • Medical treatment
  • Legal costs
  • Business-related costs
  • Educational costs
  • Personal or business debts
  • Purchase of motor vehicles
How does the process work?

If you'd like to apply for help, contact us by phone or email. You can talk to us in complete confidence. You may be asked to fill in an application form to provide more details of your daily outgoings.

What happens next?

If appropriate, the Benevolent Fund's board of trustees will be contacted, who will assess each case on its individual merits. The board is made up of CIOB Fellows, but is run entirely independently of the Institute. Each case is discussed anonymously and the privacy of the member is respected at all times.

How quickly will I get an answer?

We aim to resolve every application as speedily as possible. Cases are usually decided in a matter of weeks, sometimes within days.

Does the fund keep in touch with members?

That depends. We're frequently approached for temporary help and are happy to issue one-off grants. However we can keep in contact with members/families who would like longer term support.

Where does the money come from?

The Benevolent Fund was started in 1992 by a group of CIOB Fellows concerned at the hardship that some members were facing. Since then it has grown substantially through the ongoing generosity of CIOB members, many of whom voluntarily donate £10 as part of their annual fee.

Created by members for members, the Benevolent Fund reflects the CIOB's core value of promoting dignity and respect throughout the workforce.

How large is the fund?

In 1993, the fund received 330 enquiries, and issued grants totalling £800. Since then it has grown substantially; in 2012, the service supported more than 500 cases with nearly £50 000. During 20 years of continuous service, the fund has responded to 9509 enquries and issued nearly £390 000 to members around the world.