The MR Benevolent Association (MRBA) - what is it and can you help?

As most ICG Members will know, the Market Research Benevolent Association is the market research industry’s own charity for those who have fallen into economic difficulty or are otherwise in need. It exists to help anyone who is working or has worked in the market research industry in any capacity (or their immediate dependents) with financial support or advice, and can be contacted through its website at www.mrba.org.uk

It used to be thought that the MRBA has solid financial reserves, and did not need to seek financial support from the industry it exists to serve. But this is no longer the case.

As a result of the recession and through making its services better known to potential applicants, the number of hardship cases dealt with by the MRBA has nearly trebled over the last three years. The funds being directed to applicants afflicted by ill-health, domestic difficulties, redundancy, and other misfortunes are now well in excess of the MRBA income from fundraising, membership subscriptions and investments and we have had to draw heavily on our capital.

The situation has therefore become serious, largely because the MRBA, as never before, is doing the job it was set up to do.

To respond to this new situation, the MRBA has now put together a membership programme in which those who have benefited from a career in market research are being invited to become ‘Friends of the MRBA’.

One can become a ‘Friend’ for a minimum annual subscription of £25 (but more if you can, please) or a ‘Lifetime Friend’ for a one-off payment of £250.

At the MRBA we are conscious that independent researchers do not have large and resourceful employers to help them through bad times. When afflicted by illness or difficulties in business or personal matters, there is a tendency to withdraw and disappear off the radar of one’s friends and colleagues. At such times the MRBA is there to help, and can provide advice and financial support on a strictly confidential basis.

So, in the current environment the MRBA not only provides more help, but also needs more help. The generosity of ICG Members who recognise this has been shown in the past, and more than ever it is needed now. Please do not delay: you never know – at some point in the uncertain future, you or your friends may be among those who benefit from the good work of the MRBA.

To find out more, please phone the MRBA Secretary/Treasurer Danielle Scott on 0845-652-0303 or look at www.mrba.org.uk to download the ‘Friends’ Application Form.

Ian Brace, Chairman, The Market Research Benevolent Association