What is Membership?
As an unincorporated charity, the BDA Benevolent Fund is required to have a membership. Members oversee the organisation and have the responsibility and authority to exercise voting rights at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) or other Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). Members elect the Board of Trustees who oversee the charity on their behalf. The following video explains more:
Who are Members of the BDA Benevolent Fund?
The Charity has three categories of Members;
- Members of the BDA also automatically become members of the BDA Benevolent Fund.
- Partnership Members i.e. supporters, Vice-Presidents, donors, and (current or ex) beneficiaries
Do I need to be a Member to apply for help?
No, the Charity helps all dental students, dentists (current or ex) and their dependents, living in the UK who are in financial need. You do not need to be a Member of the BDA or the Benevolent Fund to qualify for support. If you are in practice, retired or somewhere in between, you will be eligible for assistance. You can apply for help if you are struggling financially, have little in the way of income with minimal or no savings.
Do I need to be a Member to donate?
The charity is dependent upon donations from the dental profession but not exclusively Members as we support all dentists. This is usually from dental companies, individuals donating once or regularly, giving as a legacy or contributing to collections at events, meetings or social activities. We also receive very generous contributions from Local Dental Committees across the UK, collectively our biggest supporters.
We do not receive any donations or formal, financial help from the BDA although we are very grateful for the provision of the office, meeting room and associated facilities at Wimpole Street, helping us minimise our administrative costs.
Like many well-established charities, we also have an endowment fund which generates income to support us with running, administration and governance costs. Donations do not enhance or add to the endowment in any way and the fund is managed via an investment management company.
Has Membership changed?
For many years there was an informal arrangement between the BDA and the Benevolent Fund. However, changes in ways of working and data protection legislation meant that in practice the Charity was unable to access and contact BDA Members via their Membership database.
The Charity and the BDA worked together to ensure that the Charity could contact its Members and that BDA Members are aware of their rights as a BDA Benevolent Fund Member. All BDA Members will be notified upon sign-up that they are also [de-facto] Members of the Benevolent Fund. The relevant BDA terms and conditions were updated to reflect this in Spring 2019.