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No ifs, no cuts

Italy’s Telethon foundation has grown from a marathon collector to a global force in gene therapy research. But its director tells Fabio Turone that the foundation stands on a wobbly pedestal.

As director-general of the Telethon Foundation, which funds research on rare genetic diseases, Francesca Pasinelli has seen it all when it comes to money troubles. But the foundation, which is financed mostly via donations, has recently found its budget reduced by some quite accidental developments. The latest problem? Changes in the way phone companies bill their clients.

“Our annual campaign is based on sending a text message worth €1 or €2, and it used to raise donations in the order of a few millions,” Pasinelli told Research Professional. “Now many people keep sending the texts without realising that their all-inclusive plans don’t allow phone companies to charge them and to pass any donations to us.”

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