Irish charities have seen a significant fall in revenues during the first six months of this year, according to a new survey.
The poll was carried out by The Wheel, the national support and representative body for community and voluntary organisations, to measure the effects of the recession on Ireland’s community and voluntary sector.
Of the 146 responding organisations, 75% reported a fall in their overall income between January and June, while 67% reported a reduction in the amount of funding they received from Government.
Moreover, the survey found that nearly half of all charities (44%) receive 80% or more of their total income from Government sources, and 45% do not fundraise directly from the public at all.
The Wheel’s chief executive, Deirdre Garvey, said community and voluntary organisations will have to diversify their funding sources, if they are to weather the recession.
“Even if Government revenues stabilise, charities should not expect the same level of statutory funding in future,” she said. “Instead, organisations should develop their entrepreneurial skills and explore new ways of collaborating to reduce their costs.”
“We are saying to charities that they have to be more proactive in asking the public for donations. People may be able to give less, but many small donations could cushion the effects of further cuts in statutory funding,” she said.
The survey reveals that so far, charities have been responding to the crisis by suspending or delaying projects and cutting back in the areas of human resources and administration.
Nearly 60% have either suspended or delayed projects during the past six months, and 22% have already made staff redundant. More than half (52%) expect their revenues to fall further this year.