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Report paints bleak view of Irish philanthropy

Report paints bleak view of Irish philanthropy

Irish people are not as generous as people in the UK or USA, according to a new report by consultants McKinsey Company.

“Rising disposable income levels in have not translated proportionally into rising levels of charitable giving,” the report, Philanthropy in the Republic of , said.

The report found that giving in Ireland tends to be unplanned and donations are small.

At the top end, public perception and media coverage is rather sceptical of large-scale philanthropic engagement by wealthy Irish people and philanthropists are under general suspicion of gaining additional tax breaks or other benefits from charitable donations, the report said.

In relation to charitable foundations, Ireland is at the bottom of the European league, with only 30 foundations compared to over 8,000 in the UK.

Corporate philanthropy is also very low, the report said, especially by large Irish companies.

The report suggested collaboration or consolidation of some of the charities would enable the sector to work more effectively and efficiently.

The report makes three suggestions to improve the climate for philanthropy in Ireland:

* Improve giving culture by highlighting the value that larger philanthropists and corporate giving can make to society

* Mobilize resources for philanthropy by fostering the use of regular, planned donation methods both for the mass market and top donors

* Expand and strengthen underlying infrastructure with professional advisors engaging clients on philanthropy

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Paul Artherton has a BA (Hons) Degree from Queen’s University and a MA Degree in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University. He has worked in PR and fundraising for over 27 years. Previously assistant director for fundraising and public relations at the Simon Community Northern Ireland for seven years, for the last 17 years he has run his own fundraising consultancy business specialising in fundraising, sponsorship, public relations and recruitment. His clients have included charities, private sector and public bodies. Examples include the Ulster Cancer Foundation, Simon Communities of Ireland, NI Hospice, North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, Aiken Promotions, the Industrial Development Board and the Ulster Museum. He has lectured on voluntary sector management at Queens University Belfast Institute for Continuing Education. Since 2010 Paul has been a lay member of the NI Charity Tribunal.

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