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Fundraising income rises in Ireland but per capita giving lower than UK & US

Fundraising income rises in Ireland but per capita giving lower than UK & US

Fundraising income in has continued to rise but its per capita giving is half that of the UK’s and four times less than in the US, according to a report from 2into3.

The Irish Not-for-Profit Sector: Fundraising Performance Report 2016 is 2into3’s sixth annual report on fundraising in Ireland, and is based on analysis of the 2014 accounts of nearly 1,000 not-for-profits. It shows that the sector increased the amount of income it earned from fundraising by 7% between 2013 and 2014, rising for the fifth consecutive year, and totalling €845 million in 2014.

However, the majority of organisations analysed in the report (63%) have an income of less than €100,000, and just 17% reported an increase in fundraised income while 20% experienced a decrease. The international sector saw the largest increase: an average €59,042, while arts, culture, and media saw the largest drop: an average decrease of €25,785.

The average cost to raise €1 in 2014 was 30c, while 72% of fundraised income came from individuals, which is a similar proportion to the UK and US, with the majority derived from relationships, in particular, regular giving (36%) and direct marketing appeals (25%).

However, while people in Ireland give frequently, the data indicates that scale of giving is lower than elsewhere, with per capita giving at €183, compared to €368 in the UK, and €792 in the US. One reason suggested by the report is that Ireland’s tax incentive to give is at odds to those in most developed economies.

The report gives the example of £5,000 donation in the UK where the incentive is 100% of the highest rate of tax. In Ireland however, the incentive is 78% of tax paid at the higher rate. In addition, while the UK’s Gift Aid scheme sees this incentive spilt between the donor and the charity, in Ireland only the charity receives the benefit. Ireland also caps the incentive with an annual limit, and has a minimum donation amount of €250 before the incentive applies.

Dennis O’Connor, director of 2into3, said:

“Fundraised income in 2014 increased for the fifth consecutive year. It appears that the charity scandals of 2014 did not negatively impact on this. Anecdotally, we also know that this trend has continued on in to 2015 and 2016.”

“Having said that, more must be done by both the State and the public to support the not-for-profit sector. Irish charitable giving is significantly lower, per capita and as a proportion of GDP, than the UK.”

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Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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