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Irish fundraising totals €725m, survey finds

Irish fundraising totals €725m, survey finds

Nonprofits in the Republic of Ireland derive 7% or €725 million of their income from fundraising and donations, according to Benefacts, an organisation which collates information on the voluntary sector.

The €725 million figure includes gifts from individuals, foundations and private companies.

Using public data derived from more than 8,000 nonprofit company reports for 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ireland, Benefacts has identified some key trends in the sector which today employs almost 150,000 people, turns over nearly €11bn annually and accounts for 8% of all current government expenditure.

Summary stats on Irish charity sector from Benefacts (2017)

How the Irish nonprofit sector measures up


15% average increase

Between 2013-15, reported income from fundraising and donations increased by 15% on average year-on-year. The survey said this can partly be ascribed to the increase in the number of organisations and improvements in the quality of disclosures.

The main beneficiaries of significantly increased giving were charities working in international development, family support services, services for people with disabilities, health services and health promotion.

The survey said it was impossible to accurately analyse the costs of fundraising effort using currently standards of financial reporting but says there is some evidence related to the cost of fundraising staff which suggests costs are increasing relative to income.

€8.57 raised for every €1 spent on payroll

In 2013, for every euro spent on payroll, €8.57 was raised in funds the following year, and in 2014 for every euro spent on payroll, €8.26 was raised in funds the following year. In 2015 the survey also found that seven fundraising staff were paid over €70,000.

‘Institutional philanthropy’ or giving by foundations was also examined in the survey  and showed that three organisations – Atlantic Philanthropies, Ireland Funds and Community Foundation – made grants totalling €66 million in 2015.

A review of the foundation reported grants indicates that major philanthropies concentrate their resources in certain areas, notably the arts and heritage, health services and health promotion, higher education and youth services.

The full report, which includes a wide ranging analysis of the not for profit sector in Ireland, can be downloaded from Benefacts.




Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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