Month: July 2018

Using Benefacts.ie v.2 to learn more about the world of Irish Nonprofits

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Some users of Benefacts.ie have been telling us about what they’ve been using the new advanced search functionality to find out.

Searching by classification allows you to discover the distribution of different kinds of nonprofits around the country, and the facet tools provide a further breakdown of the data analysed. For example, there are 357 group water schemes in the Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits, most of them incorporated as Friendly Societies. The largest number (62) are in County Mayo, and 10 have a turnover of more than €500k. Use this search query.

Or search the 3,967 primary and secondary schools to see how many are registered as charities (1,844), and how many receive HSE funding under Section 39 of the 2006 Health Act (20).

Use the filters to discover more about the 3,467 nonprofits that publish abridged accounts – including 1,488 registered charities, mostly based on 2016 data. The latest news from our finance analysts is that the level of abridgement for 2017 has reached 50%, up 10% on the previous year.

Where full accounts have been provided by incorporated nonprofits to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) – which is our main source – you can also search by financial turnover: we’ve structured the analysis in bands of less than €10k, €10 – €50k, €50 – €250k and so on.

Some things we can’t yet report on. None of the financial statements filed by charities are yet available from the Charities Regulatory Authority, nor are the names of charity trustees included in the open data file that they release, even though director data is readily available from the CRO, including names and dates of appointment of the trustee/directors of incorporated charities. Because the unincorporated trustee data isn’t available, we haven’t been able to respond to various queries about gender distribution, length of service and other interesting governance questions – but hopefully that will change soon.

Thanks to the support of our funders in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Ireland Funds, www.benefacts.ie comes to you free of charge. Give us your feedback, and if you like what you see, spread the word!

Benefacts V2!

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After two years of unbroken service and 165,000+ visits, benefacts.ie has been updated.

We’ve added features in response to user feedback, found some new data, and added some organisations to scope. Have a look!

Spread the word
Search” has moved up to the toolbar, and permits simple or advanced organisation search. Simple search gives you quick access to a nonprofit, if you know what you’re looking for – here’s an example. The new presentation format incorporates additional content about purposes and activities where the nonprofit is a charity, and smartens up the presentation of financial and governance data as well.

Have a look for your favourite nonprofit and if you like what you see, go to the bottom of the page and tweet a link to your followers!

Introducing advanced search
Use the advanced search function for more detailed results. For example, if you’d like to make a donation to an arts organisation that’s registered for tax-efficient gifts, check these boxes for the 103 arts companies; filter for SORP-compliance and the list goes down to 29.

You can also use advanced search to find nonprofits near you, or to find ones involved in specific kinds of activities.

Political parties
Which brings us to a group on nonprofits appearing on Benefacts.ie for the first time – political parties. Benefacts defines civil society organisations as all those that are neither part of the Government nor of the private sector. This includes political parties and – thanks to the Office of the Clerk of the Oireachtas (which registers them), and the Standards in Public Office Commission (which collects and publishes their financial statements) – we can provide these listings for the first time on Benefacts.ie.

Other non-charities in Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits include chambers of commerce, trade unions and sports bodies.

Cooperation with Fingal
This year, we are delighted to have had the cooperation of Fingal County Council and Fingal Public Participation Network (PPN) in introducing the contents of their register to the database, including valuable data on activities. Where a local nonprofit is part of the Fingal PPN, this is flagged at the foot of their listing – we hope other counties and PPNs will follow Fingal’s lead and we’re starting to explore this with them now. When they do, there will be information about at least 10,000 more local societies, clubs and associations to be found in our one-stop shop for information about all Irish nonprofits.

Benefacts model is to harvest data from many public sources, and put it to work in the service of nonprofits and their stakeholders. Nobody has to provide us with any additional information so we don’t add to the regulatory burden on the sector.

We’ve started to work with a group of public sector bodies and philanthropies to put the data to work in a way that should help to rationalise the heavy cost of duplicate filing that represents such a heavy administrative burden – on funders and nonprofits alike.

Contact us!
Meanwhile, any nonprofit listed on our site is welcome to ask us for a look at all of the data we have collected about your organisation to date – just get in touch.