More people are using benefacts.ie to learn about Irish nonprofits
It’s been a busy year for Benefacts.
Visitors to benefacts.ie grew 33% from 37,000 to more than 50,000 unique users, and user sessions grew from 40,000 to 72,000, with visitors to benefacts.ie typically spending nearly four minutes on the website. There were more than 11,600 downloads of documents published on the website – mostly nonprofits financial statements. This is up 50% on the number downloaded in 2016.
On average, people look at four separate webpages, and more than half used the search function, suggesting that people are actively interested in learning more about the purposes, governance and funding of specific nonprofits in Ireland. The most popular searches are still health, social services and the arts.
More than 1,000 new followers joined us on Twitter this year – thank you! – and there were nearly 4,000 readers of our blog series. The largest number of readers are interested in our 2017 sector analysis report, government funding disclosures, and trends in financial reporting by charities.
We’re engaging with users
Every month, about a dozen of the nonprofits listed on benefacts.ie contact us to offer more information, or to offer a correction or an update to their listing. Since everything we publish comes from what nonprofits themselves have filed with one or more of their regulators, we usually end up encouraging them to update the public record, which fairly quickly translates into an update on benefacts.ie.
Benefacts never scrapes the websites of nonprofits for any of their data but there are a few cases where we have agreed with charities that we will publish financial statements which they provide to us directly, because these are not yet released to the public by the Charities Regulator. Contact us if you’d like to explore this option.
We were very pleased to be asked to share the benefit of our search and design solutions to provide an enhanced online register of charities for the Charities Regulator’s own website. We built this for the Regulator in Q3 and it went live in October with significant enhancements to the functionality of charitiesregister.ie.
We have big plans for 2018
In Q1, watch out for some interesting new additions to the list of nonprofits in scope. We’ll publish our Annual Report for 2017, and we plan on undertaking a user survey in January – if you’d like to participate please contact us.
In Q2 , we’ll publish the second Benefacts Nonprofit Sector Analysis report, and we plan to launch it with a seminar for sector leaders, policy-makers and analysts.
In Q3, with the benefit of user feedback, we’ll release the next version of benefacts.ie, with enhanced functionality, data insights and other services.
And we’re delighted to have ongoing support from Government
We have made a funding agreement with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for three further years of financial support for our free public services and our developmental work to promote the evidence base for better policy and decision making by, for and with the nonprofit sector in Ireland.