Author: Julia Schroer

Sports organisations in the Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits

Besides the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), there are more than 3,000 sports organisations listed today in the Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits. All enjoy the benefit of tax relief from Revenue, but only a handful are registered as charities by the Charities Regulator – this is because Section 2 the Charities Act 2009 specifically excludes sport from the definition of a charity in Irish law.

The OCI makes public disclosures as a company limited by guarantee, and these documents are re-published and analysed on their Benefacts listing. This indicates that the company was incorporated 34 years ago, in 1981, and reported having four paid employees in 2014. In addition, the company’s audited financial statements for that year report the payment of a €60,000 “Honorarium” to the Chairman of the Board (called the President in the company’s constitution), Patrick Joseph Hickey.

Besides the OCI’s President, who took office in 1982, six Directors have served for more than nine years including one who has served for 23 years, and three who have each served for 19 years on the Board, which is called the Executive Committee in the company’s constitution – download it here.

The Benefacts listing for OCI indicates that the company’s income in 2014 – of which 32% came from the Irish Sports Council – grew by 62% over the previous year, and its expenses by 25%. Net assets at €2m remained almost the same.

Besides paying for its own staff and overhead costs, the OCI distributed grants totalling €206,400 to “Olympic Solidarity Courses/Team Support” and to 12 affiliated sporting organisations – all listed in the Benefacts database of Irish Nonprofits: Rowing Ireland, Gymnastics Ireland, Swim Ireland, Snowsports Association of Ireland, Weightlifting Ireland, Basketball Ireland, National Target Shooting Association, Irish Ice Hockey Association, Irish Fencing Federation, Irish Amateur Boxing Association, Cycling Ireland, and Archery Ireland.

Join the Benefacts Stakeholders Forum

Benefacts Stakeholders Forum

Since the start of the Benefacts project, we have had the benefit of regular feedback from stakeholders in the nonprofit sector, in government and from our funders and other interested parties.

Read more about the Benefacts Stakeholders Forum here. The Forum includes least eight and no more than twelve members, serving in a personal capacity. It meets about six times a year and is intended to be broadly representative of the kinds of nonprofits that are included in the Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits – read more about that here.

Since it was established in April 2015, the meetings of the Forum have been concerned with helping us to apply a classification framework, to develop an approach to presenting data in more accessible ways, and to engage with the sector more generally, especially about issues that might be a cause of concern.

The Chairman and members of the Forum serve on a voluntary basis for a term of twelve months, renewable for one term. Some members of the original Forum have said they want to serve for a second term, and others want to move on.

If you’re interested to put your name forward for membership of the Forum, or to get more information about its work, write to before noon on Friday 2nd September. We will respond to all correspondence received; the Board will seek to fill vacancies so as to involve a broadly-based group of individuals with an interest in our work.

Beyond headlines: Data on Section 38 and 39 Agencies

In recent weeks, lots of people have been using Benefacts to learn more about the “arrangements with service providers” provided for under Section 38 of the Health Act, 2004.

Currently, 43 nonprofits receive funding from the HSE under Section 38 – you can find the list by typing “health”, then using the search filter for Section 38 funding on

Here’s the current list of “Section 38 agencies”, with links to their individual listings on Most are also registered charities. You can use this to learn about their institutional and financial profile, their funding from various Government and non-government sources, their governance, their regulators and lots more besides, including a link to each of their own websites. If you like, you can also use Benefacts to download their constitution and their audited financial statements for free.

If you’re interested, you can do the same with nonprofits funded by the HSE under Section 39 of the Health Act. Benefacts currently provides information on 884 of these, derived from their regulatory filings – here’s the list – although not all are in the health sector, and only 565 are registered charities, and 755 have a CHY number from Revenue – according to the most up-to date information available from these regulators.

Use the filters to explore “Section 39” nonprofits that provide services in social housing for example, or, sport, or the arts.

Benefacts aggregates publicly-available records from multiple regulatory sources to build the Database of Irish Nonprofits. Use our knowledge base to learn more about the sources of our data, and check back regularly for updates.

Some Numbers from the Benefacts Database

People are sometimes surprised to hear that there are 18,539 nonprofits in the Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits today.

That’s the number of non-government, non-commercial organisations in Ireland that file regulatory returns with the Companies Office, the Charities Regulator, Revenue, the Housing Agency and/or the Department of Education.

4,216 of these are registered charities, according to the data file published by the Charities Regulator on 10th May 2016.

8,194 are recognised by Revenue as charities for the purpose of relief from paying tax, according to the data file published by Revenue on 25th May 2016.

Benefacts aggregates data from these and other sources to provide a full picture of civil society entities of all kinds on

Here are some more numbers from the Benefacts database:

108,000+ employees

At least 108,000 people work in 3,425 Irish nonprofits, according to the 2014 audited financial statements of 7,651 nonprofits that are publicly available.

Turnover in excess of €7.1bn

According to their financial statements, 7,651 Irish nonprofits in the Benefacts database had an aggregate income of more than €7.1 bn in 2014.

Government funding of €3.5bn

Just under half of the sector’s funding comes from government. But the profile of income from government varies greatly from sub-sector to sub-sector.

For example, arts/culture/media nonprofits receive only about 31% of their funding from government, whereas in social services the figure is 60%.

And in overseas development aid, Irish nonprofits raised more money from international sources – €188m (38%) – and from fundraised or other income – €194m (39%) – than they received from the Irish government in 2014 – €115m (23%).

Sector profile – financial scale

Currently, registered charities comprise about a quarter of the entities in the Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits. This number will grow as more charities register with the Charities Regulator.

Based on the financial data available from 2014 for 2,671 of these, it’s clear that:

  • There are very many very small charities – 933 with few or no staff, and with a financial turnover of less than €100,000
  • There are 1,294 charities whose turnover was between €100,000 and €1m
  • There are 386 charities whose turnover was between €1m and €10m
  • There are 58 charities whose turnover was more than €10m