Category: Fundraising

Mary Sutton on why detailed data is essential for informed discussions about nonprofits

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

‘It’s importance will grow year-on-year-it’s a really important input into an informed conversation about where we want to go’

Mary Sutton, Country Director for the Republic of Ireland at The Atlantic Philanthropies, attended the Sector Analysis launch and commented on the timeliness of this information, and how the detailed trend data will help inform discussion about nonprofits, charities and philanthropies in Ireland.

What are ‘Quasi-public’ bodies?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Many nonprofits provide services to the public, but a small number operate on special terms with government, inasmuch as their voluntary boards don’t exercise control over the remuneration of their employees because these are treated as public sector workers.

Effectively these are “quasi-public bodies”. Here’s who they are:

44 section 38s.

22 higher education institutions.

281 local providers of family support, drugs rehabilitation, citizens’ advice and other local development supports and services, directly controlled by government.

New Board Member Announced!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

We are delighted to announce that Anna Visser has joined the board at Benefacts.

Anna Visser is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Social Justice in UCD. She has 15 years experience working within Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), half of these at senior management level.

Most recently Anna was director of The Advocacy Initiative, a ground-breaking three-year project examining the future of social justice advocacy in Ireland. Anna is an experienced campaigner and activist at local, national and international levels and has worked on issues of anti-racism, human rights, social inclusion and democratic reform.

She has been a board member of a number of CSOs and is currently a member of the core group of Claiming our Future, a national social movement organization. Anna’s current research explores the link between public funding, civil society organisations and democracy. She tweets about social justice advocacy on @amvisser.

Welcome Anna!

For further information, see:

To see our other Board members, and more about the team at Benefacts, check out:

Some Numbers from the Benefacts Database

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

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