7 July, 2016

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 benefacts.ie.

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