Our last post was about the resilience of Ireland’s voluntary sector and that is surely going to be tested in the coming months.
Like so many other small Irish nonprofits, Benefacts has become a virtual office since the start of this week. All of our staff are working from home and for the time being we are staying in touch with one another and with suppliers, partners and customers exclusively online.
Meetings are taking place via conference call and all staff are available via email or phone – the general office number is 01 536 7130. In the case of general queries, use email@example.com.
Currently, we’re busy finishing this year’s nonprofit sector analysis report, although we have deferred the launch originally planned for 30th April: we’ll post more information about this in another few weeks.
For Irish government updates and advice to the Irish public about COVID-19, see here.
At the end of July the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) wrote to say that they would provide no further funding for Benefacts after our current funding agreement expires on 31st December.
According to Minister Michael McGrath’s officials, the project “has met its initial policy rationale of assisting the development of a market for data on the nonprofit sector by stimulating demand from public bodies for such data”.
Despite our strenuous representations, DPER officials reconfirmed earlier this week that “this Department will not be providing further grants to Benefacts in 2021 following the expiration of the current Funding Agreement”. Accordingly the Board had no choice but to commence arrangements for winding up the company and terminating contracts including those with our 20 staff (15 full-time equivalents).