14 April, 2020

Sector leaders have asked for an updated analysis of employment in the nonprofit sector, to help understand the potential impact of Covid-19.

In 2019, we reported employment levels of 163,000 in 8,600 Irish nonprofits, including 69,000 people working in 60 major nonprofits – mostly charities – in the higher education and health/social care sectors, who enjoy the same employment conditions as public servants.

According to the latest filings, the current employment total is 173,000, of which 69,000 are quasi public servants.

Typically, of the 4,600 nonprofits that report having paid employees, payroll costs are highest as a proportion of all turnover in entities with more than 100 employees

Most of these are in health, education and social services. These are also the nonprofits with the greatest proportion of higher-paid employees, according to their financial disclosures.

Number of nonprofits Aggregate turnover Aggregate payroll costs Payroll as % of turnover Registered charities (%)
More than 100 employees 195 €8,949.8m €5,937.6m 66% 81%
50 – 99 employees 198 €725.3m €416.6m 57% 81%
10 – 49 employees 1,657 €1,782.1m €932.4m 52% 62%
Fewer than 10 employees 2,575 €797.1m €282.6m 35% 62%


Source: Benefacts

Source: Benefacts 

14,000 people work in nonprofits that depend on fundraising/donations for more than 25% of their turnover.

In another blog we have reported on the profile of fundraising and donations. Any reduction in revenues from this source will have an impact on those 800 nonprofits (including 631 registered charities) that depend on the public for a significant portion of their income, and whose employees lack the protection of public sector employment terms and conditions.

Benefacts uses open data to build and maintain a picture of Ireland’s 30,000+ nonprofit entities – incorporated and unincorporated, regulated and unregulated.

About a third of these file financial statements annually with one or more public regulatory source including the Companies Registration Office, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Houses of the Oireachtas. These public disclosures form the basis of our analysis. Our numbers are drawn from this population, not from survey data.


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