2 October, 2020

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).

We understand that there are discussions between various Government departments and agencies about transitional arrangements leading to the transfer of Benefacts IP and data assets to a State body. We look forward to learning what this might involve. We have also asked that we be consulted as part of these discussions.

Benefacts has built and maintains the Database of Irish Nonprofits. Daily updated extracts are published here on benefacts.ie which is the go-to free website for sector data, analysis and information services for 11,000 regular monthly users in the nonprofit sector, the public service, professional researchers, analysts & students, philanthropists & donors, journalists and the general public.

The site has been visited by more than 462,000 people since it was launched in 2016, generating more than 1.75 million pageviews. More than 56,000 documents and reports have been downloaded. In addition Benefacts has provided data, analysis and information services to users in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Contact us if you wish to know more about our work. If you would like to voice your interest or concern, join the conversation on twitter or LinkedIn, or write to minister@per.gov.ie

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