The future of Benefacts is uncertain. Find out more

Nonprofit organisations are governed by boards or committees whose members are accountable to stakeholders, not shareholders or owners. The ways they are appointed is set out in the organisation’s constitution.


The people who govern a company – including a company without share capital – are called directors and their responsibilities are set out in the Companies Act 2014. About half of all charities are incorporated as companies and the directors of these companies have responsibilities under both the Companies Act and the Charities Act.

The people who govern charities are called charity trustees and their responsibilities are set out in the Charities Act 2009. They may also be company directors if the charity is incorporated as a company.

The responsibilities of people who serve on the boards of management of schools are set out in the Education Act 1998.

Under the Electoral Act 1963 a register of political parties is held by the Clerk of Dáil Eireann, including the names of elected office-holders.

Provisions for the appointment of trustees are set out in the law governing Friendly Societies.

In the case of charter bodies – for example the Royal Irish Academy or the Irish Red Cross Society, their own founding legislation sets out in each case the provisions for their governance.


Last updated 21 May 2020

Benefacts future is uncertain

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).