The future of Benefacts is uncertain. Find out more

We aggregate all available data

In the first quarter of each year, Benefacts prepares a report on the nonprofit sector in Ireland drawing on all of the latest publicly available regulatory, financial and governance information.

Our analysis provides a macro level snapshot of the whole sector, prepared with the latest available data from all sources. Financial statements for 2018 that were filed up to the end of 2019 form the basis for our 2020 report.

The dataset is not comprehensive for a number of reasons: some nonprofits withhold income data by abridging their accounts; not all regulators make the financial data they receive public; and there is not yet any public source of data on the 10,000+ grants made every year to local nonprofits by local authorities.

This means that a full set of comparative data across the entire sector year-on-year is not yet available.


We structure the data

Nonprofits in our database are classified into 12 sectors and 54 sub-sectors.

All companies in Ireland are segmented by scale. Benefacts has applied these categories to the nonprofits in its database including (where turnover data is available) charities that are not companies:


A micro company satisfies two of these three conditions: its turnover is up to €700,000; its balance sheet value is up to €350,000; it has ten or fewer employees.


A small company is one which meets two of the following: turnover does not exceed €12m; balance sheet does not exceed €6m and has 50 or fewer employees.


A medium company is one which meets two of the following: turnover does not exceed €40m, ; balance sheet does not exceed €20m and has 250 or fewer employees.


A large company is one which meets two of the following: whose turnover is greater than €40m; whose balance sheet value is greater than €20m; and which has more than 250 employees.


We estimate certain data based on prior year or other information

Where the data is not available in the latest set of accounts – for example because they have been abridged – we estimate this based on previous years statements.

Where payroll is reported but not employee numbers, we estimate these based on the norms in other organisations within the sector.

Where no financial statements are available, for example in the case of unincorporated charities, we use the income and expenditure data on the Public Register of Charities.


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).