The future of Benefacts is uncertain. Find out more

The State is the biggest individual source of funding to the nonprofit sector, but nearly 80% of State funding is directed at 119 medium and large nonprofits, mostly in service fees to health and social care, higher education and local development.

In advocacy, law, politics, professional, and vocational organisations, the balance of income is mainly derived from earned revenues whereas philanthropy, voluntarism and international organisations are most heavily reliant on fund-raised income and philanthropic donations.

More than 260 Government departments or agencies provided at least €5.9bn in fees or grants to nonprofits in Ireland during 2018.

Income by sector in 2018

Income by sector in 2018

Source: Benefacts

Nonprofit sector fundraising costs

Many nonprofits solicit donations from individuals, corporations and philanthropies, but only 64 are solely dedicated to fundraising year-round. Using these indicators, professional fundraising costs are about 7% of the value of income raised.

Year Number of dedicated fundraising charities Total number of employees Number of employees whose remuneration greater than €70,000 Total payroll €000 Total Income €000
2015 60 153 8 7,827 60,724
2016 61 132 9 7,114 58,027
2017 62 145 12 7,739 78,112
2018 64 146 10 8,060 52,947


Source: Benefacts

Philanthropic giving in Ireland

At €97m, philanthropic gifts, whether by Irish or non-Irish philanthropies are a marginal and declining source of revenue for most Irish nonprofits. By far the biggest sources of philanthropic giving are Irish-based independent foundations.

Giving by Irish and International philanthropies in 2018

Source: Benefacts

Giving in Ireland by international philanthropies

Gifts from overseas foundations continue to decline as a proportion of all philanthropic donations to the nonprofit sector in Ireland.

Giving in Ireland by International philanthropies in 2018

Source: Benefacts

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).