Irish nonprofits employ 164,922 people, up 3% on the number we reported in 2020, comparing like with like. Most of the increased employment is in large or medium-sized nonprofits.

In 55 higher education and major health and social care ("Section 38") organisations, 67,544 employees are paid as though they were public servants.

48,668 people work in 1,734 nonprofits where the State is the principal source of income.

The remaining 48,710 work in nonprofits where the State is the minority funder or where there is no State funding at all.

Read more about where Benefacts gets data on nonprofit sector employment.

Profile of nonprofit employment

Employment profiles by sector

Most people working in the nonprofit sector are employed in healthcare, social care including disability services, higher education and local development including social enterprise.


Click on a segment below to drill-down

Employee numbers in nonprofits by sector

Source: Benefacts

Higher pay in Irish nonprofits

“Higher pay” means total remuneration of €70,000 or more. Most higher paid people in Irish nonprofits work in third level education and in “Section 38“-funded health and social care charities.

Higher pay for nonprofit workers in context

Outside of quasi-State bodies (where pay and conditions are set by the State) only 1% of people working in Irish nonprofits are paid more than €70,000. In the economy at large, 14.6% of people are higher paid.

Within the same group of nonprofits, pension payments are recorded in the financial statements of only 10% of nonprofit companies .


Within the economy at large 14.6% of people are highly paid.

Within the nonprofit sector 1% of people are highly paid.

Non profit economy