Tuesday, March 12 10:46:53
In a landmark research report published today the scale of the not-for-profit sector in Ireland has been benchmarked for the first time with an estimated worth of E5 billion a year.
According to the third annual Fundraising Performance report published by 2into3 and supported by insurer Ecclesiastical, not-for-profit organisations now employ over 100,000 people with salaries representing 46pc of expenditure in the sector.
Despite the size of the sector in both financial and employment terms, it remains poorly regulated.
There are also significant variations in the amount of information available about how funds are raised and for what purpose. Launching the report today, Neil Pope, director of 2into3 has called on the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, to enforce the 2009 Charities Act. Enforcement of the Act will support the growth of Ireland's 'third sector' and provide donors and recipients with better infrastructure to manage both fundraising and expenditure.
Speaking at the launch Neil Pope said: "No other sector of such scale operates without governance and regulation. Given the sensitivity of the projects and importance of fundraising to so many sectors it is vital that the Government acts now to bring further peace of mind to donors and recipients alike by enforcing the legislation. The not-for-profit sector is already one where so much is achieved with so little. However there is also significant duplication of activity due to the large number of small organisations in the sector. Greater collaboration could improve the effectiveness of the funds raised as some groups invest disproportionately in fundraising activities that are high profile but inefficient."
The amount raised has also seen an increase of 3.7pc showing that the recession has not dented our willingness to support important causes. However the scale of organisations in the sector and their success varies widely. 38pc of organisations had an income of less than E100,000 and almost 80pc have an income of less than E500,000. Just one in 8 (or 12.5pc) had an income in excess of E1m. The report findings are based on analysis of accounts from over 1,000 organisations.