Festive Fundraisings Campaigns Perform Well
Initial new year tallies by some of Ireland's leading charities indicated that the public continues to dig deep for charitable causes, despite the recession.
Although most do not have final counts for the amount of donations received during the festive period, the The Irish Times report that donations for Christmas 2009 were in line with previous years.
Concern's director of fundraising Richard Dixon said the charity was "thrilled and humbled" at the level of donations over Christmas despite the stark economic downturn.
"Thankfully donations seem to have held up. Although the first 11 months of the year were difficult people really seem to have dug deep and tried to help us over Christmas," he said.
Goal chief executive John OShea said the charity had a successful campaign in 2009. The Goal Mile, which took place in almost 80 venues over the Christmas period, raised approximately €250,000 while a further €100,000 was raised through the charity's Christmas gifts campaign. The same amount is expected through the sale of its 2010 calendars.
Barnardos also reported that initial tallies indicated that their annual Christmas appeals had been as well supported as in recent years. "From the initial figures it appears that it has held up and is the same as previous years. What we're seeing is a lower individual spend but a greater response," director of fundraising, Ruth Guy said.
A spokesman for St Vincent de Paul said the charity was "very satisfied" with their fundraising in the run up to Christmas. "The Christmas appeal was very well supported, particularly financial donations, although we also had a huge response in the donation of goods particularly food and toys," he said.
The Irish Red Cross reached its target €1 million for its floods disaster appeal, launched in November to respond to severe flooding around the country, following an "overwhelming" response from the public.
Gorta said it had experienced a downturn in relation to larger donations but added that smaller donations had remained steady.
"We have experienced an element of downturn at the upper level of the campaign with the larger items in the €250-€700 price range seeing a decrease," Brian Hanratty, chief executive of Gorta noted.
"However, we were very encouraged to see that despite the recession the main thrust of the campaign, which includes the sale of goats and chickens, remained steady and well supported by our donors."
Limerick-based charity Bóthar, which allows donors to buy farm animals for families in the developing world, said it had experienced a downturn in donations last year. "We'd be down on previous years in terms, but that doesn't reflect on the generosity of the Irish people - people are still giving, they just can't afford to give as much as they once could," David Moloney, deputy chief executive of Bóthar said.