Study confirms continuing decline in charity funding

The income of Irish charities has been declining since 2009, according to a new report published by The Wheel and Crowe Horwath. The study – which was launched in Dublin today by Conor Woods, the recently appointed Chairperson of the Charities Regulatory Authority - found that almost 60% of Irish charities have experienced a decrease in their income between 2009 and 2012, with the majority (60%) of these experiencing a decrease of between 11-25%.

The research, based on a survey of over 500 charities, also found that two-thirds (63.5%) of non-profits experienced an increase in beneficiary numbers, and organisations are working at securing efficiencies to increase services to cater for increased demand.

These findings correlate with the results of a separate survey of 297 charities carried out by The Wheel in May of this year, which found that 59% of the charities surveyed say their overall income continued to decline in 2013. One fifth of respondents in this survey reported that their income fell by more than 10% last year.

Responding to the findings, Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel said: “This is a time of great transformation in the charity sector: the establishment of the Charities Regularity Authority and the introduction of competitive tendering will have profound consequences for all charities. This report provides in one document the key facts on which supportive policy can be developed, to enable the sector to maximise its contribution to national well-being and social and economic recovery,” said Ms Garvey.

The report, A Portrait of the Non-Profit Sector 2014, was published in partnership with Crowe Horwath. Commenting on the publication of the report Shane McQuillan, Partner at Crowe Horwath said: "Crowe Horwath is delighted to support this valuable research. This report shows clearly that whilst Irish charities tend to be very resilient, the challenges are increasing in terms of funding and sustainability in particular."

You can download the report here (PDF).