Number of Charities Registered in Ireland Surpasses 10,000

Posted on 14 Jul 2020

The number of charities registered in Ireland surpassed the 10,000 mark in 2019, in what was the busiest year to date for the Charities Regulator which published its annual report today (14 July).

Download the report

In addition to registering charities and ongoing compliance and enforcement activities, other significant work in the Regulator’s fifth full year of operations included publication of the Charities Governance Code Toolkit which comprises a suite of practical guidance documents and templates to assist those seeking to implement the Code; publication of our second Statement of Strategy 2019-2021; the successful implementation of a new compliance case management system and new online application processes for charity services under the older Charities Acts; the publication of an Inspector’s Report; and the hosting of our Meet the Charities Regulator roadshow of seminars around the country.

The total number on the public Register of Charities by year-end reached 10,514 which shows an increase of 715 (7%) on 2018. There were 67,129 charity trustees on the Register of Charities at the end of 2019, an increase of 10% on the previous year. Charity trustees include committee members and company directors and are the people who ultimately exercise control over, and are legally responsible for, a charity.

Some points of note in the breakdown of the Register of Charities as of 31 December 2019 are as follows: 

  • The most common charitable purpose of registered charities at the end of 2019 were purposes that are of benefit to the community (54%), followed by the advancement of education (30%), relief of poverty or economic hardship (9%) and religion (7%).
  • Of the 10,514 registered charities, 44% were incorporated companies, 50% were unincorporated (Associations, Board of Management (Schools) or other) and 6% were Charitable Trusts.
  • 52% of charities on the Register had income of more than €100,000, 32% had an income of between €10,000 and €100,000 and 16% had an income of less than €10,000. Of the 2,165 charities reporting an annual income of over €250,000 in 2019, 875 reported an income in excess of €1million. This is up from 855 in 2018.
  • 72% of charities on the Register had fewer than 20 volunteers. 43% of charities had no employees.  42% reported having between 1-19 employees, 8% had between 20-49, 5% had 50-249 while 2% had between 250-499.

Commenting on the publication of the Annual Report, Helen Martin, Chief Executive of the Charities Regulator said, “During 2019 we made significant progress on activities to support the Charities Regulator’s vision of a vibrant, trusted charity sector that is valued for the public benefit that it provides. A particular focus for the Charities Regulator today is the challenge that COVID-19 represents and I would like to thank all those involved in the charity sector, from those working on the front line, to those supporting local communities across the country. We will continue to monitor its impact on the sector, and we will provide information and guidance to charities as they navigate this very difficult period.”

Also commenting on the report, Patrick Hopkins, Chairperson of the Charities Regulatory Authority said, “Like all parts of society, the Charities Regulatory Authority and the charities sector are not immune from the effects of the current health crisis. We are committed to building on what was achieved in 2019 and ensuring that all those working tirelessly across our communities to deliver much needed services have the information and guidance available to them to ensure that their charities can continue to provide those services in a manner that enhances public trust and confidence in the sector. On behalf of the Board and the staff of the Charities Regulator, we would therefore like to thank all of our stakeholders for their continuing support and engagement with our work.”

See full list of registered Irish Charities on the Register of Charities

 The Charities Regulator Annual Report can be found here