New Research Point the Way to Developing Nonprofit Sector

Posted on 23 Mar 2021

A major new report into developing training and support infrastructure in Ireland’s nonprofit sector published today highlights the many challenges the sector faces in its work supporting communities.

Produced by Sheila Cahill Consulting, co-commissioned by Carmichael and The Wheel, and co-funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Consultation Report on the Support Needs of the Nonprofit Sector identifies areas for investment in training and supports and makes specific recommendations for the nonprofit sector and Government.

The research identifies several factors contributing to mounting pressure on Ireland’s c. 30,000 nonprofit organisations, including financial uncertainty, increased regulatory compliance requirements and the need for resources for ongoing training and development. The report also recognises the range of positive new strategies and initiatives that have been developed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, which point the way towards delivering the supports identified in the research.

In an address at the online launch of the Report Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel said: “The nonprofit sector will play a key role in Ireland’s social and economic recovery as we tackle the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the challenges facing nonprofit organisations are very significant and complex and the sector relies heavily on volunteers to fill the gap left by inadequate financial resources.  While the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has underscored the importance of the nonprofit sector, it is also likely to result in a period of economic uncertainty that will further exacerbate the challenges the sector faces. This timely report provides clear recommendations, which, if implemented, will allow the sector to make a significant contribution to Ireland’s social and economic recovery.”

Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, CEO of Carmichael speaking at the event said: “That with over 30,000 nonprofits touching almost every aspect of civic society and engaged in a wide range of services and supports to our communities, it is important to bear in mind that most are very small organisations with 85% of nonprofits having an annual income of less than €1million and 60% have an income of less than €250,000. Many are involved in much needed but complex activities but have to do so with limited resources and capacity. They need support with the delivery of services and the governance of their organisations. The findings and recommendations in this report, provide a detailed and practical roadmap for state bodies and sector support organisations to provide this support."

Read the report