Irish Charities Shed Staff Due to Recession

Irish charities are cutting back on staff pay, benefits and administrative costs in an attempt to cope with funding cuts and a drop in public donations, according to a new survey conducted by The Wheel.

The survey found that three quarters (74.9%) of organisations have experienced a drop in their incomes over the past six months. Of the 246 charities who responded to the survey, 62% have had their government funding cut in the past year, and 35% have experienced a drop in public donations.

One in ten have made staff redundant in the past six months, and 58% have cut either pay or benefits. Over 80% said that salaries and personnel costs are their single biggest expense.

The majority of organisations (52.9%) have also either delayed or suspended projects during the past six months, due to financial concerns.

Statutory funding remains the primary source of income for community and voluntary organisations, and surprisingly, 35.7% reported that they do not fundraise from the public at all. A quarter of the organisations surveyed received more than €500,000 from the State in the past 12 months.

Speaking about the survey, Deirdre Garvey, chief executive of The Wheel, said community and voluntary organisations operated on tight margins and were vulnerable to funding cuts.

Future cuts would have "a direct impact on the level of services they provide in areas such as health, disabilities, housing and education," she said.

Download a summary of the survey here.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted in November 2009 by The Wheel amongst its members and received 246 responses.