Minister Donohoe  launches most comprehensive ever analysis of Irish non-profits

28th April, 2017

Benefacts report identifies trends in financial and governance data and helps further our understanding of non-profit sector


A major new report on Irish non-profits- the first of its kind- was launched today (Friday) by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD,. Using public data derived from more than 8,000 non-profit company reports for 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ireland, Benefacts has identified some key trends in the sector which today employs almost 150,000 people, turns over nearly €11bn annually and accounts for 8% of all current Exchequer expenditure.


Also speaking at the event was the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly and Patricia Quinn, Benefacts MD.


Among the key findings of the report: 

  • 310 charities and other nonprofits delivering public services as quasi-public bodies receive more than 70% of the €5.3bn which the Government commits in funding annually to the sector (these are the higher education bodies, voluntary hospitals and local service providers and are listed on


  • In this sector, just over 1% of people receive more than €70,000 in annual remuneration compared to 12.8% in the workforce at large, and most of the higher-paid people are working in quasi-public bodies where their salaries are linked to public sector pay scales


  • Disclosure standards in 2015 have fallen, with 23% of all charities opting to file abridged financial statements, which provide no information about the sources of their income


Speaking at the launch, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to have been invited here today to officially launch the Benefacts Analysis of Irish non-profits 2017. The sector turns over nearly €11bn annually, half of which comes from State funding, with the sector employing close to 150,000 people. The work undertaken by Benefacts significantly enhances the effectiveness of Government’s – and wider society’s – interaction with the non-profit sector. This delivers major benefits to us all in terms of transparency, governance, regulation and, importantly, policy making’.


Benefacts founder and MD Patricia Quinn commented: ‘When you consider that non-profits constitute at least 10% of all of the organisations in Ireland, it’s remarkable that it has taken so long to give them the recognition they deserve. Thanks to new charity regulation, new company reporting standards and consistent government commitment to Open Data principles, we are now able to bring some transparency to a sector that has languished in the shade for too long. We have committed to making this an annual report, disclosing key trends and helping to restore trust in Ireland’s civil society organisations’.


The report is available as a downloadable document and as a new interactive section on the Benefacts public website: 


About Benefacts

Founded in 2014, Benefacts promotes the transparency of Irish non-profits by providing easy access to regulatory, financial and governance data about the sector in Ireland.  Benefacts is itself a non-profit company, and is funded by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, The Ireland Funds and The Atlantic Philanthropies.


Additional support for the production of this report has been provided by Davy, the Healy Group and The Ireland Funds.