Speaking at the first meeting of the Forum, which he chaired, Minister Hogan stated: ‘Recent research by Philanthropy Ireland has confirmed that the Irish People are indeed generous contributing more than €460m to good causes last year. I believe that if we develop the right environment for charitable fundraising and philanthropy the Irish people will contribute even more to funding civil society and creating a better and a fairer Ireland’.

“Civil society has a vital role to play in addressing the many challenges now facing the Irish people, the development of charitable fundraising capacity and the expansion of philanthropy in Ireland will better support the work of charities, voluntary groups, and artistic organisations who are doing so much to help people cope with the economic crisis and to make Ireland a better place to live.”

He urged the Forum to report back by the end of the year with an agenda for action, and pledged his support for bright and sensible proposals to develop the sector.

Philanthropy Ireland has welcomed the convening of the expanded Forum and Philanthropy and Fundraising. Seamus Mulconry Executive Director of Philanthropy Ireland said that “Ireland needs a vibrant Civil Society and Philanthropy is one of the ways in which civil society can be supported to the benefit of all” The Minister has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the development of the sector and it is now up to the sector to bring new and innovative ideas to Government and to work with Government to create the optimum environment for the development of planned giving”