Forum seeks 60% increase in charitable donations to get the most from our culture of giving
New Social Innovation Fund, National Giving Campaign and taxation infrastructure to transform Irish Philanthropy and Fundraising
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD re-convened the Forum on Philanthropy in June last year and set them a task to increase the level of philanthropic and charitable giving along with developing fundraising capacity and best practice across the sector. These and other findings and recommendations are contained in a report, by the Forum on Philanthropy and Fundraising, launched on July 4th in the National Library of Ireland by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and Minister Phil Hogan TD.
The report contains four main recommendations that will be implemented in the next four years. Those recommendations include:
- A National “Giving Campaign”- aimed at the public, high net worth individuals and corporates in Ireland to increase their giving.
- Improving the fiscal environment and incentivising greater giving.
- Developing better fundraising capacity, education and training among not-for-profits.
- Creating a National Social Innovation fund – supported by the Government and the philanthropic sector.
Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach said “The Forum on Philanthropy and Fundraising is very much a public private partnership, bringing together as it does the major philanthropies, Fundraising groups and the relevant Government Departments and Agencies, to help shape and refine a strategy to develop Philanthropy and Fundraising and increase the investment in good causes in Ireland. While the impetus for this initiative has come from the not for profit sector, my Government is more than happy to support and help to drive this important initiative”.
Minister Hogan added “One of my first actions in office was to reconvene the Forum on Philanthropy and extend its mandate to cover fundraising. I did so because I believe that Philanthropy and Fundraising can play a critical role in driving increased additional investment in the not-for-profit sector in Ireland. Not-for-profit organisations will play a key role in national renewal and will help to build a better Ireland. That is why I have provided over €1.1million this year to support the Forum’s agenda. The full potential of Ireland’s tradition of giving will now be realised as the culture and infrastructure of Irish philanthropy and fundraising will be transformed over the next four years.”
Chairman of the Forum, Frank Flannery said “The Forum on Philanthropy has set out a target to increase philanthropic giving in Ireland from around €500m per annum to €800m by 2016. We realise to many people this sounds like an ambitious target, especially given the current economic environment and the demands on people’s pockets. Nonetheless we have identified significant scope for growth in Irish charitable donations and believe that this transformation is possible.
“We are very fortunate in this country to have such a strong support for the whole notion of helping and support for worthwhile causes. That support from Government, voluntary organisations and citizens will be vital to our success. Having studied what can be done in other countries and the structures proposed here, we believe this growth is entirely achievable.”
Gerry Salole CEO European Foundation Centre said “The Forum’s commitment, in the depth of an economic recession, to establish a national giving campaign, to incentivise and facilitate citizens giving, to improve the skill set of non profits, and especially, the refreshing public- private partnership represented by the national social innovation fund reflects the cutting edge of philanthropic practice. Ireland has raised the bar and is surely setting a marker that should be emulated elsewhere in Europe at this critical time”.
The Forum has identified a number of areas that can be improved on; for example, only 15% of donors in Ireland give in a regular planned fashion compared to 36% in the UK. The Forum also points to the benefits of this more structured approach, by encouraging a system of planned donations which are on average five times larger than spontaneous donations.
Despite the current economic climate, the Forum has determined that there is still significant potential to increase the amount of money raised – between 2009 and 2010 the amount of money raised by charities actually increased by 23% (6% if overseas development charities are excluded).
More information can be found in the Forum on Philanthropy section of our website.