Insights from the Irish Not-for-Profit Sector Fundraising Performance Report Launch 2016

(15 Nov 2016)

Mazars are proud sponsors of 2into3’s Irish Not-for-Profit Sector: Fundraising Performace Report. The report examines the accounts of nearly 1,000 Irish not-for-profits in order to establish the total fundraised income from philanthropic sources in 2014, the fundraising performance of the sector, the fundraising mix in 2014 and the cost of fundraising by method.

The report was launched last week in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork with over 100 sector representatives attending panel discussion and roundtable events held across the country.

 

Key discusssion points emerging from the events include:

Fundraised Income

  • The increase in fundraised income in light of the scandals in 2013/2014 was viewed as positive but caution was noted regarding future growth due to economic uncertainties around Brexit which may impact on disposable income and overall giving levels.
  • There was an assumption that fundraised income reduced in 2014 but the data was described as powerful information which shows that experience fluctuated across the sector.
  • The response by one organisation to the scandals in 2014 was a review of fundraising, the development of a fundraising strategy and the hiring of a paid fundraiser. This resulted in a change in the culture of the organisation, implementation of the Governance Code and an overall increase in fundraised income.

Tax Incentive to Give

  • Tax innovation was described as being one explanation for the differential giving levels and efficiency between Ireland and the U.K.
  • A call to improve personal and corporate tax incentives to give, in line with the U.K., was made and to get philanthropic giving on the political agenda.
  • A lack of an enabling environment to increase fundraised income to match U.K. levels was noted. In order to begin to address this gap, there was call for a common coherent view and communication across the sector.
  • Ireland was described as generous in giving small donations however the gap needs to be filled at the top end of giving. High net worth individuals need to be incentivised to set up donor advised funds and trusts.
  • The lack of foundations, trusts and donor advised funds was noted when compared to the U.K. which impacts on the overall return on investment. The lack of incentivisation in philanthropic giving was seen as a big issue in promoting a giving culture.

Transparency

  • The lack of sectoral compliance with SORP was noted. Voluntary best practice guidelines and principles were described as positive but that full SORP compliance by the sector was needed. Transparency in reporting is also needed to instil donor confidence.
  • It was recommended that variance in the size of organisations in the sector should be taken into consideration when discussing compliance and incorporation as just over 50% of organisations have an income of less than €100,000.
  • It was stated that public perception of the sector impacts on philanthropic giving. It is up to the sector to be voluntarily transparent, communicate its impact and be ethical and not to wait to do so because of institutional standards.
  • Organisations raising a large amount of fundraised income were described as being transparent, it was stated that organisations who want to raise funds need to move into this direction. Transparency was described as improving donor assurance and giving levels.

The Need for Data

  • While providing analysis of annual accounts was described as being valuable, timely and regular data on fundraising was said to be needed. 2into3’s Quarterly Fundraising Monitor service was noted by the panel as a means to obtain frequent and up-to-date data. The request for more organisations to participate was made.
  • The use of quarterly market data in other sectors was noted and that the sector needs to aspire to this through the 2into3 Quarterly Fundraising Monitor. 
  • The use of data was described as highly valuable to share with Trustees and Board members to communicate the need for investment in the sector. Investment was described as being cut because Boards are afraid to spend money.
  • With the availability and use of more data, the nuances regarding investment, fundraising methods and the gap to the U.K and how this could be closed would be better understood.

Communication

  • There are public perceptions that state funding is sufficient so there is a need to educate the public on the impact of services and the need for additional income through fundraising.
  • Communication is needed on the impact of fundraised income. It was recommended that this message is coherent and visible.
  • Internal awareness within each fundraising organisation was described as necessary, with all members of the organisation having a role to play in communicating a common message.

Full report can be found here

About Mazars

Mazars is a leading audit, tax and advisory firm. With over 30 years’ experience, Mazars employs 300 staff in Dublin and Galway. Mazars Ireland is part of an integrated partnership with over 17,000 professionals in 77 countries. For more information please visit www.mazars.ie.

About 2into3

2into3 are Ireland's specialist advisors and capacity builders for the not-for-profit sector. Since 2006 2into3 have assisted a wide range of not-for-profits by providing consulting, recruitment, research and capacity building services. 2into3 provides a Quarterly Fundraising Monitor service offering subscribed organisations with frequent and comprehensive information on Ireland’s fundraising landscape. 

More information on the 2into3 Quarterly Fundraising Monitor service can be found here

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