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“Survey reveals services under threat as donations fall and need soars”

Two-thirds of Irish charities have taken steps in the past six months to increase transparency and strengthen their governance, a conference at Croke Park heard today. The Wheel’s National Conference for the Charity Sector also heard that a survey of 295 charities conducted in April shows that the recent negative publicity surrounding the CRC and Rehab is having a detrimental impact on other charities already struggling with falling incomes and a growing demand for their services.

The survey conducted by The Wheel, a national network of 950 charities, found that 61% the charites suveyed claim that their fundraising has been affected by the negative publicity. Of these, nearly half (47%) say that since November 2013 their fundraising is down by up to 10%.

Steps taken by those surveyed to increase transparency and strengthen their governance, include: publishing their annual accounts online, publishing information about the renumeration of senior staff and adopting the Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations.

These findings come against a wider backdrop of falling incomes and growing demand for services in the charity sector. According to the survey:

  • 59% of the charities surveyed say their overall income has fallen over the past year,
  • more than two-thirds (67%) say demand for their services has increased over the same period,
  • and over a third (36%) have cut back or suspended services in the past year.

Commenting on these findings, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel said: “In Ireland, charities have always been held in very high regard; they are among our most trusted institutions, and the Irish public rank among generous donors in the world. It is therefore reasonable to expect that charities meet the highest standards. The vast majority of charities are committed to good governance and transparency, and the introduction of the Charities Regulatory Authority will provide added assurance for both the public and the charity sector”.

The conference was sponsored by Ulster Bank.


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