New Report on Charitable Fundraising


Irish Charities Tax Research and The Ireland Funds collaborated with the Centre for Nonprofit Management, Trinity College to conduct research to explore how nonprofits in Ireland are experiencing the impact of constrained economic circumstances. This research, which was carried out in February 2009, targeted CEOs, Financial Directors and Heads of Fundraising in order to examine how they are managing their voluntary income and their donor relationships. It also looked at how nonprofits are responding to the challenge in adjusting their strategies for 2009 and beyond. A total of 267 organisations participated in the study by completing an on-line survey.

I wonder will this report replicated later in the year, or at least a comparison done, as the information available in February would have been limited and would have mostly been projections of expected income levels. It would be great to see the projected V’s actual.

Today the results were released and I think it generally reflects what we have seen already, decrease in income, decrease in state funding (which I think is an important factor, did it affect results?), increase in demand, here are some highlights:

  • Three-quarters (74.9%) of 267 responding charities believed demand for their services would increase this year.
  • Almost two thirds (64%) expected a decrease in overall income in 2009.
  • Almost half (46.4%) of those who had volunteers working in their organisation stated that volunteer numbers had increased in the past two year.
  • Despite the Recession only a tiny fraction (6.7%) believed that volunteer numbers would decrease.  
  • 85% of responding organisations believed their organisations were threatened by the economic downturn, including the possibility that organisations would “either downsize or cease to exist as a result of the economic situation.”
  • The majority of organisations are planning to increase their fundraising activities in 2009, of which running fundraising events is the most popular choice, a case of more effort being required in order to stand still,

I like the part of this quote that says there are opportunities

“Charities clearly see difficult challenges ahead and whilst some believe that new opportunities may arise most are concerned that they will be unable to meet the new demands facing them in the current economic climate,” the Report states.

Here are what people saw as the opportunities:


I would agree about the need for charities having to be even more creative (let’s face it they can be pretty creative places0. The Report says …Charities “are going to have to become more creative and find new ways of dealing with increased demand for services on the one hand and declining income and staff numbers on the other,”

Download the Full Report Here

A seminar, Charitable Fundraising in an Economic Downturn, to present the findings of the survey and consider the implications for charities and explore possible responses, is being held by the Centre for Nonprofit Management in Trinity College Dublin, on Thursday, May 28th. Email for details


2 thoughts on “New Report on Charitable Fundraising

  1. Hi Conor, the report will be repeated annually, and you are right, with the next one then we will really see the results of what’s going on… we also hope to expand the survey (subject to us getting the resources ourselves 😉 to look at the delivery/impact side of organisations. Siobhan

    • Thanks Siobhan. Its a welcomed move to see this research being carried out in the marketplace. I also believe the more that is done the more open people will be in terms of their willingness to share information. Thanks

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