Benefacts Analysis, 2019


This is the third annual Third Sector analysis prepared by Benefacts, using currently available public data derived from more than 40 sources. 

Use the report to learn more about the Third Sector, its governancepeople and funding.

Third Sector

Ireland's Third Sector has 29,300 organisations. About 9,500 nonprofits are incorporated as companies, 4,050 are primary or secondary schools, 795 more are incorporated as friendly societies, cooperatives, industrial societies, political parties or statutory bodies. The rest – including thousands of local, religious or sports organisations – are unincorporated associations.

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You are welcome to use any of the material published in this report, so long as you acknowledge Benefacts as the source.



More than 80,000 people serve in the governance of Irish nonprofits and charities. 

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The Third Sector in Ireland has at least 163,000 paid employees. This number doesn't include teachers, who are paid directly by Government, or unpaid volunteers.

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At €5.9bn, Government was the biggest single source of funding to the Third Sector in 2017. This was 8.4% of all current Government spending that year - but the profile varies a lot from sector to sector.

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About the data

Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits is the source of all of the data and analysis on this website. We compile the database from more than 10 public sources, including the Companies Registration Office and the Charities Regulator, as well as 27 Public Participation Networks. We clean and aggregate it and re-publish the public data here as a free service.

Information about individual nonprofits is updated regularly as they file fresh information with public regulators. Our 2019 analysis is a macro level snapshot of the whole sector, prepared with data that was available at the end of Q1 in that year.  We will publish the next annual analysis at the end of Q1 2020. 

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Benefacts Third Sector Analysis 2019

Benefacts Third Sector Analysis 2018

Benefacts Third Sector Analysis 2017