Third Sector

Benefacts 2019

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.

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

The rest – including thousands of local, religious or sports organisations – are unincorporated associations.

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

Third sector institutional types

Unincorporated entities are the largest single group of Irish nonprofits, followed by companies limited by guarantee (CLGs). At the end of Q1 2019, 9,800 were registered as charities - a net increase of 740 on Q1 2018.

Third Sector establishment dates

Some incorporated nonprofits are long-established institutions. Many were established between 2000 and 2010, often as special purpose vehicles to provide job creation, local development, social supports and other arms' length services on behalf of the State. Many more unincorporated entities are not included in this analysis because their date of foundation is not publicly available.

Third Sector geographic distribution

Nonprofits are established in every part of Ireland.

Third Sector income profile

The financial turnover of most nonprofits is small, with many relying largely or exclusively on voluntary effort.

State/Third Sector funding relationships

Almost three quarters of reported State funding (€4.2bn) goes to 1% of Irish nonprofits.

Breakdown by sector

The greatest number of nonprofits are in the Local development, Housing, Recreation & Sports sectors. The smallest sectors are International and Advocacy.

Charities pattern Charities