The Charities Regulator has urged all charities across Ireland to comply with their legal requirements in order to boost overall public confidence in the sector.
The Charities Regulator’s 2021 Annual Report, published today, shows that only 64% of registered charities nationally had filed their annual reports on time, which is within 10 months of the charity’s financial year-end. These annual reports provide an overview of a charity’s finances and activities in the previous year and are published on the public Register of Charities.
The Annual Report also shows that almost half of Irish charities have an annual income of less than €250,000, according to information supplied in annual returns for 2020. Fifteen per cent of Irish charities have an annual income of more than €1 million. At the end of 2021, there were 3,140 charities registered in Dublin on the Register of Charities in Ireland, making it the highest county in the country.
Helen Martin, Chief Executive of the Charities Regulator said: “The question for charities is whether they can afford not to comply with the requirement to file annual reports. Funding is the number one concern for charities we surveyed, last year, and as inflation brings an increased cost of living, it will remain so.
“There is a strong link between greater transparency and accountability by charities and public trust in the sector, according to the public, making the charity’s annual report to the Charities Regulator an important means for registered charities to provide basic information to the public on their finances and activities in the previous year.”
Speaking on the publication of the Annual Report, Fingal TD and Minister of State Joe O’Brien, who has responsibility for Community Development and Charities said: “The 2021 Annual Report underlines the Regulator’s commitment to strengthening public confidence in our registered charities.
“While recognizing there is more to be done, the sector’s positive response to the Charities Governance Code demonstrates the will and determination that exists to further develop and augment standards and practices.
“The progression of the Charities (Amendment) Bill 2022 will also be of critical importance in assisting both the Regulator and our charity trustees in this regard.”
“In a year of continued challenge, posed by the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, I wish to thank the Chair and the Board of the Regulator, the management and staff, for their timely and effective provision of supports, guidance and oversight.”
Commenting on the launch of the Annual Report 2021, Patrick Hopkins, Chairperson of the Charities Regulator said: “Like all organisations and citizens across the country, the Charities Regulator started 2021 in lockdown and facing considerable uncertainty, as we prepared for another challenging year. Our commitment as an organisation to achieving our strategic priorities, along with the support we received from our stakeholders, helped us to meet these challenges.
“This also kept us focussed on our mission of regulating the charity sector in the public interest.”