CUTBACKS in Government funding may force some charities to close.
A survey by accountancy firm Grant Thornton found that 83pc of charities are unable to plan any activities beyond two years because they don't know if they will have enough money.
Turlough Mullen, partner at Grant Thornton, said the non-profit sector has never been in such a perilous state.
Government funding is almost twice as important as voluntary contributions to charities, with 60pc of those questioned in the study stating that they relied on money from the State.
Some 34pc said they depend on voluntary handouts.
The report warned that the sector "may contract significantly in the next few years".
Grant Thornton's 2012 Not-for-Profit Study questioned 990 non-profit organisations.
Other key findings include:
•Almost a third of those surveyed said day-to-day funding was the most challenging issue facing them.
•As a result of Government cuts, 73pc of charities have had to introduce other forms of fundraising.
•47pc said they can only plan activities for up to a year because of financial and fundraising concerns.
The Irish Cancer Society said 95pc of its funding is generated from the public.
"We're lucky that we're well supported by the Irish public," a spokeswoman said.
The Samaritans also said it raises the bulk of its funds itself.