Sunday 25 August 2019

Na Fianna's work has a €50m social value - survey

Na Fianna chairman Cormac Ó Donnchú says results are astounding. Picture: Arthur Carron
Na Fianna chairman Cormac Ó Donnchú says results are astounding. Picture: Arthur Carron
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Fifty million euro - that's the social value to the work and investment undertaken by Glasnevin-based Na Fianna GAA club to their membership and wider community, according to an extensive body of research undertaken over the course of a year.

Dublin County Board and the club commissioned Sandra Velthuls of Whitebarn Consulting to conduct the ground-breaking research which sought to put a value on what a GAA club does.

The consultancy analysed the club from July 2017 to June 2018, using 667 surveys, 17 one-to-one interviews, five focus groups and one working group.

Velthuls is an accredited practitioner of social return on investment (SROI) and used a 'monetisation' process that equates the value that people place on outcomes generated by an organisation or programme to other things that they attach importance to.

When the approach and findings are applied to all 91 clubs in the greater Dublin area, the conservative social value is placed at €1 billion.

The €50m figure works out at a return of €15 for every one euro invested based on an investment in time and money of €3.5m, €800,000 in cash and €2.5m in volunteer time with the rest made up in assets and proxys. So "astounding" were the findings when the club first got sight of them that they subsequently sent them for international verification.

Players got the biggest benefit, estimated to be worth €40m, parents got €5.3m worth of social value with supporters knocking €1.44m out of their association, according to the findings.

Na Fianna is one of the largest GAA clubs in Dublin with a 3,000-strong membership. From that there are 166 teams and 1,938 registered players across six codes with coaching extending into 10 schools in their catchment area.

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The consultation focused on what people felt they got out of their involvement in a GAA club with Na Fianna's profile and that was worked into a monetary value.

It found that:

t 93pc said their physical and mental health improved in a way it would not have without club involvement.

t 97pc learned new sporting and life skills.

t 89pc formed friendships at Na Fianna that they would not have otherwise made.

t 97pc of parents believed that Na Fianna provides their children with valuable health and social benefit.

Commenting on the report's findings, Na Fianna chairman Cormac Ó Donnchú said: "For years there has been talk about the value each GAA club brings to its local community. But now, for the first time ever, Na Fianna are in a position to put a monetary value on it and, frankly, these results are astounding.

"When we had first sight of the study's findings, we were concerned that it might have been overstated so we sent the report for verification to Social Value International, an independent body who stood over and assured the report's findings".

The report was launched in the Na Fianna clubhouse last night.

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