New Charity 100 Index Reveals Ireland’s Top Earning Charities

New Charity 100 Index Reveals Ireland’s Top Earning Charities

Boardmatch Ireland’s new Charity 100 Index reveals Ireland’s top 100 highest earning charities over a three year period.

The Index which is based on annual turnover also tracks changes in income of the 100 charities over a three year period. From 2009-2011, the charity sector saw an overall decrease in income of 8.8% or €265 million. The Index offers an unprecedented insight into the financial health and variances of the Irish charity sector.
Key findings from the Index:

• From 2009 to 2011 there has been an 8.8% decrease in the gross income of the top 100 Charities. This translates to a reduction from €3.05 billion in 2009 to €2.78 billion in 2011.

• The top 10 charities in the Index are dominated by hospitals. Four of the top ten are voluntary hospitals grant aided by the HSE.

• St Vincent’s Health Care is the highest earning charity in Ireland with a gross income of €363 million for 2011.

• Overseas development NGO Bóthar was the biggest faller, dropping 22 places on the Index since 2009. It has seen an overall decline of 26% in its income of since 2009.

• The biggest climber has been the UCD Foundation which has seen its annual income increase by 204% since 2009. It has moved from 150th Place in 2009 to 47th in 2011.

• Health is the biggest sub-sector represented in the Index with 11 voluntary hospitals and 4 hospices making it into the top 100. The overall turnover of the 11 voluntary hospitals has declined 8% since 2009 to €1.2 billion in 2011.

• Overseas aid is the second biggest sub-sector represented on the index. It has seen an overall increase of 10.4% in its combined income since 2009. In 2011, the combined income of the overseas aid charities in the Index was €270 million.

• Trusts, Unincorporated bodies and Co-ops are exempt from the list as they are not required to file annual returns to the Companies Registration Office. This excludes some prominent charities such as Trócaire which is a Trust and The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul which is Unincorporated.

• The income declared in Trócaire’s annual report would place them 9th on the index if they returned accounts. The income declared in the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul’s annual report would place them 8th on the Index.

Charity Commission to scrutinise charities with pension deficits

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is to investigate charities with pension deficits as part of its pledge to take a ‘tougher stance’ on non-compliance issues.

In its annual report on investigations and compliance work, Tackling abuse and mismanagement the Commission said that it was increasing the number of charities accounts that it would review to over 6 per cent of the Register.

The Commission has faced criticism from MPs for not making full use of its powers to regulate the charity sector.

CEO of the Charity Commission said; “By taking a tougher approach to non-compliance in charities and using our powers more frequently in cases which are the most serious, we can protect charity funds at risk and ensure we are better able to identify and deal with individuals who negligently or deliberately abuse charities, making them accountable to the regulator and in turn the public for their wrongdoing.”


Merry Christmas from the Boardmatch office!

Boardmatch would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2013 has been a record year for Boardmatch in terms of matches made, a success which would not have been possible without the input of all the candidates and organisations registered with us. We would like to extend a huge thanks to all who have engaged with the website and wish them every success with their new placements/Board members.

With your valuable input, we look forward to further strengthening governance in the sector in 2014.

New report finds Charity Commission is not regulating charities effectively.

A report by the National Audit Office has criticised the Charity Commission for England and Wales for not regulating charities effectively.

The report ‘The Regulatory Effectiveness of the Charity Commission’ said that whilst the Commission carries out important and necessary work, it finds that there is a gap between what the public expects of the Commission and what it actually does.

The report found that the regulator used information poorly to assess risk and often relies solely on trustee’s assurances. It also criticised the regulator for making little use of its powers and for failing to take tough action in some of the most serious cases.

Amongst key recommendations, the National Audit Office spoke of the need for the Commission to think radically about alternative ways of meeting its objectives with constrained resources. The report also recommended the Commission make greater use of its statutory powers in line with its objectives of maintaining public confidence in the sector, and develop an approach to identify and deal with those few trustees who deliberately abuse charitable status.

Speaking about the findings, Amyas Morse Head of the National Audit Office said:

“The Charity Commission has responsibility for protecting the good name of the charity sector as a whole, as well as other specific duties. It is too passive in pursuing this objective and in making the case for the resources to allow it to do so effectively. We welcome the early plans for a reset of its approach and strategy being proposed by its new Board, and encourage them not to fall short of the radical change of pace and rigour which is evidently needed.”

Preparing for the Charities Regulatory Authority

The latest scandal to hit the Irish charity sector reaffirms the importance of the incoming Charities Regulatory Authority. In order to help charities prepare, Boardmatch Ireland has compiled a useful list of the key requirements placed on charities under the new regulatory framework.

Register of Charities

The Regulator will be responsible for maintaining a register of all charitable organisations operating in Ireland. The information maintained on this register will be publicly available as a means of boosting transparency and by extension, public trust of the sector.

  • Charities in receipt of charitable tax exemption from the Revenue Commissioners will be automatically registered with the Regulator once it is established.
  • All other charitable organisations must register within six months of the establishment of the Regulator.
  • Under the new legislation, all charities will be required to state that they are registered with the Regulator on their public literature. This would include letters, reports, publications etc.


Annual Activity Report
In line with the new reporting standards outlined in the Charities Act, all charities will be required to submit an Annual Activity Report to the Regulator. The format of the document was discussed during the public consultation period earlier this year but is yet to be finalised. For a synopsis of responses from the organisations and individuals that took part in the consultation click here. It is envisaged that the Annual Activity Report will be akin to the document required by either the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Financial Accounts
Company Law states that charities that are registered as companies are required to submit annual accounts to the Companies Registration Office (CRO). Under the regulatory framework, the CRO will submit these annual accounts to the Regulator.

A different set of requirements will apply to charities that are not registered as companies.

  • Unincorporated charities will be required to submit an Annual Statement of Accounts to the Regulator.
  • Where the gross income or expenditure of a charitable organisation in a financial year does not exceed €100,000, the charity may prepare an income and expenditure account and a statement of the assets and liabilities of the charitable organisation.
  • Charities that are not companies which receive less than €10,000 in a financial year will be exempt from filing annual accounts. These bodies are still required to submit their Annual Activity Report.


The Charities Act defines ‘Charity Trustees’ as those persons having day-to-day control of a charitable organisation.

  • Under the new legislation, all charities will be obliged to inform the Regulator of the identities of all its trustees. For companies limited by guarantee this refers to its Directors, but there are also different types of trustee which are included under this provision.
  • For example, members of ‘management committees’ or core groups’ will be deemed trustees under the new legislation.

The Charities Act 2009 outlines the following functions for the Charities Regulatory Authority:

  • increase public trust and confidence in the management and administration of charitable trusts and charitable organisations;
  • promote compliance by charity trustees with their duties in the control and management of charitable trusts and charitable organisations;
  • promote the effective use of the property of charitable trusts or charitable organisations;
  • ensure the accountability of charitable organisations to donors and beneficiaries of charitable gifts, and the public;
  • promote understanding of the requirement that charitable purposes confer a public benefit;
  • establish and maintain a register of charitable organisations;
  • ensure and monitor compliance by charitable organisations with this Act;
  • carry out investigations in accordance with this Act;
  • encourage and facilitate the better administration and management of charitable organisations by the provision of information or advice, including in particular by way of issuing (or, as it considers appropriate, approving) guidelines, codes of conduct, and model constitutional documents;
  • carry on such activities or publish such information (including statistical information) concerning charitable organisations and trusts as it considers appropriate;
  • provide information (including statistical information) or advice, or make proposals, to the Minister on matters relating to the functions of the Authority.

Department of Justice and Equality

To view the entire Charities Act 2009 which details the full remit of the new Charities Regulatory Authority, click here.

Young people giving more to charity in NI

A study carried out by NICVA (the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action) has shown that levels of charitable giving have increased amongst 16-24 year olds since 2011.

Donations from this demographic increased from an average of £3.60 in 2011 to £8.68 in 2013, possibly owing to an increase in donations via text and social media the council said.

The survey showed that overall, charitable donations have increased slightly in Northern Ireland, up from 66% in 2011 to 73% in 2013.

Speaking about the findings, Lisa McElherron Head of Public Affairs at NICVA said: “It is good to see that despite the economic downturn people are continuing to give to charity. The increase in donations from young people is particularly interesting and we are going to do some more research into this to help fundraisers in the sector make the most from new technology in raising money.”

Source: NICVA