The Irish government has backed plans presented by the Forum on Philanthropy to increase the level of philanthropic and charitable giving along with developing fundraising capacity and best practice.
The recommendations from the latest report from Forum, now renamed as the The Forum on Philanthropy and Fundraising, are for four activities to be implemented over the next four years:
• A National “Giving Campaign”, aimed at the public, high net worth individuals and corporates in Ireland to increase their giving.
• Improving the fiscal environment and incentivising greater giving.
• Developing better fundraising capacity, education and training among not-for-profits.
• Creating a National Social Innovation fund, supported by the Government and the philanthropic sector.
The Forum's report and recommendations were launched last week in the National Library of Ireland by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and Phil Hogan TD, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. The Minister has provided over €1.1million this year to support the Forum's agenda.
The Taoiseach said: "While the impetus for this initiative has come from the not for profit sector, my Government is more than happy to support and help to drive this important initiative".
Chairman of the Forum, Frank Flannery explained that the Forum's target was to increase philanthropic giving in Ireland from around €500m per annum to €800m by 2016. He admitted that many people might view this as an ambitious target given the current economic difficulties, but "nonetheless we have identified significant scope for growth in Irish charitable donations and believe that this transformation is possible".
One area that the Forum will focus on is regular giving. It found that only 15% of donors in Ireland give in a regular planned fashion compared to 36% in the UK.
Members of the Forum include representatives from Atlantic Philanthropies, Philanthropy Ireland, Fundraising Ireland, the Department of Finance, Business to Arts, and grantmakers like The Ireland Funds.