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Scotland Critical Fundraising Report

The Critical Fundraising Report for Ireland was published in July 2017 – launching at the Ask Direct Summer School. It contains seven essays exploring contemporary issues in Irish fundraising and makes 29 recommendations.

Issues tackled

  1. The fundraising profession in Ireland
    Colin Skehan (Merchants Quay Ireland)      

  2. Low levels of philanthropy and other forms of public giving 
    Gabrielle Murphy (Purplegrass Consulting)   

  3. Implications of GDPR for Irish fundraising
    Damian O’Broin (Ask Direct)  

  4. Fundraising and financial regulation in Ireland 
    Bruce Clark (ActionAid Ireland)    

  5. Media relations and public perception of giving 
    Aoife Garvey (Concern Worldwide)

  6. Lack of evidence and research about Irish fundraising and giving
    Séamus O’Conghaile (Merchants Quay Ireland)   

  7. A crowded sector and the risk of market saturation
    Simon Scriver (fundraising consultant and trainer).

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Recommendations include:

  • Establish a professional body specifically for fundraisers, as exists elsewhere, as a useful step toward increasing professional autonomy. 

  • Research career opportunities and bottlenecks to understanding how and why people leave the sector

  • Learn from the social enterprise sector in terms of demonstrating and reporting the impact of donors’ gifts.

  • More research data on the effectiveness of major gift initiatives is needed.

  • The fundraising sector should engage with the Data Protection Commissioner to produce an agreed code of practice for charities that cements legitimate interest as a basis for direct marketing.

  • Charities should invest in appropriate training for all relevant staff to ensure they understand GDPR and can manage and implement new regulations, policies and procedures.

  • The law needs to be updated to prevent charities from availing of the exemption under the Companies Act, which allows them to produce abridged accounts. Ultimately, Charity-SORP needs to become a legal requirement for charities, with requirements proportionate to size.

  • Establish a programme to benchmark nonprofits’ fundraising performances to produce better metrics and insight.

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More information

  • Download the Critical Fundraising (Ireland) Report.


Gaby Murphy

Task group leader

Purplegrass Consulting (Ireland)

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