Greater collaboration among professional fundraisers is needed to address some of the major issues facing fundraising in Ireland, according to a report by the think tank Rogare.

  

Published in August, The Critical Fundraising (Ireland) Report is the first in a series examining trends and issues in fundraising, and was developed by a task group led by Rogare International Advisory Panel member and Managing Director of Purplegrass Charity Consulting Gabrielle Murphy. As well as analysing Irish fundraising, it includes seven essays exploring some of the main issues.

 

Issues highlighted include:

- A serious shortage of fundraisers;

- An unfavourable tax environment;

- Low levels of professional fundraising training;

- A lack of research and data on fundraising and giving in Ireland;

- Uncertainty caused by the incoming GDPR; and

- A lack of representative body for fundraisers in Ireland.

 

The report states that many of the areas highlighted as issues can only be addressed at a sector level and therefore greater levels of collaboration are required to enable this.

 

Recommendations made in the report include:

- Charities must combine their efforts to lobby for greater tax incentives for legacy gifts and major charitable gifts;

- Establish a programme to benchmark nonprofits’ fundraising performances to produce better metrics and insight;

- Research career opportunities and bottlenecks to understand how and why people leave the sector;

- Charity-SORP needs to become a legal requirement for charities; and

- Invest in appropriate training for all relevant staff to ensure they understand GDPR and can manage and implement new regulations, policies and procedures.

 

Gabrielle Murphy, Managing Director of Purplegrass Consulting, said: “We hope that this report will spark not only debate but joint and collaborative action across the sector by fundraisers, perhaps even a round table discussion that reviews the issues raised in this report, and others that may not have been covered. Certainly the compilation of the report raised questions around whether we need a sector-wide strategy and prioritisation of the key issues for fundraising that we can work to address over the next three-to- five years. Perhaps greater levels of discussion and collaboration may be needed across the sector if we are to address the key challenges faced by Irish fundraisers.”

 

The Critical Fundraising (Scotland) Report is currently being researched by a team led by consultant Mafe Marwick, and will be published in November this year. It will be followed by a similar report for the USA in the first quarter of 2018. Rogare has said that similar reports for Italy and Canada may also follow.