Legacy income for nonprofits in Ireland continues to grow and the annual national total may be more than €100m, says a new report.
But the market is still smaller than a number of other legacy markets in Europe, according to the latest Legacy Insights Ireland report, from consultancy Campaign Solutions.
The report identifies a total of €87.2m verified legacy income for charities and religious organisations in Ireland in 2021, up from €34.6m in the report’s first year (2015).
This increase is mostly due to improved data, with the researchers saying that legacy income data is unavailable for many of the country’s nonprofits, in particular religious bodies, universities and independent schools. As such, the actual total figure for 2021 is likely to be higher than €100m.
But it also shows that legacy fundraising is “clearly growing” in the country; looking only at the nonprofits it was possible to include in the report in both years, legacy income has increased by 40% from 2016 to 2021.
The median legacy income for Irish nonprofits in 2021 was €93,214, up from €81,476 in 2020. The (mean) average total was €312,702 – down from €426,829 in 2020, but much closer to the €312,530 figure for 2019.
The report says that 21 organisations received more than €1m in legacy income in 2021, up from 16 in 2017. Meanwhile, “minimal, or even zero legacy income” is received by sports clubs, or by organisations in the arts & culture, environment and LGBTQ+ areas.
Legacy Insights Ireland shows that in Ireland in 2021, 5.1% of the sector’s fundraised income was through legacies. The figure was more than 19% in the UK, 11% in France, 11% in Switzerland, 10% in Belgium, 10% in the USA and 7.9% in the Netherlands. However, Ireland is ahead of Spain (4.9%), New Zealand (4%) and Germany (1.8%).
The report says:
“This seems to be the moment for legacy in Ireland. Charities are increasingly recognising and appreciating its importance – and potential. For many countries, legacy income is the only growing fundraising source. It is clear that legacy income can increase significantly in Ireland in the coming years and decades also.”
The report also notes that 2017 was an exceptional year for legacy giving in Ireland, when little-known, orphaned millionaire Elizabeth O’Kelly left €30m in her will to five charities.
Picture by Steven Hylands on Pexels
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