Charities Institute Ireland has outlined its 2020 General Election priorities, with more adequate and sustainable funding at the top of the list for what it would like to see supported by the next government.
Charities Institute Ireland has shared its priorities with the senators and ministers who are the charity spokespeople for their parties, seeking sustainable funding in particular for Section 39 organisations: those delivering vital services across health, family support, social care and disability services.
It warns that unsustainable pay and conditions for the staff of these organisations is a major issue threatening the ability of many organisations to retain staff and provide services, and is seeking a commitment from government to address these issues.
Liz Hughes, CEO, Charities Institute Ireland, said:
“Sustainable funding for our member organisations is at the heart of Charities Institute Ireland asks for General Election 2020. All organisations need financial certainty to ensure that they can deliver on their strategic goals, their statutory obligations, and retain and motivate their employees. Charities are no different yet often find themselves in a situation where funding is not guaranteed which makes planning and the delivery of essential services and supports challenging and at times unachievable.
“We would ask that the next government invests time and resource into making funding structures more transparent and sustainable for the good of the sector and perhaps more importantly to provide greater peace of mind to those who benefit from the services and support our charities provide.”
Additional funding asks include a switch from annual renewals for government grants and service agreements to multi-annual funding to help charities plan more effectively, and support for charities with the costs associated with the Charities Regulatory Authority requirements to improve sector standards.
Charities Institute Ireland is also keen to see the implementation of recommendations from a recent report looking into the potential for a ‘Charity Passport’. This would provide a streamlined compliance and regulation system allowing Irish charities to enter their data once, for multiple uses, so reducing the administrative costs to government departments in repeat processing of information and reports.
Other priorities are increasing the currently over-subscribed VAT compensation scheme for charities, and encouraging philanthropy by introducing a direct tax incentive for major gifts, as recommended in the 2012 Forum on Philanthropy Report.
The election takes place on 8 February.