Mary O’Kennedy and Bruce Tait have together launched the new recruitment company Charity Careers...
As part of O'Kennedy Consulting's CSR policy, we make annual donations to a number of charities – recent beneficiaries include the Red Cross Child Soldiers Appeal www.redcross.ie , St. Vincent de Paul www.svp.ie , Alone www.alone.ie and Christ Orphanage www.christorphange.com
If you would like to see an extensive list of Irish based charities log onto http://directory.wheel.ie or click on any of O’Kennedy Consulting’s clients and partner websites listed. Another site that allows you to list your charity for donors or search for charities to support is www.mycharity.ie.
Tax Relief Information
Tax relief is available in Ireland for donations to charities with CHY 2 status. The Irish 2001 Finance Act provided for a new uniform scheme of tax relief for donations to non-profit organisations, establishing different arrangements for individual and corporate donations.
In order for a donation to qualify for the relief, the minimum gift in any one year to an approved body is €250.
Further information regarding this tax relief is available from www.revenue.ie.
Charity Legislation and Fundraising Codes of Practice
It is a changing time in Ireland today in the non-for-profit sector with the Charities Bill passing through by the Dáil earlier this year. Up to now there has been no organisation tasked with the specific aim of supervising the sector or with the power to maintain a Register of Charities and there has also been a limited amount of:
» Public information on the number of charities active in Ireland » Public information on the financial worth of the charity sector
» Public information on the number of people working in the charity sector
» Public information on the way charities spend their funds
The purpose of the Bill was to enact a reform of the law relating to charities in order to ensure accountability and to protect against abuse of charitable status and fraud. It aimed also to enhance public trust and confidence in charities and increase transparency in the sector. The Bill, together with the Charities Acts 1961 and 1973, and the Street and House to House Collections Act 1962, provide for a composite regulatory framework for charities through a combination of new legislative provisions and retention of existing charities legislation, with updating, where appropriate. For the first time there is to be a statutory definition of what a charity is.
A Charity Regulation Authority and a Charities Register are being established. The Charity Regulation Authority has five objectives:
1. To increase public trust and confidence in charities
2. To promote compliance by charity trustees with legal obligations in exercising control and management of the administration of their charities
3. To promote the effective use of charitable resources
4. To enhance the accountability of the charities to donors, beneficiaries and the general public
5. To promote awareness and understanding of the operation of the public benefit requirement
The Regulator for Charities also has the following general functions:
» To determine whether organisations are charities or not
» To establish and maintain an accurate and up to date Register of Charities
» To encourage, facilitate and monitor compliance with legislation by Charities and Not For Profit organisations
» To investigate apparent misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of charities and to take appropriate remedial or protective action
» To encourage and facilitate the better administration and conduct of charities by the providing advice, best practice guidelines and code of conduct documents
Solely in relation to fundraising, the general scheme for the Charities Regulation Bill provides that:
1: All charities seeking to operate or fundraise within the State will be obliged to register with the new Charities Regulator
2: Permits will be required for all public collections for the benefit of charities except within the grounds of places used for public worship
3: The Charities Regulator will require charities to provide information concerning their fundraising activities in their applications for registration, as well as in their annual accounts and annual returns
4: Codes of Good Practice will be developed with the charities sector in relation to practices and procedure i.e.: the operational and administrative aspects of charitable fundraising.
The ICTR (Irish Charities Tax Research Group www.ictr.ie ) has been invited by the Government to manage the implementation of the Codes of Practice on Fundraising and how the proposed scheme will come into operation. The ICTR has now set up an Implementation Group which is made up of representatives of the charities sector and the relevant statutory agencies with an independent input from representative donors. This group will also draw on support from professionals specialising in this area (e.g. fundraisers, accountants and legal experts) and look at the best way to prepare and support charities with the new regulations during the implementation phase of both the Charities Act 2009 and the Fundraising Codes of Practice, at task which is estimated to take over two years to achieve.