Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (426, 427, 428)

Barry Cowen

Question:

426. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the budget allocated from his Department to Philanthropy Ireland; the number of staff currently employed by Philanthropy Ireland; the total budget allocated for staff in Philanthropy Ireland; the selection process and criteria relating to the chairman and chief executive officer, CEO, of Philanthropy Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4846/14]

View answer

Barry Cowen

Question:

427. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide, in tabular form, the expenditure of Philanthropy Ireland on public relations, consultancy fees and external expertise since 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4847/14]

View answer

Barry Cowen

Question:

428. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the progress made by Philanthropy Ireland in its mission to increase the level of philanthropic activity here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4848/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 426 to 428, inclusive, together.

The Government established the Forum on Philanthropy in May 2006 to promote a culture of philanthropy in Ireland. The Forum initially comprised the Departments of An Taoiseach (in the Chair), Finance and Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, as well as five private philanthropic organisations, including Philanthropy Ireland, the independent representative body for all philanthropic organisations and interests engaged with the development of philanthropy and giving in Ireland. On 1 May 2011, responsibility for the Forum was transferred to my Department. I broadened its focus to support the development of both philanthropy and fund-raising. During 2012, the Forum set out ambitious plans to increase philanthropic giving from its current estimated level of approximately €500 million per annum to €800 million by 2016. The drivers for this increase in giving fall under four overarching themes: a national giving campaign, fiscal and infrastructure recommendations, fund-raising capacity improvements and a social innovation fund.

In order to make progress on implementing the proposals recommended under each of these four themes responsibility has been assigned to existing organisations, including Philanthropy Ireland, with the necessary expertise and capacity to take the lead in delivering on the recommendations of the Forum to grow and develop the philanthropy and fund-raising sectors. Very significant progress has been made on the implementation of the Forum’s plans. A National Giving Campaign, the one percent difference, has been launched – details of the campaign are on the website www.onepercentdifference.ie. The tax treatment of donations to charities has been simplified and decoupled from business tax incentives, a road map has been set out for the implementation of the Charities Act, including the setting up of a Charities Regulator, and the Social Innovation Fund, which is in the early stages of development.

My Department continues to support the Forum. In this respect, funding of approximately €1.9 million over a three-year period, beginning in 2012, is being allocated to Philanthropy Ireland on the basis that it is matched with funding from philanthropic sources. My Department oversees the contractual arrangements in relation to the funding to Philanthropy Ireland in respect of their work on behalf of the Forum. Details in respect of 2012 are set out in the table. Details in respect of 2013 are not yet to hand in my Department. As Philanthropy Ireland is a private company, my Department has no role in relation to its operations or its board membership.

I share the Forum’s view that, even in these difficult times, we have the opportunity to increase substantially the level of private investment in the philanthropic and fund-raising sectors. It is not intended to substitute for Government investment, but to supplement it. As well as unlocking significant private funding to address fundamental social and economic challenges, increased private giving to good causes will also support the Government’s strategy to increase employment.

Table

Philanthropy Ireland Limited, National Giving Campaign for the year ended 31 December 2012

National Giving Campaign

Expenditure

General Events

€6,942

Research

€57,562

Public Relations

€77,332

Advertising

€19,355

Travel and Subsistence

€1,635

Printing, stationery and postage

€5,156

Sundry expenses

€96

Legal and professional (including procurement process)

€25,458

Legal and professional (Soc Inn Fund)

€5,063

Project management fees

€30,996

Books and Subscriptions (Tax and Regulation)

€232

Total

€229,827