Irish charities shed staff as recession bites

Funding cuts and falling donations force charities to make savings, The Wheel survey shows

One in 10 charities in Ireland has shed staff in the past six months as funding cuts and a drop in donations take their toll.

A survey by Irish charity umbrella body The Wheel also found three-quarters of organisations had experienced a fall in income over the same period.

Sixty-two per cent of respondents to the poll, which took place between 2 and 11 November and involved 246 charities, said they had seen their government funding cut in the past year. Thirty-five per cent had seen a fall in public donations.

Fifty-eight per cent of organisations had cut either pay or benefits. A majority has also delayed or suspended projects in the past six months because of financial concerns.

The poll also indicated that more than 35 per cent of Irish charities did not fundraise from the public.

Deirdre Garvey, chief executive of The Wheel, said community and voluntary organisations operated on tight margins and were vulnerable to funding cuts.

Future cuts would have "a direct impact on the level of services they provide in areas such as health, disabilities, housing and education," she said.




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