€94,718,450 was reported in charity bequests for 2021, accounting for 3.3% of charity income according to the Charity Regulator’s new report on Charitable Bequests. This data was derived from the analysis of 6,007 annual reports for the year 2021, all of which were filed by February 2023.
It is worth noting that nearly one-fifth of registered charities had not yet filed their annual reports at the time of data extraction, suggesting that the overall sum of bequests is likely higher than what is reflected in the report.
Out of the 411 charities that submitted reports, bequest income accounted for 3.3% of their total income. The majority of these charities, about two-thirds, reported bequest amounts below €100,000, with approximately 25% reporting figures below €5,000.
On the other end of the scale, 24 respondents disclosed bequest incomes surpassing €100,000 and two charities reported amounts exceeding €500,000.
The highest individual bequest amount reported by a single charity was €9,623,000.
Building on the data outlined by the Charity Regulator, bequests are important for charities as they can allow them to do work outside of the day to day and provide space to plan strategically for the future. They also provide opportunities to leverage additional funding.
For donors, bequests provide an opportunity for individuals and families to leave a lasting legacy, create meaningful social change and ensure that their philanthropic wishes are adhered to.
Philanthropy Ireland welcomes this research, it is a step in the right direction to gathering comprehensive data to capture the full picture of philanthropy in Ireland. As part of our submission on the National Policy on Philanthropy we stressed the need for more data on philanthropy, including legacy data, to capture the full extent of the impact philanthropy has on society and to foster an enabling environment for strategic giving in Ireland.