Website to Change Irish Civil Society Goes Live Today
Benefacts.ie is a new online database of 18,600 Irish nonprofits which was launched in Dublin today. Benefacts provides searchable access to regulatory, financial and governance data about an entire sector that employs almost 108,000 people, turns over more than €7bn. in annual revenues, and provides incalculable benefits to society.
The Benefacts database includes all registered charities, and also lists thousands of other NGOs, including education institutions, social enterprises and sports and professional bodies. Benefacts works in cooperation with a variety of regulators to acquire data already in the public domain for inclusion in the database, which means that nonprofits do not need to take any action to be listed.
Speaking at the launch of benefacts.ie in Dublin today, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said:
“Benefacts is a tangible example of how Government can work in partnership with the community, voluntary and philanthropic sectors to design and deliver new services that benefit our citizens. Greater openness, transparency and improved accountability are at the core of our vision for Benefacts and this database will provide Government with the infrastructure necessary to underpin a higher quality assessment of public spending. It will also support the delivery of a number of key objectives of the Public Service Reform Plan. I am strongly supportive of Benefacts and believe that it will significantly enhance the effectiveness of Government’s interaction with the not-for-profit sector, delivering major benefits to us all in terms of transparency, governance, regulation and policy making.”
Benefacts founder and MD, Patricia Quinn said:
“We have set out to build something which will transform the accessibility and transparency of a sector that has, until now, been hidden in plain view…We present the maximum amount of available data in a neutral and impartial way, to support better-informed decisions, to help build public trust, and reduce the cost of doing business with government.”
Anna Visser, social justice advocate and researcher said:
“The value of a tool like Benefacts is the potential it creates. Our challenge is not to see Benefacts as an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. I think that in the sector we can add Benefacts to our toolbox as we grow and reimagine our work in a world that continues to face devastating social and economic inequalities.”
Thanks to co-funding from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Ireland Funds 2015 – 2017, benefacts.ie is free to the public, and nonprofit organisations are not charged to be listed.