It is common belief that the Irish give more of their disposable income to charity than any other nation. However a new report reveals that Ireland gives less than the US, UK and most it's European counterparts.
In their report Philanthropy in the Republic of Ireland, the McKinsey Company found that Irish people did not give more when they were riding the prosperous wave of the Celtic Tiger.
The report will be launched today by the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey. The report found that although nine out of ten people donated to charity they donated only in small and unplanned amounts.
"Rising disposable income levels in Ireland have not translated proportionally into rising levels of charitable giving,” said the report.
The report found that Ireland's ultra wealthy were not donating amounts relative to their disposable income. The report also found that there was a lack of philanthropy organizations in Ireland.
The report found that there was only 30 grant making philanthropy organizations in Ireland compared to 8,000 in the UK. Ireland had an average of 0.7 foundations per 100,000 people compared to the EU average of 20 per 100,000 people.
The report also revealed that three of Ireland's 30 foundations are due to close by 2016.
There are 25,000 non profit organizations in Ireland. They rely heavily on Government funding which has falling from 75% in 1995 to 59% in 2005.
The report encourages multiple charities to cooperate together to form efficient foundations.
The report highlighted the fact the media are sceptical of wealthy philanthropists and it is widely believed that large donors are solely availing of tax breaks.
"In the Irish debate about the social sector there seems to be no clear understanding of the role of philanthropy in a social democracy,” said the report.
The report has called for a balanced and fact driven debate about the need for more social based foundations. The report added that large philanthropists inspire other wealthy people to donate large sums of money.
In response to the report the Government is launching a plan to support philanthropy in Ireland.