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New charity index reveals Ireland’s top 100 highest earning charities

St Vincent’s Health Care, which the PAC says has questions to answer over its finances, is the highest earning charity in Ireland.

THE TOP 10 charities in Ireland’s first Charity 100 Index are dominated by hospitals.

The index, compiled by governance charity Boardmatch Ireland, tracks changes in income of the 100 charities over a three year period. The research shows that four of the top ten charities are voluntary hospitals which receive grant aid from the HSE.

Hospital charities

St Vincent’s Health Care is the highest earning charity in Ireland with a gross income of €363 million for 2011.

Just last week, they were called on by the Public Accounts Committee to explain their finances. Fine Gael TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee Simon Harris says he is keen to “seriously question” the group on its corporate governance and pension funding.

Central Remedial Clinic

The Central Remedial Clinic which has been embroiled in controversy moved down in its rating from 25th place to 26th place on the index.

The index reveals that the CRC’s gross income for 2011 amounted to €19, 644,100. From 2009 to 2011, the CRC saw a fall in its income of 10.3 per cent from just over €21, 900, 611.

The second highest earning charity is The Mater University Hospital which has a gross income for 2011 of just over €257 million.

All four hospitals in the top ten have voluntary boards apart from the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital who is a member of the board in all four cases, states Boardmatch Ireland. This is unusual for charities, they stated as it requires an exemption from the Revenue Commissioners and the majority of other charities in the top 100 would not have their CEO on the board.

Charity sector

From 2009-2011, the charity sector saw an overall decrease in income of 8.8 per cent or €265 million. This is a reduction from €3.05 billion in 2009 to €2.78 billion in 2011.

The top 20 charities can be seen below. To view the entire list, click here.


On average, the income of eleven voluntary hospitals has declined since 2009:


There are nine overseas aid agencies in the 100 index with a combined income of €270,721,225.


The biggest climber on the list is the UCD Foundation which has seen its annual income increase by 204 per cent since 2009. It has moved from 150th place in 2009 to 47th in 2011.

Overseas development NGO Bóthar was the biggest faller, dropping 22 places on the index since 2009. It has seen an overall decline of 26 per cent in its income of since 2009.

Charity organisations that are trusts, co-ops or unincorporated are not included in this index. This excludes the likes of Crosscare, Foróige and Society of St Vincent de Paul which are unincorporated entities and therefore make no returns to the Companies Registration Office.

Trócaire and The Iveagh Trust, which are trusts and the Credit Union Movement which are friendly societies make returns to the Register of Friendly Societies.

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