The majority of people believe their communities would suffer if charities disappeared in the morning.
A new study found 70% of people believe their communities would suffer if charities disappeared in the morning, and 62% think charities are more responsive than the public sector, but only 54% of people think charity workers should be paid similarly to those in the public sector.
That’s according to We Act, the new campaign launched to highlight the value and impact of charities and community groups in Ireland.
A survey conducted on behalf of the campaign also revealed the public's limited awareness of how many organisations are actually charities. Just 8% believe they themselves interacted with a charity or community group in the past year; 70% would perceive a homeless organisation as a charity; while only 8% see an arts organisation as a charity.
In fact, there are 34,000 organisations in the charity sector, employing almost 165,000 people and with a further 1m volunteers.
Commenting on the findings, We Act spokesperson and campaigns manager at The Wheel, Ireland’s national association of community and voluntary organisations, Sarah Monaghan, said: “A majority of the public feel that charity is for someone else – and this campaign wants to celebrate the wide breadth of groups who have an impact on our lives every single day – even if we don’t realise it.
“The pandemic demonstrated that – in times of real need – charities and community groups are at the forefront of our national response. There needs to be a concentrated effort to ensure the innovation, goodwill and community cohesion continues as we recover from the pandemic,” she added.
The We Act campaign is funded by the Community Foundation for Ireland through the RTÉ Does Comic Relief fund.
You can find out how to join the awareness campaign, or get more involved in the charity sector here