Strength in unity: Do we have too many charities?

IT may seem churlish to suggest that we have too many charities focussed on social work using up scarce resources, but it seems that we may have.

The Peter McVerry Trust has argued that we have too many organisations dealing with homelessness — and figures seem to support its argument. We have over 75 charities or groups in receipt of state funding to provide homeless services across the country. Last year, more than €95m — about 19,000 for every homeless person — was spent by the State on homeless services.

There also seems to be myriad organisations concerned with suicide, cancer research, mental health or other very valuable causes. It does not question the sincerity or legitimacy of these groups to suggest that their noble objectives might be more easily realised by streamlined, consolidated organisations. These organisations are built on huge personal commitment and integrity, so it may not be easy to suggest consolidation but that, in the long run, may be the best option.


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