Donegal’s voluntary, community and charity groups need a break in October’s budget if they are to recover from the huge demands on services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The call was made by The Community Foundation for Ireland in their pre-budget submission. The Foundation, one of the leading funders of community services in the country, calls for a range of measures to encourage charitable donations and to ensure the money goes on services and not on taxes.
It warns that Donegal communities continue to face huge challenges as they move from the impact of the pandemic to recovery.
The Community Foundation, which is expected to provide over €20 million in grants this year, says lifeline services, helplines and supports for vulnerable people are being pushed to the limit.
It is calling on all Donegal politicians to support the measures outlined in the submission saying they will have a direct benefit on the ground in local communities.
A number of actions are called for including:
- A rise in the tax credit on donations for charities from the current 31% rate. An increase would see more money going on services rather than being used as tax income
- A new National Policy on Philanthropy with the aim of matching public money with private donations to deliver new ground-breaking projects and services
- A commitment to spend €1 per person per year for the next three years (€15 million) to be matched by private donors to increase awareness on the need for climate action in communities
- A reduction on Capital Acquisitions Tax for charitable donations in wills so that the inheritance of loved ones is not negatively impacted by legacy giving
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland, said in the past 18-months we have seen Ireland at its very best.
“In Donegal and across the country private, corporate and family donors have giving like never before, as has the public through events like RTÉ Does Comic Relief. It has been a privilege to turn this generosity into support in communities in Donegal and across the country.
“However, it is also true that every-time we are in a position to offer funding the demands from those providing support on the ground far exceeds the money available. Now it is time for our political leaders including Donegal TDs, to play their part and introduce the imaginative policies required so that we truly do recover better.”