Sector News

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Important Changes to the CHY3 Renewal Process

CHY3 Renewal.jpg

Charities Institute Ireland has recently been engaging with Revenue and a number of Cii members in reviewing the tax relief enduring form renewal process. Previously, if telephone renewal was used, the recommendation was for charities to read the CHY3 form in full to ensure that the donor was fully aware of what they were agreeing to.

It was highlighted that this process added a layer of complexity and additional cost to renewals. In light of this, Cii contacted Revenue to discuss the issue and to work towards a solution which worked for Revenue, the charities and the donor.

As a result of this engagement a set of guidelines have been developed (attached below) for charities who benefit from the charitable donation scheme. The key change to the process is that telephone renewal is now acceptable to Revenue, providing that the criteria, as set out in the attached documentation, is adhered to. Revenue have also committed to honouring renewals which took place before the revised guidance was issued in October 2018. For charities who use paper renewal, the donor signature remains a requirement.

If you have any queries on the Revenue administration of the Charitable Donation Scheme, please contact the charities unit on 01 738 3680.


Guidelines for charities and donors in renewing the Charity Tax Back Form CHY 3 and CHY 4

Tax Renewal Sample Script Sept

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Charities Institute Ireland Budget Submission

Charities Institute Ireland has lodged its Budget 2020 and Finance Bill 2019 Submission. In its submission to the Department of Finance Cii has proposed a number of initiatives for consideration including a review of the VAT Compensation Scheme and simplifying the Charitable Donation Scheme. Read the full submission here.

Friday, 16 August 2019

VAT Compensation Scheme Sees Claims of Almost €40M


Charities Institute Ireland has today welcomed the statement by Revenue which states that in the first year of operation charities made 1,100 claims to the scheme, totalling almost €40m.

Speaking today, Liz Hughes, CEO of Charities Institute Ireland said: “We welcome the announcement today by the Revenue Commission which highlights that the VAT Compensation Scheme has been hugely oversubscribed, reflecting the high level of spend by the Charity sector.

Charities Institute Ireland campaigned for this scheme and we are delighted to see the strong level of take-up which will give some much needed funding back to charities who pay VAT.

We welcome Revenue’s commitment to work with charities to maximise their eligibility.

While the intention has been to review the scheme after a period of three years, Cii has proposed in its pre-Budget submission that the Minister review the scheme in advance of Budget 2020 with a view to increasing the annual allocation to €10 million per annum.”

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Immigrant Investor Programme – Important Information

Visa Application.jpg

A number of charities have benefited in recent years from the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) which has been the source of much needed income to the sector. It has come to Cii’s attention that a number of third parties working in this space have requested additional fees from charities to secure the IIP application. The following is guidance from the Department of Justice and Equality on the matter which clearly states that such payments are not in compliance with the scheme.


Notice(2) to applicants | Third party payments
12th August 2019

It has come to attention of the IIP unit of INIS that on occasions registered charities are being requested to make payments to third parties to secure endowment applications be it in the form of finders fees, consultancy or other such payments. In some cases this may be by way of a deduction from the endowment itself or in the form of a separate payment by the registered charity. For the avoidance of doubt such payments are not in compliance with the scheme. The fundamental principal of the scheme is that the full amount of the endowment is to be used for the purposes for which it is donated by the successful applicant. In addition, a separate payment to an agent by a charity is not permitted. INIS has had discussions with the Charities Regulator regarding these matters and will monitor the situation. Agents / charities are reminded that non-compliance with the rules puts at risk the immigration permissions granted under the scheme. Should you have queries regarding this notice, please contact the IIP unit at

Learn more.


Friday, 19 July 2019

Facebook Social Good Release News of Instagram Donation Sticker launch in Ireland

IG Donation Sticker Toolkit[1]_Page_1_Image_0003.png

Earlier this year Facebook announced the ability for people in the US to raise money for a non-profit directly through a donation sticker in Instagram Stories.
Facebook are working quickly to bring the donation sticker to international markets and will launch in Ireland shortly.

Cii wanted to share this news with you and inform you of its upcoming launch and the steps you now need to take in order to be eligible: 

The donation sticker on Instagram Stories allows nonprofits, their supporters, brands and influencers to create a 24-hr fundraiser on Instagram. Eligible nonprofits will be able to create an Instagram Story, add the donation sticker and start raising money for a cause.

Using the donation sticker, supporters can give without leaving Instagram. Donations made through the Instagram Stories donation sticker will be processed and reported by Facebook Payments. 100% of money raised goes to the nonprofit.

Non-profits who are on-boarded to Facebook’s Donation tools are eligible to use the Instagram Donation Sticker but they must also complete the following steps:

  1. Link your organisation's Instagram account and Facebook Page — Instructions

  2. Convert your organisation's Instagram account to a Business Profile — Instructions

Please also see the tool-kit, via the button below, on how the Instagram donate sticker works.

Once Facebook release the launch date we will let you, so stay tuned into our social media updates.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Charities Regulator Appoints New Chief Executive, Helen Martin

Helen Martin, CEO, Charities Regulator

Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, has approved the appointment of Helen Martin as Chief Executive of the Charities Regulator under the Charities Act 2009, following a public recruitment process.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Martin was performing the functions of the CEO on an acting-up basis since Tuesday, 30 October 2018.  Prior to that, Ms. Martin was the Director of Regulation at the Charities Regulator.  Before joining the Authority, Helen was Assistant Parliamentary Counsel at the Office of the Attorney General for approximately 10 years.  Helen is a solicitor and she has held a number of senior regulatory positions with commercial entities prior to taking up her position with the Office of the Attorney General.

Read more here

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Irish Charities Scoop Share of Fund Worth Over €1 Million

Seven charities based in Ireland have been gifted donations of over €1,000 each as part of the Movement for Good awards


The awards, set up by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical, will see a total of over €1 million given to charities across Ireland and the UK this summer. Members of the public were invited to nominate causes close to their hearts, with 500 gifts of over €1,000 available for donation.

Friends of the Coombe, Dogs in Distress, St Vincent de Paul, Hugh’s House and Our Lady’s Hospice are among the charities in Ireland set to benefit from the money, following overwhelming public support from around the country.

More than 1,700 people took part in the nomination process, voting for over 100 charities. A further 3,500 people took part in Northern Ireland, where an additional 18 charities will benefit from the award.

In total, an amazing 98,000 people across Ireland and the UK supported the Movement for Good awards, with over 7,000 charitable causes from all areas of both countries receiving nominations. The 500 winning charities were picked at random from those nominated.

Thanking supporters across Ireland, David Lane, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Ireland, said: “We have seen a fantastic public response to our Movement for Good awards. It’s clear that people care deeply about good causes in their local area, and from looking at the nominations, animal welfare and healthcare organisations seemed to hold a particularly fond place in the hearts of people from around Ireland.

“Here at Ecclesiastical, our core purpose is to contribute to the greater good of society, so charitable giving is at the heart of our business. We know that €1,000 can make a huge difference to the incredible work that charities do and we’re looking forward to seeing how this financial boost will change lives for the better.”

Later this summer, a further ten charities will also be chosen by a panel of judges to receive over €50,000 from Ecclesiastical to be put towards the advancement of education, skills, arts, culture and heritage, as well as citizenship or community development.

From Monday 17th June, charities are invited to apply for the substantial grant with applications being assessed against four key areas: impact and effectiveness, sustainability, innovation, and care and compassion.

The successful charities will be announced from Monday 30th September 2019.

For further information on the Movement for Good Awards and for a full list of winning charities, visit:  

The seven charities in Ireland to be awarded are:








Friday, 7 June 2019

CVC Governance Code to Be Retired


The Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations (CVC Code) is to be officially retired and will be taken over by Sport Ireland as a Governance Code for Sport.

The CVC, which was launched in 2012, was put together, maintained and promoted by its members. The code soon became the de facto standard for excellence in non-profit corporate governance and went from strength to strength. In total, over 2,000 charities adopted or were on the journey to adopting the code.

Following the publication of the Charities Regulator’s Governance Code in 2018 the decision was made to retire the CVC code in order to avoid duplication and confusion. Charities will be steered towards the Charities Regulator’s Code. Sport Ireland have now agreed to take over the code with the aim that: “all National Governing Bodies for Sport and Local Sports Partnerships adopt the Code by the end of 2021”. The website will still be available as a resource centre.

The members of the Governance Code Working Group believe that the Charities Governance Code is a useful resource for non-profits which are neither charities nor sporting bodies and advise them to consider adapting the standards and practices in the Charities Governance Code for their specific needs.

Regarding the handover, Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, said: “This is an important step for Sport Ireland, which has a long history with the Code, having been the first state body to adopt the Code as best practice for our sector in 2013. In taking over the Code, Sport Ireland is reaffirming its commitment to supporting all of funded bodies in putting in place and maintaining robust corporate governance structures. I would like to thank the Governance Code Working Group for their hard work over the last ten years in developing and rolling out the Code, which set a high bar for standard not just for sporting bodies, but also for many other organisations.”

Chair of the Governance Code Working Group and Chief Executive of Volunteer Ireland, Nina Arwitz, said: "The members of the Working Group are proud to have led the movement around improved governance for community, voluntary and charitable organisations in Ireland, and played a role in building trust in our sector at a time when it was particularly needed. Ten years since we started this journey in 2009, we can say that our job is done and pass the mantle to the Charities Regulator and also to Sport Ireland."

Cii would like to thank its fellow members of the Governance Code Working Group:

  • Boardmatch Ireland

  • Business in the Community

  • Carmichael

  • Clann Credo

  • The Corporate Governance Association of Ireland (CGAI)

  • Disability Federation of Ireland

  • Good Governance Solutions

  • Volunteer Ireland

  • The Wheel 

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Cii Announces New CEO

Charities Institute Ireland has appointed Liz Hughes as new CEO

Liz Hughes 2.jpg

Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) has announced the appointment of Liz Hughes as its new Chief Executive.  Liz Hughes is a former Head of ACCA Europe and ACCA Ireland and will take up the appointment on 1 April 2019.

Announcing the appointment, Cii Chair Richard Dixon said “I’m delighted to welcome Liz to Cii. and I believe she has the qualities to lead the organisation as we support and enable charities to create positive social change. Her strategic, communication and collaborative skills make her the ideal person to lead the next phase of the development of Cii.”

Liz Hughes said “I am very excited to join Charities Institute Ireland at such a pivotal time in its development. I look forward to working with Cii’s board, team and members in promoting and furthering the goals and ambitions of the charity sector. Significant progress has been made in recent years in professionalising the sector and I hope to build on this progress and take Cii to the next level of development.”

Cii was formed in 2016 following the merger on ICTR and Fundraising Ireland, two key sector bodies who agreed that there was a need to create one, strong single voice to represent their combined members and the wider not-for-profit sector. Cii is focused on raising standards in the industry, and promoting greater transparency, openness and integrity across the sector.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Finance Minister Announces Commencement of VAT Compensation Scheme for Charities

€5m available in 2019 to finance payments under the scheme

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Friday) announced the making of the Value-Added Tax (Refund of Tax) (Charities Compensation Scheme) Order 2018, which was signed into law on 18 December 2018. 

This Order gives effect to the Budget 2018 announcement of a VAT Compensation Scheme for Charities, which will allow charities to reclaim a proportion of their VAT costs based on the level of non-public funding they receive.

A capped fund of €5 million will be available in 2019, to finance payments under the scheme in respect of claims of VAT paid in 2018.

The terms of the VAT Compensation Scheme as outlined in last year’s Budget are contained in the VAT Refund Order.  These include:

  • Charities must be registered with the Charities Regulator, have tax clearance, and be in possession of up to date audited accounts;

  • A claim must be based on the level of privately-sourced income raised by a charity, so that where a charity’s gross income for 2018 involves 30% funding from State/EU/international organisations and 70% from privately sourced income, they can claim 70% of the VAT they paid during the year;

  • Where the total amount of claims in a year exceeds the capped amount, charities will be paid on a pro rata basis, i.e. where the total value of claims is double the capped pool amount, each charity will receive 50% of their claim.

Minister Donohoe said: ‘The VAT Refund Order is the product of significant engagement between officials of my Department and the Revenue Commissioners and the charities sector and I want to thank the sector for its positive contribution to this process’.

The facility to make claims under the scheme will be available on Revenue’s Online Service from January 2019. Guidance on the scheme for charities is available on the Revenue Commissioner’s website at

Press Release

Charities welcome Ministerial Order bringing new VAT Compensation scheme into effect

Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) and The Wheel have jointly welcomed the signing by the Minister for Finance of the Ministerial Order that brings the VAT Compensation Scheme for Charities into effect. The €5million scheme was announced in Budget 2018, and compensates charities for a proportion of the VAT they incur on expenditure related to independently raised income.

Charities will be able to claim for VAT paid from the 1st January 2018, and to make claims once a year for VAT paid in the previous year. 

In a joint statement welcoming the announcement, Scott Kelley, Interim Chief Executive of Cii and Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive Officer of The Wheel said: “Irish Charities have worked closely with Department of Finance and Revenue officials on the detailed implementation of the VAT compensation scheme, and we are delighted that today the Minister has formally signed the Order which brings the scheme into effect.” 

Irish charities are major buyers of goods and services in the economy and are liable to VAT on their purchases. The new scheme will return some of that money to charities to enable them to enhance services and provides an incentive to increase their fundraising efforts. 

“We expect that many charities will benefit from this new scheme, which represents a major acknowledgement by government of the role and contribution of charities to Irish society. If the total claims exceed the €5 million allocated, charities will be paid on a pro rata basis.  In time, we hope that this scheme can be expanded after the initial three-year period to which the Minister has committed,” Scott Kelley and Deirdre Garvey said.

Full details of the scheme may be accessed here at this link:

For further information please contact

Scott Kelley
Interim CEO
Charities Institute Ireland
01 541 4770

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Regulator Announces New Code of Governance for Charities

Charities Institute Ireland welcome the publication of the Charities Regulator’s new Code of Governance for Charities.

Key dates to show how you are complying with the Code:

The Charities Regulator will provide a suite of guidance to assist charities and charity trustees to meet all of the core standards outlined in the Code.

2019 - will be a year of learning and preparation for charities.

2020 - will be the first year that registered charities are expected to comply with the Code.

2021 - will be the first year that registered charities are expected to report on their compliance with the Code.

For further information about the Charities Governance Code click here.

To download a copy of the Charities Governance Code click here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Charities Institute Ireland Welcomes Comprehensive Report on Social and Economic Impact of Charity Sector.

Government should produce a Green Paper on Charity sector

The Chief Executive of Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) Lucy Masterson has welcomed the publication by the Charities Regulator of a comprehensive report on the positive social and economic impact of the charity sector in Ireland.

The report makes important recommendations about the need for measures to support volunteering, increase and support philanthropy and for regulation that is sensitive to the large amount of volunteer-led, low income and grassroots charities.  These are the kind of issues the Cii would like to see in a Government Green Paper on the charity sector.”

Government has many roles in relation to the charity sector. It is the key funder and sets the regulatory framework.  It can provide the incentives to encourage private investment. It can also create the gaps into which charities must step to ensure protection for the most vulnerable in our society. It is right to demand the highest standards of the sector, but Government agencies should also operate to the highest standards of governance and engagement when dealing with the sector and individual organisations. At times, Government can also create unnecessary burdens on the sector, through duplication in reporting, unpredictability in income and confusing its roles as funder, legislator and reactor.

A Green Paper could set out how Government might promote involvement and engagement and specifically address the Report’s recommendations for:

  • Infrastructures to support volunteering in registered Irish charities, particularly in the 18-34 age groups;

  • Infrastructures to increase and support philanthropy and donations to Irish charities;

  • Regulation which recognises the diversity of registered Irish charities. It needs to be particularly sensitive to the large number of volunteer-led, low income and grassroots charities.

“Today’s report by the Regulator is to be welcomed and provides solid evidence on which to base future policy” Lucy Masterson concluded.

Friday, 22 June 2018

"Vat’s Not Fair” - Cii Wins Award for Excellence in Public Affairs

VAT Charities Ireland

We were absolutely thrilled when the long standing campaign  for the introduction of a VAT Compensation Scheme for Irish Charities was recognised with the prestigious award for best public affairs campaign at The Public Relations Institute of Ireland Awards on June 22nd at The Shelbourne Hotel.

As our members will know, in 2016 Sheila Nordon who had led the campaign for over a decade  under The Irish Charities Tax Reform Group  handed the baton over to the newly formed Charities Institute Ireland. Achieving a positive outcome to the campaign for a VAT Compensation Scheme was a priority of the Board and Executive of Cii.

Pictured at the PRII Awards, Rhona Blake PRII, Gerry Naughton, Drury Porter Novelli, Lucy Masterson Cii.

Pictured at the PRII Awards, Rhona Blake PRII, Gerry Naughton, Drury Porter Novelli, Lucy Masterson Cii.


We worked with Drury Porter Novelli on a campaign  of engagement with Government throughout 2017. In the era of new politics, a key part of the strategy was to achieve demonstrable broad cross-party support for the scheme and  Cii met with elected representatives and/or their advisers of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, Labour, the Independent Alliance and the Independent (non-Alliance) Ministers. In the fortnight before the Budget, member organisations of Cii wrote to politicians across the Oireachtas seeking their support. This grassroots approach complemented the targeted approach of earlier months. One week before the Budget a letter was sent to the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance. This collective approach bore fruit when the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe announced the introduction of the long awaited Scheme in Budget 2018.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Today the Charities Regulator chief executive John Farrelly launched the Report of the Consultative Panel on the Governance of Charitable Organisations which undertook extensive research and consultation on the issue since March 2017

The Consultative Panel brought together members with wide and varied experiences in the charities and corporate governance sector. Their deliberations were supplemented by a public consultation process (involving almost 1,200 individuals and organisations), international research and presentations. Charities Institute Chief Executive, Lucy Masterson, was a member of the Panel.

The Panel found there was a need for a code of governance for charities, and that the Charities Regulator should produce it. The panel proposed that the governance code should be principles-based and should operate on a ‘comply or explain’ basis by charities. It also proposed that the code’s content be developed in collaboration with the charity sector and that the code should be proportionate.  

Monday, 5 February, 2018

Today the Charities Regulator launched ‘guidance on charities and the promotion of political causes’. 

Many Irish charities and their trustees have limited resources and increased pressure and demands to ensure their charity is compliant. This practical guide highlights the rules which apply to their organisation when engaging in activities to promote a political cause and will help them to comply with best practice.

While the guidance is useful, it has to be remembered that in addition to the Charities Regulator that charities are subject to SIPO and the Lobbying rules so there is no shortage of regulation in this space. 

Lucy Masterson.
Chief Executive,
Charities Institute Ireland

Tuesday, 10 October, 2017

Charities Institute Ireland warmly welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Finance in Budget 2018 to establish a VAT Compensation Scheme for Charities

Irish Charities have campaigned for this type of Scheme for many years and today represents a major breakthrough. It was the reason ICTRG was established over fifteen years ago and has been a core part of the ICTR / Charities Institute Ireland advocacy agenda since day one. Over recent months our members have been writing and calling TD's and Ministers on this issue so we are absolutely thrilled that the hard work of so many has finally paid off. 

VAT Charities Ireland
VAT Compensation Scheme Ireland

A very special thanks and acknowledgement must go to Sheila Nordon. Over the years Sheila was the key driver behind this campaign and never gave up hope that the scheme would be introduced.  At Charities Institute Ireland we have been proud to continue with Sheila's work in carrying the VAT baton and we look forward to continuing to represent our members on policies  that benefit the entire charity sector.

We want to thank Minister Donohoe, Taoiseach Varadkar and his Government colleagues for taking this initiative, after extensive analysis and scrutiny. 

Irish charities are major buyer of goods and services in the economy and are liable to VAT on their purchases.  As a result, money raised for charitable purposes is often returned to the state through the payment of VAT.

Today’s decision will put in place a mechanism to return some of that money and will provide charities with an incentive to increase fundraising efforts

Charities Institute Ireland has also been encouraged by the support for this scheme from parties and independents across the Oireachtas and we are grateful for that backing. 

Lucy Masterson

Chief Executive,

Charities Institute Ireland 

Thursday 30 March,2017

Charities Institute Ireland would like to invite tenders for a research study and report into the charity sector in Ireland. The final report should include but not be limited to:

  • Evidence of the role of the charity sector in a flourishing society.

  • The role of charities as the third sector in society

  • Evidence of the value and impact charities create

  • The authenticity and role of charities in civil society

  • Charities as agents of change

  • The changing face of charities in an era of transparency and accountability

  • The future of the sector

The deadline for interested parties and submissions of research proposals is Friday 15th April at 12:00pm.

The proposals should provide a brief outline of the proposal with suggested methodology, timelines and associated costs.

Please submit proposals to