At a Glance...

This is an extremely broad sector, it includes organisations to businesses and range in size from small, to local, to national even up to international. It could from a local GAA club or a community education centre all the across the spectrum to social justice groups to huge non-government organisations like National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI).

Charities and volunteering is not always about doing free work, although a lot of it is people giving up their free time for a good cause this area actually employs about 100,000 people. Some full time, some part time. This sector is under The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, who provide operational funding to the many organisations within it.

With just under 8,000 registered charities in Ireland, you have a sea of organisations to choose from. A non-profit government organisation are charities which have been granted a charitable status by (CHY Number) by the Revenue Commissioners.

The Revenue Commissioners definition of a charity is:

their purposes are to relieve poverty, advance education or religion, and/or promote other purposes of benefit to the community, and if on wind-up their assets are transferred to some other body with similar charitable purposes.”

Charities provide various support services both at home and internationally in areas including: education, research, health, social services, the environment, advocacy and law, sport and culture. Many of these organisations are principally funded by the HSE. Most (64%) employ less than 50 people. Only 33% employ more than 50 people. 32% employ less than 10 people.

Job opportunities within the charity sector would include; Finance Manager/Officer, Campaign Manager/Assistant, Fundraising officer or Social Researcher.

Even through difficult times the number of volunteers registered in Ireland has actually doubled around 14,800. Of course, the reason most people volunteer is the motivation to help others and be involved in creating a positive change in someone’s life. It is about giving and contributing and working with others to try and make a meaningful contribution to a better community.

As it is unpaid work, people literally get involved in volunteering from the goodness of their hearts in order to see a change made, whether it’s abroad or even just in their local community. Not only will it boost your morale but it’s a great way to socialise and meet new people with a common interest. As many community projects have scarce resource and funding, they do rely heavily on volunteers to make things possible.

You might choose to become a volunteer to some good, to make new friends, gain experience or even acquire a new skill set. There are plenty of benefits from this sector.

Not only will it look great on your CV but you will learn things like good communication skills, people skills, team bonding skills and practical skills which can make you much more employable and head above the rest.

Unicef IE


Working for children since 1946

UNICEF Ireland is one of 36 UNICEF National Committees and was founded in 1962. National Committees raise funds for UNICEF’s worldwide emergency and development work.

In 2014, UNICEF Ireland raised  €6.5 million from fundraising and the Irish Government contributed $27.6 million to UNICEF through Irish Aid.

UNICEF is not funded by the UN. Instead, we rely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments and corporations to fund our work for children worldwide. UNICEF Ireland is a registered Irish charity No. 5616 and a registered company No. 371124.

UNICEF Ireland is a signatory to the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages. By signing the code, UNICEF Ireland commits to choosing images and messages that represent the full complexity of the situations in which we work, and to seek the permission of the people portrayed in our photos.

Volunteer Ireland


What We Do

Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development agency and a support body for all local Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services in Ireland. Our goal is to make sure that everyone who wants to volunteer, can volunteer. We do this in many different ways, working with a variety of stakeholders.

  • Volunteers and Volunteering – We promote and celebrate volunteering in Ireland through campaigns such as National Volunteering Week and the Volunteer Ireland Awards. Along with Volunteer Centres across the country we manage I-VOL (the national database of Irish volunteering opportunities and listings).
  • Charities and Not for Profit Organisations – We support national volunteer involving organisations by offering bespoke training, consultancy and an extensive range of online guides and resources on engaging volunteers.
  • Corporate Companies – We also support to companies interested in volunteering and offers volunteer management services for large-scale events and festivals.
  • Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services – There are 21 Volunteer Centre and 5 Volunteering Information Services across the country who work with Volunteer Ireland. Volunteer Ireland develops and supports best practice in volunteering and Volunteer Centres, including the evaluation of Volunteer Centres according to a quality standard framework.

Our vision

Our vision is of every person feeling connected to and participating in their communities to build a better Irish society. We strive to achieve this through increasing awareness of, access to and quality in volunteering in Ireland.

Our mission

Our mission is to promote the value of volunteering and increase the range and quality of volunteering in Ireland.


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