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Minister Joe O’Brien announces increased funding for almost 400 community-based organisations

Minister for Community Development, Integration and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, has today, (Monday, 30th January), announced that almost 400 community organisations will receive additional funding under the Community Services Programme.


The Community Services Programme is an initiative designed to support community-based businesses, social enterprises and organisations that provide local services and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people.


Today’s announcement sets out the awarding and issuing of new contracts with revised funding rates under the Programme.


Almost 400 of these organisations will receive additional funding under these new contracts.


In a further enhancement of the programme, organisations may draw down a full contribution based on 37.5 hours per week per worker, rather than 39 hours, as was previously the case.


The new funding rate allocation model will see the Department’s support for the programme rise by more than €5 million, to almost €49 million. 


An increase of €4,000 for both full-time positions and a manager will be provided for organisations considered to have a ‘high funding need’.


For organisations considered to have a ‘medium funding need’ there will be a €2,000 increase per full-time position and manager provided.


There will be no change for the small number of organisations considered to have a low funding need – these are organisations with the strongest earning potential operating in less disadvantaged areas.


Minister of State Joe O’Brien said:


“I am delighted to say that 167 organisations will receive the higher rate of funding, 230 organisations will receive the middle rate of funding, with just 23 organisations continuing with their existing amount of funding.”


“This increased funding will help alleviate the financial challenges faced by community organisations with limited earning potential, operating in areas of disadvantage and providing employment.”


Minister O’Brien added that a new call for applications under the CSP will be announced shortly:


“I am very pleased to be able to open the programme for new applications. We are currently finalising the arrangements and further details will issue shortly. My Department will also contact all organisations that have expressed an interest in applying under this new call.”


The full list of allocations can be seen HERE.




The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843 / 087-1734633


Notes for editors:

Community Services Programme (CSP)

The Community Services Programme (CSP) currently supports community-based organisations to provide local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model, providing a contribution towards the cost of CSP supported staff in organisations.  It typically supports organisations to meet local service gaps and provide access to services and facilities that would otherwise generally be unavailable. Up to 31 December 2022, the programme provided a contribution of €19,033 towards the employment of each full time equivalent position and €32,000 per manager.


Review of the Community Services Programme

Indecon International Economic Consultants were engaged to carry out the independent review of the CSP.  The final report was published in late September 2020, following which, the department and Pobal have worked on the restructuring of the programme, in collaboration with a Consultative Group that was representative of stakeholders to provide information and insights on various components of the programme. 


Existing CSP supported organisations will transition to the restructured CSP in January 2023. In advance of this, as all contracts ceased on 31st December 2022, all existing organisations were required to reapply, under an online application process. The applications were appraised by Pobal, who administer the programme on behalf of the department, with the department recommending the revised funding allocations and the transitioning of organisations to the restructured programme from January 2023.


Revised Allocations

The CSP contribution is not aligned to the minimum wage and does not meet the full salary cost of supported posts, rather it is a fixed annual contribution towards the salary costs of managers and employees in supported organisations.  The CSP contribution must be co-funded by the organisation concerned from other sources, for example, from income received from the public use of their facilities and services.


As part of the restructuring process, a new funding rate allocation model for the CSP programme is being introduced, as an alternative to the current flat rate payment model.  CSP organisations that are operating in areas of high disadvantage, employing individuals from the prescribed programme target groups and having limited earning potential will benefit from the higher funding rate category. 


The revised funding rates to apply from January 2023 under the restructured programme were announced on 20th October.  A total increase of €4,000 for both full time positions and managers is being provided for those organisations in the high funding category, with €2,000 per full-time position and manager being provided to those in the medium funding category.


No change is proposed for the small number of organisations in the low funding category, these are organisations identified with the strongest earning potential and operating in less disadvantaged areas.


The revised allocations are outlined in the table below:

Overall Rating


Rate per FTE


Rate per Manager



80% to 100%





50% to 79%


€34, 000

Low (current rates)


0% to 49%

€19,033 (no change)

€32,000 (no change)



Appeals Process

Organisations will be afforded an opportunity to appeal the outcome of their decision on specific grounds. The online solution for appeals process will be available week beginning the 13th February 2023.


New Sub-programmes


The Indecon Report recommended replacing the existing strands under CSP with a number of Sub Programme focused on key strategic objectives.  The restructured programme will have three specific Sub Programmes:

  • Sub Programme 1:  Spaces and Services
  • Sub Programme 2: Supporting Individuals
  • Sub Programme 3:  Innovation and Growth


The fundamental principles of the programme remain unchanged, the programme will continue to support unemployment opportunities for those most distant from the labour market, it will focus on disadvantaged areas and the provision of services to disadvantaged individuals and will support community led local initiatives to address identified needs. 


The new Strategic objectives of the Programme are:

  • To address community needs through supporting services and community assets ensuring these are inclusive and responsive to those experiencing disadvantage or marginalisation.
  • To provide employment opportunities and improve the employability of individuals most distant from the labour market/or in disadvantaged areas.
  • To strengthen and support community organisations operating as social enterprises to deliver improved facilities and services and to pilot innovative social economy initiatives.