As of September 2022, the number of voluntary, community and social enterprise sector registered charities in Northern Ireland is:




Income of Registered Charities in Northern Ireland

In terms of these registered charities, 78.7% had an income of less than £100,000, 18% had an income between £100,000- £1 Million and 3.3% had an income over £1 million.

VCSE Sector Workforce Composition

The voluntary and community sector remains an important employer in Northern Ireland, with an estimated 53,620 employees. This figure represents 7% of the total Northern Ireland workforce.  

  • 51.5% of staff employed in organisations that responded to NICVA's Workforce and Volunteers Survey 2021 were employed in full-time roles
  • A further 48.5% of staff were employed in part time roles
  • Women represented 73% of paid staff in organisations that responded to the survey. This shows a small increase from the figure (71.4%) reported in the 2018 survey
  • 15.6% of males were employed on full time contracts which marks a decrease from the figure (19.1%) reported in the Workforce and Volunteers Survey 2018

As of September 2022, the top three areas of work identified from the database of registered charities include “The Advancement of Education” (15.7%), “The Advancement of Citizenship” or “Community Development” (11.6%) and “The Advancement of Religion” (7.5%)

Purpose of charity Percentage %
The advancement of education 15.760
The advancement of citizenship or community development 11.610
The advancement of religion 7.560
Age 7.310
Disability 7.310
Ill-health 7.310
The relief of those in need by reason of youth 7.310
Financial hardship or other disadvantage 7.300
The advancement of health or the saving of lives 4.840
The prevention or relief of poverty 4.050
Culture 3.820
Heritage or science 3.820
The advancement of the arts 3.820
Other charitable purposes 1.960
The advancement of human rights 1.880
Conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity 1.870
The advancement of amateur sport 1.210
The advancement of environmental protection or improvement 1.000
The advancement of animal welfare 0.250
Urban development 0.004
Volunteer development 0.004
Welfare/benevolent 0.004
Youth development 0.004










As of September 2022, the proportion of the 7,486 charities registered with the CCNI in Northern Ireland which also had a remit outside of Northern Ireland were as follows – Northern Ireland (74.8%), ROI (9.8%), Internationally (9.0%) and UK (6.4%).

Source: CCNI 2022- based on returns from 5,205 of the 7,486 registered charities

Based on data from 3,838 registered charities, Mid and East Antrim council area contained the greatest number of charities (1,017) and Derry and Strabane council area contained the least number of registered charities (3).

Council area Number
Mid and East Antrim 1017
Causeway Coast and Glens 974
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 931
Mid Ulster 469
Belfast  437
North Down and Ards 375
Lisburn and Castlereagh 358
Antrim and Newtownabbey 345
Newry, Mourne and Down 13
Fermanagh and Omagh 11
Derry and Strabane 3

Source: CCNI 2022- Based on 3,838 registered charities in NI. Some charities are based in more than one council area