Almost €19 million was provided by The Community Foundation for Ireland in grants to voluntary, community and charitable groups last year.

The €18.7m total is €3m more than the previous year, according to the charity's annual report.

The foundation, which describes itself as "an impact-led philanthropic hub", partners with more than 5,000 organisations nationwide.

The report said the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal was the highlight of the calendar year.

It provided €6.6m in support to 60,000 children and their loved ones through the generosity of viewers and donors.

Other highlights noted in the report include the formation of 30 new civil society cross border partners under a new All-Island Fund.

Anonymous donors also lent their support to the first ever national survey on the issue of consent by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

An anonymous donor established a Cork Arts Fund which led to ten new productions, artists in residence opportunities as well as public exhibitions by new artists.

Local Biodiversity Action Plans in 45 local communities enabled local people, landowners and experts to work together to protect local wildlife.

The report comes as a National Advisory Group - established by Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Joe O'Brien - is working to draft a national policy on philanthropy.

The Community Foundation for Ireland CEO Denise Charlton noted that the level of donations and grant-making is now running three times pre-pandemic levels, which she said highlighted the positive impact philanthropy can have.

"Much of what we do is ground-breaking, it is new and our donors give us the ability to be brave and back new services, projects and initiatives which otherwise may not be funded," she said.

The foundation also developed a new strategic plan last year which it said would drive "impactful social change" by linking the "experience, evidence, and expertise" from its frontline partners with those who want to make a difference.