Delegates at a conference in Dublin, organised by the Ireland Funds, were told today that the Philanthropy Sector was entering a golden age worldwide and that Ireland had the potential to be a global example.

Delegates at the conference, from both the NGO and corporate sectors, were given practical guidelines on fundraising along with case studies from national and international contributors.

Kingsley Aikins, President and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland funds, said that the Irish Philanthropy Market is still in its infancy and should be professionalised.

'Smart people should be attracted into the sector, we need to get away from the notion that fundraising is organised by the 'ladies who lunch set',' he said.

He says that $1 in every $50 in the US economy goes to non-profit and over $240 billion was given through tax-exempt charitable organisations annually.