What is Philanthropy?

What is Philanthropy?

Posted on February 26, 2018

Watch Video

For those of us who have the privilege of working in The Community Foundation for Ireland, it is true to say that our jobs don’t lack variety.  Not least because of the depth and diversity of the community and voluntary sector in Ireland, which never ceases to inspire us on the basis of the tireless and dedicated work across every parish in Ireland, as well as the vision and passion of its leaders. Donors too are characterised by their own particular passions and interests and every fund at The Community Foundation for Ireland is bespoke and tailored to the particular donor.

Philanthropy is best summarised as transforming generosity into lasting impact, but at its best, through commitment, collaboration and focus philanthropy can be a catalyst for positive social change.

At its best philanthropy challenges the status quo – over the past year The Community Foundation for Ireland and a number of our donors continued to support Safe Ireland’s work in seeking to achieve cultural change and to address the root causes of domestic violence.

At its best philanthropy tests and demonstrates viable and workable solutions to challenging societal problems – such as the research which is being supported by one of our family funds looking at public policy in relation to the provision of social housing by local authorities in the area of homelessness.

At its best philanthropy is for the longer term, in contrast to the short term nature of most public funding – in addition to The Community Foundation for Ireland’s multi-annual Impact Grants, we have been delighted to see a move towards multi-annual commitments of support on the part of a number of our donors.

At its best philanthropy is quirky and individual – who would have thought that The Community Foundation for Ireland would be one of the sponsors of the bestselling Atlas of the Irish Revolution which was published this year?

At its best philanthropy supports advocacy and has a social change lens – The Community Foundation for Ireland and a number of our donors have been able to fill some of the gaps left through the exit of The Atlantic Philanthropies, through support of organisations such as Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Children’s Rights Alliance.

At its best philanthropy has the power and potential to create cultural shift and move towards an Ireland where everyone feels like they belong.

Over the next few years we would love to see philanthropy flourishing in Ireland and The Community Foundation for Ireland will be here to work with and foster individuals, families, corporates and trusts and foundations supporting progressive social change through strategic giving.


Tina Roche, Chief Executive, The Community Foundation for Ireland