Dublin City University Leadership Award Ceremony


Accepting leadership award from DCU, Chief Executive Denise Charlton (Centre) with DCU Educational Trust Chair, Eamonn Quinn and DCU President Professor Daire Keogh
Accepting leadership award, Chief Executive Denise Charlton (Centre) with DCU Educational Trust Chair, Eamonn Quinn and DCU President Professor Daire Keogh

Remarks by Denise Charlton, Chief Executive

1st February 2024


On behalf of our donors and all at Community Foundation Ireland thank you for this incredible honour.

I will ensure it takes pride of place in our office where it can be viewed by the anonymous donors who have made our partnership with the Dublin City University Educational Trust as well as the pioneering, ground-breaking work which has followed, possible.

It is a partnership of which we are immensely proud of. Together all of us have literally transformed lives.

The Foundation

This is an evening of acknowledgement and celebration, but I hope you won’t mind if I just take a brief moment to outline the journey which has brought us to this point.

Community Foundation Ireland and its donors share a mission of Equality for All In Thriving Communities.

It is a mission which guides every aspect of our work as a philanthropic hub and which has seen us grow €1M in seed funding by Government in the year 2000 into over €130M in grant-making to a growing network of 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable partners.

Our mission has its challenges, but also its victories. There are many: including supporting climate and biodiversity action in hundreds of communities, strengthening laws to combatting sexual violence as well as reforming equality laws for children, women, migrants, Travellers and the LGBTQ+ Community.


In the DCU Educational Trust we have a partner which not only shares our equality mission but is truly a change-maker making a significant contribution to ensure our city, our country and our planet are better and fairer places to live.

Our donors have provided 46 grants to the University totalling almost €1.5 Million since 2007. The numbers maybe impressive but they are far from the full story. Lets quickly reflect on just some of what we are achieving together.

Access programmes have opened up education, training and opportunity to so many people who otherwise would have been excluded, often because of social or economic circumstances over which they have no control.

Pioneers in this particular area have been our partners in the Monaghan Fund. We have worked with people with a deep commitment, passion and connectivity to the county to open up new opportunities.

We note too your commitment as a young energetic educational institution to champion global issues such as access to clean water. Ensuring sustainable futures is the biggest challenge for humanity. Together we are working on tackling climate issues which are not in some distant future, but are threatening communities and lives now.

This is the longer-term view which philanthropy provides. It is about having foresight.

A pioneering project which has not only captured our imagination but has been highlighted by the Government in the first ever National Policy on Philanthropy is the development of exo-skeleton suits.

Our donors coupled with your experts are literally giving people the opportunity to walk again. Together we are providing half of the very precious few suits in the country.


We are often asked, What makes philanthropy different? We say it is braver, it takes risks, it has a longer term view, it funds work and projects which others do not.

I can confidently say our partnership with the DCU Educational Trust ticks every one of those boxes.

I also want to acknowledge and congratulate our fellow award winners tonight. Each making its own unique contribution to improving society.

Finally on behalf of our donors – and all of us – Thank You, and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Get Involved

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