‘Brave’ Philanthropy needs Meaningful Policy

Recognition of the value of philanthropy as being ‘innovative’ and ‘brave’ must lead to Government actions which encourage more private giving to meet major challenges such as the climate, environment and biodiversity emergencies, according to Community Foundation Ireland.

The Community Foundation, which over 23-years has provided more than €110 Million in grants to 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable groups, says a Draft National Policy on Philanthropy published by Government today (23rd May 2023) must serve as a launch pad for action in key areas.

Welcoming the publication by Minister of State, Joe O’Brien, TD, the Foundation says it offers an opportunity to bring philanthropic giving into line with countries in Europe, North America as well as Australia and New Zealand to support actions on climate, equality and social justice which otherwise would not happen.

The Foundation welcomes key areas in the plan including:

Recognition that Philanthropic giving around climate, environment and biodiversity is increasing internationally and can help ensure Ireland’s delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals to address the biggest challenge of all.

The importance of place in the context of giving in Ireland. Placed Based Giving where donors give to a particular community or area where they have a connection offers huge potential for growth.

The commitment to a cross Government open-ness to work in partnership with Philanthropy to deliver greater impact for communities. Match-funding not only allows innovative and ground-breaking projects, but also encourages greater private giving.

Encouraging Legacy Giving to bring Ireland into line with other countries. Encouraging gifts in wills both through incentives and increased awareness will ensure we pass on a better society to future generations.

Speaking on the publication of the Draft Policy, Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland said:

“For over two-decades our donors have been supporting a mission of Equality for All in Thriving Communities. They have ensured greater legal protections and supports for victims of sexual violence, improved Traveller, LGBTQ+ and Migrant Rights as well as shown leadership on climate, environment and biodiversity.

Despite these and many other successes it has been clear that Government policy is not keeping pace with the energy, passion and growth we are seeing in Irish Philanthropy.

This policy offers an opportunity to change that, to see that private giving allows vital work in communities, nationally and internationally which other-wise would not happen.

As a Foundation we welcome the public consultation now taking place and will participate fully to ensure that later this year a National Policy is delivered which is meaningful, impactful and has the power to transform lives and communities.”