Ireland’s First Women’s Fund Launched
The Community Foundation for Ireland launches the first ever Women’s Fund for Ireland. The fund, dedicated solely to supporting women’s causes, is the first of its kind in Ireland and follows international trends. The fund was launched at a landmark symposium on Women in Philanthropy held in The Royal College of Physicians, Dublin and addressed by President Mary McAleese.
The Fund will tackle the problems facing women and girls in Ireland today. It will evolve over time but it will target critical issues such as combating poverty and violence to improving access to healthcare and education. It will also target areas such as trafficking and prostitution, integration of new communities, women in the arts, literacy and support for carers. It will be dedicated to supporting these issues by giving small grants to enable positive change at the grassroots and strategic level and tackle women’s inequality at its source.
The launch of the fund coincided with a special symposium entitled “Realising the Power and Potential of Women in Philanthropy” jointly hosted by The Community Foundation for Ireland and Philanthropy Ireland. The landmark seminar, supported by Ulster Bank, set out to highlight the role and involvement of women in philanthropy in Ireland, to showcase some leading Irish women and their approach to philanthropy and to identify how the potential of women’s philanthropy can be realised in Ireland.
The key note speaker, renowned US philanthropist Ellen Remmer, President and CEO of Boston-based The Philanthropic Initiative, Inc. spoke about the special power that can be harnessed by women in making a real difference in the lives of less fortunate women in society.
This is the basis on which the fund has been established, it is a fund developed by women to support women.
Here in Ireland:
- 1 in 5 women experience domestic violence in their lifetimes
- 85% of lone parents are female
- 84% of cases reported to the Rape Crisis Centre are female
- Only 14% of TD’s in Dail Eireann are female (EU average is 24%).
However, it is also true that:
- Women are one and half times more likely than men to include a donation to charity in their will
- Recent research showed that women in the U.S. give an average of 3.5% of their wealth to charity, while men give an average of 1.8% and may be more likely to fund harder causes.
Speaking at the Symposium, Tina Roche CEO of the Community Foundation for Ireland said “Women are playing, and will play, a crucial role in the development of philanthropy in Ireland over the coming years for a number of reasons. Women are becoming more independently wealthy than ever before, are living longer than men and many women now have the capacity to help make real social change in Ireland through their wealth, skills and energy. This is why we think the time is right to establish Ireland’s first ever Women’s Fund and we look forward to seeing this develop and grow over the coming years.”
The fund is being launched with The Community Foundation for Ireland pledging €100,000 as a challenge grant towards the fund. So for every €1000 raised for endowment by an individual, family, business or organisation, a matching amount of €500 will be provided by The Community Foundation. It is being supported by Irish Tatler magazine and is their chosen charity of the year for 2010.
The first grants from The Women’s Fund for Ireland will be made on International Women’s Day in 2011.
For Further Information please contact:
Una O’ Murchu
The Community Foundation for Ireland
Tel: 01-874 3821
Mob: 086 780 8762