Ireland Funds raises €5.6m despite recession

The Ireland Funds, a global network of philanthropists with links to Ireland, has raised  $7 million (€5.6 million) for social and charitable projects in Ireland.

“If there is evidence of a silver lining in the cloud that hangs over the economy of the island right now, then the diaspora is its brightest spot,” he said.

Ireland Funds worldwide chief executive Kieran McLoughlin told the Irish Times that the funds had been raised against a “relentlessly challenging economic and philanthropic environment”. “If there is evidence of a silver lining in the cloud that hangs over the economy of the island right now, then the diaspora is its brightest spot,” he said.
 
At the height of the boom, the Ireland Funds raised some $23 million in a single year. This sum has fallen sharply in more recent times against the backdrop of the global economic downturn. It is on course to raise about $14 million this year, a similar sum to last year.
 
The Ireland Funds are made up of 12 different funds of which the American Ireland fund is the largest. These are private fundraising entities whose aim is to generate support for charities in Ireland on both sides of the Border, and for needy members of the Irish community abroad.

Most of its fundraising comes through gala dinners, which can raise tens of thousands of dollars per head. Its most successful event – the 2007 New York gala dinner – raised more than $4 million.

Visit the Ireland Funds website for additional information (there are no open grant programmes at present): www.irlfunds.org