Philanthropy matters now more than ever
At a time of economic depression it is uplifting to note that the Worldwide Ireland Funds has doubled the target for its 'Promising Ireland' campaign from $100m to $200m. The organisation has supported over 350 charities and not-for-profit organisations across Ireland over the years, the money coming from private philanthropists and the 12 countries where the funds have a presence.
CEO Kieran McLoughlin says the Ireland Funds is inundated by an unprecedented level of demand from struggling charities, and it now hopes to raise $2m a month to meet this new target.
In times of recession this is a brave and heartening move.
It also came on a day when an audience of 250 invited guests gathered in Dublin to hear former US president Bill Clinton share his insights into ongoing funding and philanthropy in Ireland. Delivering the annual Ray Murphy Memorial Lecture organised by The Forum on Philanthropy and Philanthropy Ireland, President Clinton appealed to the business community and industry leaders to support Ireland's struggling not-for-profit sector.
Philanthropists, particularly the Irish American businessman Chuck Feeney, have contributed so much to Ireland over the years. And it is clear that those associated with philanthropic organisations are just as intent on continuing the important work of supporting peace and justice in this country, north and south, through their their invaluable work for those most in need.