Covid-19 Relief, Climate, the Arts, Communities benefit as The Community Foundation reports record 2020
The Community Foundation for Ireland confirms total grants top €15m
1,377 grants issued to community, voluntary and charitable groups
Statement by The Community Foundation for Ireland
More than €15m in grants have been issued to support communities in what has been a record-breaking year for The Community Foundation for Ireland.
The Foundation says the response of private and corporate donors, the public as well as legacies to a year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic has seen it almost double its support for communities.
However, funding also went beyond the immediate emergency with the Foundation continuing to operate funds across areas as diverse as engaging communities on climate action, restorative justice for young people, human rights as well as identifying future priorities, including support for all-island civic society engagement.
As it prepares to enter its 21st year The Foundation is reporting that it has during that period issued grants totalling €65 million.
Major initiatives during the year include the establishment of an immediate Covid-19 Fund by private donors to the Foundation to respond to immediate emergency need, including Meals on Wheels, virtual supports for vulnerable young people and initiatives to help people with disabilities.
On June 26th RTÉ Does Comic Relief saw a unique partnership between 1.4 million television viewers, private donors as well as Government. The event generated €5.8 million which is allowing community groups to increase digital and technology support for frontline work as well as measures to protect against the virus.
As the year was closing a partnership with The Late Late Toy Show saw €6.5 million generated by viewers for services aimed at children.
The importance of legacies was also highlighted with the announcement of the Hugh Leonard Fund, with his literary estate being made available by his only daughter, Danielle Byrne being made available to support aspiring playwrights.
In total 1,377 grants were issued, with the average amount just shy of €11,000.
Commenting on the preliminary figures Mike Gaffney, Chair of the Foundation said: “This past year has made clear for all to see the role Philanthropy can contribute to supporting vulnerable people, communities and our country. Much of the support has been targeted not only at responding to immediate need but also to give groups and communities the ability to plan for the longer term by providing strategic and sustainable support.
Despite the remarkable generosity of our donors it is also important to acknowledge that throughout the year demand for support still exceeded the levels of support available. As a foundation we are conscious that for many people and communities there remains great challenges.”
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive, added: “We are conscious as we face into 2021 that it too will bring its own challenges. The issues of climate change, domestic violence as well as rights for minorities such as travellers, migrants and LRBTI+ still need to be urgently addressed. Brexit and the post-Covid scenario will also present their own challenges.
By nurturing and encouraging philanthropy Ireland can tap into a resource which is currently underdeveloped and under-used to give communities as well as national frontline services the strategic support to identify long-term solutions to the many challenges ahead.
The Community Foundation for Ireland which has responded to the difficulties across 2020 by strengthening existing relationships with donors, establishing many new ones and embracing new approaches and initiatives is ready to play its part and will be approaching the New Year in a spirit of partnership”.