Northern Ireland voluntary sector benefits from celebration of generosity during Philanthropy Fortnight 2019

Foundation News

Northern Ireland voluntary sector benefits from celebration of generosity during Philanthropy Fortnight 2019

13 Jun 2019

Philanthropy Fortnight 2019, the recent two week long celebration of generosity, highlighted the very real and positive impacts which philanthropy makes at a societal level and launched new funding opportunities for community groups and individuals.

Lead partners Fermanagh Trust, Belfast Charitable Society,Arts and Business NI and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland launched new funds, held award events for recipients of existing funds and shared insights and learnings on different giving models; from corporate giving to giving circles and individual philanthropists to charitable foundations.

Some of the highlights of Philanthropy Fortnight included:

  • A grants presentation by the Fisher Foundation to support 25 local people in 13 projects volunteering overseas this year across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. The Foundation is managed by Fermanagh Trust
  • 500 young people received funding and awards from the Enniskillen Yacht Club Charitable Trust and the Fermanagh Recreational Trust, also managed by the Fermanagh Trust
  • A new Pears Community Spaces fund was launched by the Community Foundation and Pears Foundation, through which grants of £5,000 are available for groups and organisations to develop greater understanding and collaboration Six young people were awarded bursaries from the Thomas Devlin Fund to pursue studies in the creative arts
  • The Barbour Fund managed by Belfast Charitable Society has a mission to address social disadvantage and reduce isolation celebrated a huge milestone having awarded over £100,000 to projects over the past few year. It has supported: over 1500 older people in care and independent living settings in a wide range of activities and in volunteering to help others. It supported the development of industry linked training courses with 18 trainees going directly into work alongside bursaries at Belfast MET and QUB.
  • PwC highlighted their new corporate philanthropy model during Philanthropy Fortnight They have ‘adopted’ Malvern Primary School in West Belfast and provide a fully-funded breakfast club and after-school classes which its 100 plus pupils can avail of. Since the partnership began the school can report a significant increase in attendance in both the breakfast club and school plus more parental engagement.

Siofra Healy, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation summarised, “Philanthropy Fortnight is an opportunity to celebrate that Northern Ireland is one of the most generous regions in the UK and the impact that generosity makes to our society. Generosity is not limited to a two week period however and over the last year, one in every eight people in NI benefited from local philanthropy through the Foundation with over £2m in grants awarded. While statistics can be impressive, the real impact can be seen when individuals’ lives are changed.

Marcella Walsh, Art’s Programme Co-ordinator, Arts & Business NI said, “Arts & Business NI’s participation in the Philanthropy Fortnight 2019 campaign is an excellent way to celebrate the generosity through Philanthropy for Arts projects and Business engagement, by highlighting successful stories and innovative collaborations. Crowdfunding has revolutionised the way in which organisations and artists can create and makes it easy for individual supporters to engage in 21st Century Philanthropic causes, make a difference and champion Arts and Culture in NI.”
Lauri McCusker Director at the Fermanagh Trust highlighted the importance of the fortnight’s events ‘‘Here in Fermanagh, Philanthropy Fortnight provided our Foundation with an important opportunity to shine a light on excellent examples of local giving for both local and international causes. It was a terrific positive experience bringing philanthropists and recipients together to share and celebrate their endeavours’’.

Paula Reynolds, Chief Executive at Belfast Charitable Society said, “Past and present philanthropists have made a real difference in Northern Ireland and this Philanthropy Fortnight we collectively celebrated the real difference that giving makes and highlighted how we need philanthropy today more than ever.”


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