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NI Foundation provided £900,000 to charitable causes

NI Foundation provided £900,000 to charitable causes

One of ’s largest foundations made donations of nearly £900,000 in 2015, according to its latest accounts.

The McClay Foundation was set up by the late Sir Allen McClay who made his fortune in the pharmaceutical business. The bulk of the Foundation’s giving is directed to causes in Northern Ireland, although some developing world charities are also supported.

The Foundation’s priorities are to:

·       Support and encourage research and innovation

·       Advance the use of diagnostic tools and drugs in the prevention, control and cure of disease

·       Ensure latest advances in healthcare are available to all, including developing countries

·       Generate and promote employment opportunities

·       Support and promote such educational purposes as the trustees shall select, provided that such purposes shall be exclusively charitable in law

Donations in 2014 were over £1 million with Queens University Belfast one of the largest grant recipients with £600,000 in 2014 and £260,000 in 2015. Cancer charities also figure large in the Foundation’s regular giving, with the NI Hospice receiving £400,000 over two years and large grants to Clic Sargent, Marie Cure and NI Children’s Cancer Fund.  

The McClay Foundation is happy to provide support over more than one year and the accounts show future commitments of over £2 million to many of the same causes.

In 2014 £90 million was given to the Foundation from the sale of Almac shares, the pharmaceutical company founded by Sir Allen.  Some of the Foundation’s board are associated with the Almac company.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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