The Atlantic Philanthropies’ 30 years of grantmaking in the Republic of Ireland has been recorded in a new book published by the Foundation.
The book tells the story of investments totalling $1.3 billion to help breathe life into university research, support major advances in human rights and underwrite joint efforts with government to improve services for children and older adults.
As the book’s author, journalist Liam Collins notes, the “evidence” of Atlantic’s — and founder Chuck Feeney’s — work can be seen “on university campuses around the country; in programmes for the young, the old and the disadvantaged; as well as fundamental social change, such as children’s rights and marriage equality, which it helped to foster.”
In addition to telling the history of the Foundation in Ireland, the book discusses outcomes from Atlantic’s grantmaking and lessons learned. It also features a series of vignettes about several of its grantees and their accomplishments.
The book says that while Irish people will instantly recognise both the name of the Foundation and its founder Charles F. (Chuck) Feeney, the sheer scale of their work over the last 30 years, more than 1,000 grants, totalling over €1 billion, has to an extent obscured the enormous contribution they have made in so many ways to this country. The evidence, the books says, is on university campuses around the country, and in programmes for the young, the old and the disadvantaged, as well as fundamental social change, such as children.
The development of giving in Ireland, with some notable exceptions, is not a place where philanthropy is ingrained in the psyche of those who have the wealth to “make a difference,” the books states.
“In Ireland, we have the highest number of people in Europe who give, but it is reactive giving”, says Éilis Murray, executive director of Philanthropy Ireland in the book.
“It is not part of our DNA to give in a planned and strategic way,” she added.
The book can be downloaded from the Foundation’s website.
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