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Role of Irish donor advised funds highlighted 

Role of Irish donor advised funds highlighted 

The Community Foundation for Ireland is running a six week campaign to profile some of their anonymous ‘donor advised funds.’

The ‘Unsung Heroes’ campaign will highlight donor advised funds that are creating social impact in Ireland. The campaign, which runs from 9th April to 19th May, has started by showcasing the Farmleigh Fund, an anonymous family fund established in 2016 as a term fund at the Foundation.

The Farmleigh Fund will spend down the total amount they have allocated to the fund over the next 10 years. The fund has committed to providing €350,000 per annum in grants to the community and voluntary sector in Ireland.

The Farmleigh Fund was set up when the family received a windfall gain after the sale of a company. The objective of the Fund is to make a sustainable improvement in people’s lives in Ireland with a particular interest in supporting advocacy and progressive change in public policy and legislation.

The Fund has invested in change in the Children’s Rights Alliance so that they can continue to produce their Annual Report Card which tracks policy delivery for children and young people in Ireland. Similarly, the fund has supported the work of the Irish Penal Reform Trust to examine human rights conditions of prisoners in Ireland.

The Foundation says the fund is a prime example of how philanthropy, when utilised at its best, can support strategic initiatives in targeted areas to help in addressing selected societal challenges. According to the Foundation, the spend down nature of the term fund allows the donors to support a relatively small number of targeted initiatives and to provide them with multi-annual funding to really delve into systemic issues and create lasting change.

Donor Advised Funds are a charitable giving vehicle administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organisation, family, or individual. Donor advised funds held by the Community Foundation for Ireland include those which spend down their money while others create a permanent endowment.



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 and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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