Promoting Philanthropy in Ireland

I saw yesterday that the Ireland Funds have opened their Grants rounds. One of the categories that they will accept requests under is “Promoting Philanthropy in Ireland”. A few years ago, working with Niall O’Sullivan, we got a group of fundraisers in Ireland to attend a meeting that  talked about promoting Philanthropy. We pulled together a “thoughts” document and shared it with the Board of Philanthropy Ireland. I believe that there is more movement in this space again, which is great to hear.

But there was one line of thinking from that day that I have been keen to progress. My belief is that one of the ways (and not the only one)  of creating a culture of Philanthropy in Ireland is to think long term and about the next generation. I had heard about a campaign in the US that encouraged children to not just save their pocket money but to also spend some of it and share (donate) another portion.

I don’t know who runs it, or even if it is run by anyone, but I want to adapt it and bring it to life in Ireland.

I sincerely believe that a “Spend, Save, Share” movement, targeted at children in junior school (with a plan to grow with them as they develop) would be a massive step in promoting philanthropy in Ireland. Imagine, if, from a young age children think about money differently. They think about saving (that’s good right) but they also know that its ok to spend some too. Just as importantly though, they start to think about what some of that money could do for others? So they would start to think about sharing. I firmly believe that this would be the start of a mindset change, which would need to be supported by a full programme that, as I said, develops as the child develops, which could be incredibly powerful and game changing for the future of philanthropy.

This isn’t about the amount, so fundraisers should put the calculators away. This is about the action. It’s about creating a movement that changes how we think about philanthropy. It’s a step towards the idea of planned giving. Ireland is a generous nation, we all know that. But we aren’t a nation that really plans or thinks about its giving. I believe that a programme like this would create a culture where we start to think in a planned way.

So why am I telling you this?

Well I want charities to get on board with me. I would love to take this on, but I need charities to buy into it. Maybe organisations like Fundraising Ireland, Philanthropy Ireland, ICTRG, The Wheel could row in behind it too? Maybe even some financial institutions too!

We could apply to the Ireland Funds for seed funding and then look at where else we could get support. This is clearly in the ideas stage. But there is an idea here.

If you think it’s a good one and think your organisation would like to get behind something like this, let me know, drop me an email, tweet me, call me, whatever, just get in touch. We will then set something up with everyone who thinks it’s a good idea and do something about it.

I believe in this and would love to bring it to life. But I need you.



15 thoughts on “Promoting Philanthropy in Ireland

  1. That’s an interesting one Conor. Definitely a lot of potential in your idea and one I’ll definitely keep an eye on. If you’ve any ideas how myself or Total Fundraising could help then I’m all ears!

    If there’s anything you think might be able to do to help then I’d be happy to talk. It’s primarily credit card donations at the moment, but as it adds mobile donations and as younger and younger kids get mobile phones it could be another angle.

  2. Hi Conor – Check out – Great program that teaches children about business and giving all in a fun setting.

  3. Conor – have heard this idea a few times and there was a great presentation on it at one of the Women’s Funds presentations. Happy to talk more about it see if there is anyway of getting it moving … have also tweeted! Niamh

    • Thanks Niamh, will def meet up with you over the coming weeks to chat about it. Really want to find a way to bring this to life

  4. Great idea!! Great way of changing people’s mindset

  5. Hi Conor, Really great idea. Perhaps the Dept of Education can get involved too for secondary and primary schools. Its really a social marketing campaign your looking at. Would be happy to meet up and discuss. Get you key financial institution on board first and then plan a roll out. Love the boxes, are they available here? Really visualise the concept. Best of Luck!

    • Hi Susanne.

      Thanks, yes I would love to see the Dept get involved. I dont think the boxes are available here, but we could create some work for someone here getting them made…another good thing to come from this!

      I really am hopeful this will happen. I have had a response from the Ireland Funds, the Community Foundation and Philanthropy Ireland, and I plan to meet them all to talk about this and see how we can get it live.

      Thanks for your support


  6. Good idea Conor. Might be worth contacting Educate Together and other patrons about including it in the their ethical curriculum. Surely something funders will support.

    • thanks Bruce. Yes I plan to reach out far and wide on this one. I really want to make it happen. I have to now I have made a big deal of it!

  7. I think anything we do to educate children about philanthropy / giving should be linked somehow under a single, focused, goal driven umbrella of thought. Perhaps your 3xS idea might well be the way to proceed. If I can help in any way …… just contact me. Jim

  8. Ellen Remmer, a Boston based philanthropist and philanthropy adviser, mentioned this idea at a philanthropy seminar we (The Community Foundation) ran in April 2010 and it resonated with a lot of people there. Happy to talk further and well done for circulating the concept.

    • Thanks Niall….would love to chat about this more with you, a few other bodies have asked to meet up and talk about it so it may be a case of pulling people together and seeing how this happens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s