Philanthropy Fortnight 2019 Launch

13 May 2019

Philanthropy Fortnight 2019

Philanthropy Fortnight 2019 has launched!  Taking place between 13th- 26th May 2019 the campaign is in partnership with Belfast Charitable Society, the Community Foundation, Fermanagh Trust and Arts & Business NI.  The fortnight will feature a series of activity and promotions celebrating generosity across NI.  Join in the celebrations and take part in the conversations at #philanthropyfortnight19

Philanthropy Fortnight 2019 set to celebrate generosity

As one of the most charitable and generous regions in the UK, Northern Ireland is set to celebrate all the positive impacts that philanthropy makes during this year’s Philanthropy Fortnight, May 13th-26th. Over 75% of us make donations to charity every year and a partnership between the Community Foundation, Fermanagh Trust, Arts & Business NI and Belfast Charitable Society, ‘Philanthropy Fortnight’ will tell the stories behind modern philanthropy in Northern Ireland.  

Now in its seventh year, the organisations involved will share what motivates people and businesses to be generous, the wide range of causes supported by philanthropy and the tangible difference it makes to our community.

Back in the 1800’s, private philanthropy played a big part in NI society when middle class industrialists set up hospitals and ran poor houses out of concern for the poor and their standard of living.  Belfast’s first maternity hospital was set up as a result of scant support for women in labour and to provide accommodation, food and medical supervision during childbirth. Managed and organised by a group of philanthropic women, this “Lying - In Hospital” is now Belfast Royal Maternity Hospital.   In Derry, the first children’s home was set up as a result of the generosity of a local merchant, John Gwyn, through a gift in his will and today has been redeveloped as Brooke Park.

“Enormous things are also being achieved today through Philanthropy in NI, things which simply wouldn’t happen without the generosity and involvement of local people” said Siofra Healy, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation.

“During philanthropy fortnight we want to celebrate the difference modern philanthropy is making by recognising the value of what is being achieved and highlighting the impact on local lives.

“Our hope is to encourage even more philanthropy, stimulate debate about what philanthropy means and highlight the joy of giving amongst the young and the old, individuals, families and businesses.”

Activity over the fortnight will include the launch of new funding opportunities, case study blogs, a celebration of giving by the Barbour Fund and Fermanagh will go global with the Fisher Foundation as they present 25 grants to local people working on 13 projects volunteering overseas.

Investing in our youth is a major passion for modern day philanthropists, said Lauri McCusker,  Director of Fermanagh Trust and during the fortnight both Enniskillen Yacht Club Charitable Trust and the Fermanagh Recreational Trust will present awards to young people whilst in Derry, The Change Something Fund panel of young people will make decisions about how funding should be spent in their city. 

"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."  Marcella Walsh, Art's Programme Co-ordinator, Arts & Business NI.

Paula Reynolds, Chief Executive of Belfast Charity Society is chair of  the NI Charitable Trust Group and said, “Past and present philanthropists have made a real difference in Northern Ireland and giving has always been hugely important here. Get involved  by following the conversations at #philanthropyfortnight19 and let us know what generosity means to you. This celebration will showcase how generous we are in NI, the difference philanthropy can make and how we need philanthropy today more than ever.”


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Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.