Mission: To harness the power of a global philanthropic network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education, and community development in Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.
About the Organization: Established in 1976 by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who later served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland, and former H.J. Heinz Co. CEO Anthony J.F. O'Reilly, the Ireland Fund merged in 1987 with the American Irish Foundation, founded in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy and Irish President Éamonn De Valera, to become the Ireland Funds. Today the Ireland Funds promotes a vision of peace, equality, and opportunity in Ireland and among Irish communities worldwide. Irelands Funds America (aka the American Ireland Fund) has twelve chapters across the United States — including in Los Angeles, Palm Beach, and San Diego — and works to help people in need by supporting worthy and innovative projects in both Ireland and the United States.
Current Programs: The Ireland Funds' grants programs include the Small Grants Round, which supports small nonprofit and community organizations in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; and the Flagship Awards, which provide core funding, capacity-building assistance, and/or program costs for nonprofits working in one of its focus areas: arts and culture, community development, education, and peace and reconciliation.
COVID-19 Response: In response to the pandemic, the organization established the Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of communities impacted by the virus. Over the last four months, the fund has awarded grants for food and food distribution, disability support, services for the elderly, access to education, mental health, and to address domestic and child abuse; the fund is no longer accepting applications, however.
Website: Visitors to the Ireland Funds website can find local chapters in twelve U.S. cities and twelve countries, keep up with news from the organization and its individual chapters, read "stories of impact," and/or make a donation to the organization or its COVID-19 Response Fund.
Funding: Ireland Funds America is supported by individuals and foundations.