The Ireland Funds has extended its ‘Young Leaders’ programme, which is designed to encourage the next generation of philanthropists, to Ireland.
The Young Leaders programme has been running in the United States for a number of years with a series of high profile events aimed at younger people who it is hoped will become the next generation of charity donors.
More than 100 members of the Irish Young Leaders programme gathered in Dublin this week as part of a series of events around the world. Young Leaders events will take place in New York and Boston next week.
“These are young professionals who are well educated and are either starting out in business or establishing their careers,” Kieran McLoughlin, the Ireland Funds’ worldwide chief executive, told the Irish Times. “If we get them young, secure their commitment to support Ireland philanthropically, we hope they will give very generously over the course of their lives,” he said.
Membership of the Young Leaders group costs between $100 and $1,000 a year, with members are encouraged to make additional gifts or donations to specific projects.
The funding goes towards a range of projects in Ireland focused on disadvantaged young people, the elderly, culture and education, as well as the peace process.
About 400 Young Leaders have signed up as members in Ireland, the US and Australia, according to Mr McLoughlin. So far they have raised more than $1 million.
The Young Leaders initiative was first established several years ago in the USA, largely because those involved in fundraising were worried that future generations of Irish-Americans wouldn’t have as strong a bond with their ancestral homeland as their parents did.