The American Ireland Fund FAQ

Who are the Board Directors of The American Ireland Fund?

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Who are the key staff of The American Ireland Fund?

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Does The American Ireland Fund have audited financial statements available?

Yes See this page for more detail

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Does The American Ireland Fund have an Annual Report?

Yes See this page for more detail

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Does The American Ireland Fund have IRS forms 990 available?

Yes See this page for more detail

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Does The American Ireland Fund have a donor privacy policy?

Yes See this page for more detail

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Is The American Ireland Fund a registered nonprofit organization?

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What are the key areas of focus that are assisted by The American Ireland Fund?

The American Ireland Fund helps people in need by supporting worthy projects in both Ireland and the U.S. The American Ireland Fund currently concentrates on seven priority areas:

  • Providing Access to Education
  • Supporting a Shared Future for Northern Ireland
  • Investing in Ireland’s Communities
  • Promoting Irish Culture and Heritage
  • Assisting the Elderly ‘Forgotten Irish’
  • Assisting Disadvantaged Youth
  • Promoting Philanthropy

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What are some examples of how The American Ireland Fund assists these key areas of focus?

Please visit our List of Grantees to see additional detail on these and many more of the 1,200 programs helped by The American Ireland Funds

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How is The American Ireland Fund equipped to meet its goals?

The American Ireland Fund is well positioned to meet its objectives and it all starts with our generous donors. The American Ireland Fund is blessed with generous donors who are passionate in their support of our mission. The American Ireland Fund is part of The Worldwide Ireland Funds which hosts nearly 100 events each year educating 40,000 new and existing supporters annually. Next, our board of directors is accomplished and engaged; providing direction, strategic leadership and insight. And to ensure success, The American Ireland Fund recruits, develops, and retains talented staff that recognizes the exceptional responsibility of stewardship of our donors’ generous gifts.

We have identified and are actively working on the areas in which we can improve. We just completed our three year Strategic Plan with emphasis on strengthening core competencies in management and technology, while expanding outreach to existing and prospective donors.

The American Ireland Fund’s partnerships with the corporate sector and individual donors are strong and have yielded sponsorships and significant gifts, respectively. In addition, in 2011, the organization has distributed $1,000,000 in small grants to worthy projects across the island of Ireland and conducted a workshop to educate prospective grantees for future applications.

The area of capacity where additional investment is needed is primarily is that of infrastructure.

Some recent steps taken to increase our capacity and reach include:

  • A Chief Operating Officer was added to the team to drive organizational effectiveness, transparency, and under-utilized giving programs.
  • A new communications suite has been launched for existing and potential donors.
  • Implementation of a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is underway which will improve donor relations and data management.
  • Our website has been re-designed to enhance ease-of-use, transparency, and education.

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How does The American Ireland Fund measure the efficiency and effectiveness of its work?

The Worldwide Ireland Funds are one of the largest private funding sources for innovative work across the island of Ireland. We recognize the trust placed upon us to generate the most good, the biggest gain, and sharpest improvement. The American Ireland Fund is proud to receive the highest rating by Charity Navigator for accountability and transparency.

A well-controlled, efficient organizational infrastructure is critical to our mission. In 2009, with a vision toward sustainability, a major strategic plan was enacted to improve efficiencies through greater emphasis on expense management, operational controls, and selective investment in our technology infrastructure. So far, these efforts have produced a 10% reduction in operating expense.

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What has the American Ireland Fund helped accomplish?

For almost 40 years, your generosity has helped us assist over 3,000 worthy organizations that truly make a difference. Thanks to our support, many projects have sustained and/or significantly extended their reach in Ireland.

Examples include:

  • In Northern Ireland there are now 62 integrated schools attended by over 16,000 children. The American Ireland Fund has contributed over $1 million to the Integrated Education movement since it began in 1981. Assistance has built and improved school facilities, purchased much-needed equipment for classrooms and helped improved the quality and range of services available. Still, 94% of all children in Northern Ireland attend segregated schools. Much work remains and The American Ireland Fund is committed to create a shared society through integrated education.
  • Thanks to lead funding from The American Ireland Fund, Sesame Workshop initially created 26 episodes of Sesame Tree for Northern Ireland�s children. The initiative was so successful that it is now in its second season and broadcast has expanded to the rest of the U.K. Early follow-up studies by Queen�s University, Belfast show that after watching Sesame Tree, children are more willing to be inclusive of those from other backgrounds.
  • The American Ireland Fund has announced a partnership with the Irish Government in funding a toll-free helpline that is collaboration between all three Irish centers. Modeled on a successful initiative in Ireland, the U.S. Senior Connect Helpline is available for seniors who are isolated, lonely or in need of services. Funding from The American Ireland Fund will underwrite a full-time position to oversee the program.
  • Thanks to The American Ireland Fund, the Barretstown Camp has extended its reach beyond Ireland to bring its programs to families across Europe. 1,200 additional children have benefited from the Barretstown program thanks to funding.

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How can I learn more about the work of The American Ireland Fund and the difference a gift makes?

The American Ireland Fund reports regularly to its board of directors, staff, and most importantly, its donors. Donors who make donor advised gifts to specific projects and areas receive personal follow up and reports on the progress and difference made in the area of their interest and investment.

Our donors have the opportunity to visit projects when visiting Ireland to see first-hand how their generosity is impacting lives and we hold an annual conference in Ireland each June that brings together donors from around the world to see the difference their investment has made. In addition, we have regional U.S. staff who advise donors on how they can stay involved through our chapters and activities.

We invite you to stay in touch and learn more about our work through:

  • Contact from a Regional Director to discuss local opportunities
  • Our website
  • Connect magazine - published biannually - contact us for a free subscription
  • Periodic eNews Updates
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Watch us on YouTube
  • Join us on Linked In
  • Find a chapter on Facebook

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What are some examples of how The American Ireland Fund assists these key areas of focus?

Please visit our List of Grantees to see additional detail on these and many more of the 3,000 programs helped by The American Ireland Fund

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How does The American Ireland Fund assist Driving Reconciliation in Northern Ireland?

We support numerous programs that promote reconciliation, including:

  • Integrated Education brings together Protestant and Catholic children from both sides of the community to learn together. In Northern Ireland there are now 62 integrated schools attended by over 16,000 children. The American Ireland Fund has contributed over $1 million to the Integrated Education movement since it began in 1981. Assistance has built and improved school facilities, purchased much-needed equipment for classrooms and helped improved the quality and range of services available. Still, 94% of children in Northern Ireland attend non-integrated schools and much remains to be done.
  • Thanks to lead funding from The American Ireland Fund, Sesame Workshop has brought its proven programming promoting respect and understanding to Northern Ireland with Sesame Tree. The initiative was so successful that it is now in its second season and broadcast has expanded to the rest of the U.K. Early follow-up studies by Queen’s University, Belfast show that after watching Sesame Tree, children are more willing to be inclusive of those from other backgrounds
  • We help fund the innovative organization PeacePlayers International bringing children together through the neutral sport of basketball.
  • We support the Corrymeela Community, a place where diverse individuals and groups can come together for dialogue and reconciliation programs.
  • We help the 174 Trust offer a safe haven in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Belfast. Numerous social groups meet there for non-sectarian community development.
  • The Lyric Theatre has been a benchmark of high artistic standards since the 1950s and was a beacon of hope in the darkest days of the Troubles. Funding from The American Ireland Fund is contributing to a new state-of-the-art venue for this important cultural space in Belfast.

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How does The American Ireland Fund assist Promoting Philanthropy in Ireland?

The American Ireland Fund shares best-practices through the Philanthropy Toolkit and education seminars and promotes philanthropy in Ireland by: supporting organizations such as the Irish Charities Tax Research Group, Philanthropy Ireland, and Trinity Centre for Non-Profit Management Producing educational seminars and publications for the nonprofit sector.

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How does The American Ireland Fund assist Advancing Education Through Access and Excellence?

We partner with all nine universities on the island of Ireland to fund a variety of academic programs including:

  • Access to education for economically disadvantaged students who might not otherwise attend university in Ireland.http://aif.jasonabdullah.com/access-education
  • Programs such as the National Institute for Intellectual Disability which offers the only full-time third level course in Ireland for adults with intellectual disabilities.

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How does The American Ireland Fund assist Promoting Irish Culture and Preserving Irish Heritage?

We recognize the opportunity to share the unique gift of Irish culture.

  • Significant funding has contributed to the complete renovations of the Wexford Festival Opera House, the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, and the National Gallery in Ireland.
  • In the U.S., we offer support to the Irish Arts Center in NYC and groups like Keltic Dreams which bring the joy of Irish culture to an American audience.
  • The AWB Vincent American Ireland Fund Literary Award has acknowledged contributions to the field of Irish writing since 1972. Past winners have included Seamus Heaney, Edna O’Brien and Brian Friel.

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How does The American Ireland Fund help with Assisting Disadvantaged Youth?

In both urban and rural Ireland, challenging environments and poverty are faced by many children. We assist organizations on-the-ground working with these at-risk children such as:

  • The Belvedere Youth Club, one of the largest programs of its kind in Ireland offering after-school activities in urban Dublin. Over 500 local children ages seven to twenty make up the membership. In this challenging area of the city, The Ireland Funds assist the Club in sustaining services such as sport, after-school tutoring, theatre and training programs.
  • An Cosan bases its services in Jobstown Tallaght West. The organisation provides a service to this area of Dublin that is severely disadvantaged as a result of poverty and high levels of unemployment. An Cosán provides community-based education, childcare and enterprise. The Ireland Funds first funded An Cosán over ten years ago and continue to partner with them in 2010 to provide much-needed assistance to the families of this under-served area.
  • Barnardos, an organization specializing in early intervention with families and children affected by poverty and lack of education.
  • Barretstown Camp, a place where children facing serious illnesses can enjoy therapeutic recreation.
  • The Fettercairn Youth Horse Project in the impoverished suburb of Tallaght where children receive equestrian training and opportunities for vocational skill building.

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How does The American Ireland Fund help with Caring for The Forgotten Irish?

We support programs that serve the 'Forgotten Irish' - those men and women that immigrated to the U.S. and the U.K. driven by economic necessity and lack of opportunity in Ireland. Today, many of these elderly people live in poverty and isolation.

Funding has been directed to centers in London, New York, Chicago, and Boston that work directly with this fragile community so that meals, visits, counseling, transportation, and homecare can be offered to elderly Irish-Americans in need of assistance. Most recently, The American Ireland Fund has announced a partnership with the Irish Government in funding a toll-free helpline that is collaboration between the three Irish centers. Modeled on a successful initiative in Ireland, the U.S. Senior Connect Helpline is available for seniors who are isolated, lonely or in need of services. Funding from The American Ireland Fund will underwrite a full-time position to oversee the program.

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