Philanthropy Fortnight Celebrates Northern Ireland’s Tradition of Giving

By April 3, 2014Corporate, Newsroom

Northern Ireland’s proud tradition of charitable giving is the main theme running through Philanthropy Fortnight 2014, which takes place from May 6-15.

Philanthropy Fortnight, which was launched at Clifton House today (April 1),  features a host of events taking place throughout Northern Ireland celebrating its rich heritage of charitable work and encouraging the public to get involved in today’s worthy causes.

Sandara Kelso-Robb, Strategic Advisor to Giving Northern Ireland, an organisation set up to champion philanthropy, said this year’s programme was bigger than ever.

She said: “It is appropriate that Philanthropy Fortnight was launched at Clifton House, home of Belfast Charitable Society as this building symbolises the spirit of philanthropy which coursed through the veins of the city’s founding fathers and is reflective of the work taking place in cities, towns and villages throughout Northern Ireland.”

Tony McCusker, Chair of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, one of the partners in the Philanthropy Fortnight initiative, added that the programme is packed with events looking at the past, present and future of philanthropy.

He said: “Philanthropy Fortnight is also about what is happening today and we have events taking place all over Northern Ireland  including Ballymena, Derry/Londonderry, Limavady and Enniskillen . I would encourage people to access the programme and find out what is happening in their area.”

Highlights of the packed programme include:

  • A free exhibition at the Linenhall Library entitled ‘The Belfast Harp Society – an 18th Century Example of Engaged Philanthropy’, The society was set up in 1808 to provide tuition to blind children so they could earn a living as musicians. This takes place May 6-15.
  • The programme also looks to the future with events such as the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Skills  Initiative, which engages and encourages secondary school students to participate in community-based projects. Workshops take place at St Louis Grammar School in Ballymena on May 6 and Oakgrove Integrated College in Derry/Londonderry on May 9, with the Schools Final at St Louise’s College in Belfast on May 13.
  • Young people in Fermanagh are also getting involved with Fermanagh Youth Bank 2014 – an event celebrating how young people are positive agents for change. This takes place in Fermanagh House, Enniskillen on May 15.
  • The theme of women in philanthropy also plays a major role in the programme with three key events on May 15 –  the International Women in Business Conference in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, hosted by Women in Business NI; the Give Inc Giving Circle evening reception at Café Vaudeville and the Women in Leadership Talk Philanthropy dinner organised by Giving Northern Ireland at the Fitzwilliam Hotel. The keynote speaker at all three events is the inspirational Charlotte Grobien, founder of the London-based project ‘Give it Away’, a property business which gives all of its profits to charities that help children and young people.
  • The launch of a programme of post-graduate research bursaries into philanthropy by Giving Northern Ireland. This takes place at the Open University in Victoria Street on May 6.
  • There are also a number of events aimed at fundraisers including an Arts and Business NI seminar at the Ulster Museum on May 8 and an information session on the Acorn Fund at Roe Valley Arts and Culture Centre on May 13.

To access the full Philanthropy Fortnight programme go to: