April 12, 2018; Fundraising UK
Over the next six weeks, the Community Foundation for Ireland will be profiling some of its most impactful donor-advised funds, vehicles that often remain veiled behind the sponsoring organization—in this case, the community foundation.
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The first to be “outed” will be the Farmleigh Fund, which has been anonymous since it was established two years ago as a spenddown fund projected to give €350,000 each year for the next decade. The money was the result of a windfall gain resulting from the sale of a company, and it focuses on the support of advocacy and progressive change in public policy and legislation.
The Foundation says the fund is a prime example of how philanthropy, when utilized at its best, can support strategic initiatives in targeted areas to help in addressing selected societal challenges. According to the Foundation, the spend down nature of the term fund allows the donors to support a relatively small number of targeted initiatives and to provide them with multi-annual funding to really delve into systemic issues and create lasting change.
This idea is an intriguing way to illustrate the specific work of funds. It might help to dissipate some of the discomfort of those who worry that DAFs are too hidden from public view. It is not, of course, the transparency that many wish to see, but it might be a step towards a little less discomfort.—Ruth McCambridge