Atlantic Philanthropies founded by Irish American Chuck Feeney, has pledged a donation of $19.65m (14.85m euros) to the Irish State agency Pobal. The donation was made in an effort to contribute to the fight against poverty among young children.
The Irish Times reports on the donation, stating that Pobal is also "in talks with the Department of Health and Children to potentially match the funding provided by the philanthropic body."
It is expected that there will be an announcement on the project next month. chief executive of Pobal, Denis Leamy, declined comment because the finer details of the arrangement have yet to be worked out.
If the State matches the Atlantic donation, Pobal will be in charge of a fund of roughly $40m (~30m euro). This fund will be open to further funding applications from community groups and local projects across the nation.
As the project is so far envisioned, it will operate on an area-based initiative, funding several small projects related to education, childcare, and child poverty. Different groups operating in the same geographic areas will be encouraged to band together to form consortiums to apply for funding through Pobal.
This is not Atlantic's first engagement with Pobal. It has previously provided funds for the National Early Years Access initiative. a three-year project whose intention was to improve facilities for young children in disadvantaged areas.
Atlantic Philanthropies announced last year that it will begin withdrawing from Ireland. It will complete its grant-making projects by 2016 and cease operations completely by 2020. In its efforts to support the country, the company has established initiatives for the elderly as well as children, provided funds for third-level colleges, and funding contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process.
Of its $6.5 billion international footprint, it has spent $1.5 billion in Ireland alone. The funding body has assisted the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, the Carers Association, and the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament. Like its reclusive founder, the organization does not comment on its philanthropic activities.
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