On Thursday 14 January, over 100 of the global Irish diaspora met for the fifth annual Ireland Funds Global Young Leaders Summit in NYC.

The Ireland Funds Young Leaders are a global network of professionals in their 30s who support the philanthropic work of The Worldwide Ireland Funds. The Society has chapters in 15 cities, across 6 countries. This year delegates are gathering from Ireland, Great Britain, Canada and US chapters in Boston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia to meet and lay plans for their future growth and support of the nonprofit sector in Ireland.

In 2012 the Young Leaders set a goal of raising $1 million globally. Due to their commitment to Ireland and Irish causes, this goal has been achieved. In keeping with The Ireland Funds' history of strategic philanthropy, and to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of The American Ireland Fund by Dan Rooney and Tony O'Reilly, the Young Leaders are now setting ambitious plans for membership growth, and fundraising. At this Summit, they announced goals to grow the society by 50% in the coming two years, with a further goal of raising $1 million in the same period.

The Summit also saw the launch of the Global Leadership Network, an exclusive global network for select Young Leaders alumni.

Commenting, Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, said, “Our Young Leaders infuse The Ireland Funds with energy. Their dynamism and insights ensure we are equipped to meet today’s needs and opportunities. The future leadership of The Ireland Funds is in great hands.”

The Worldwide Ireland Funds are a philanthropic network across 12 countries that has raised over $500 million for worthy causes in Ireland and Irish causes around the world.

It is the largest network of friends of Ireland dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development. Founded in 1976, The Worldwide Ireland Funds have benefited over 3,000 organizations. Funds raised are contributed by private sources, individuals, corporations and foundations.

For more information, please visit www.theirelandfunds.org.

Attendees at the Ireland Funds Young Leaders Summit photographed at Yankee Stadium, New York.James Higgins