A message from Terence O’Rourke, Chair, Rethink Ireland

We are delighted to open the final phase of our ‘Innovate Together Fund’ which calls for applications from emerging innovations that address the current and long-term social, economic and environmental challenges caused by COVID-19.

‘Innovate Together’ is a collaboration between Government, philanthropists and social innovations. The Government have already committed €5 million to this Fund from the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. Now we are asking the philanthropic community to join this vital initiative.

With over 480 applicants to Round 1 of this fund, there is obviously a huge need for support amongst Ireland’s social innovation sector. We have been really impressed with the quality and innovation of the proposals we got from every county in Ireland. While we’ll be able to support up to 50 of these 480 organisations thanks to this fund and its donors, we urgently need more philanthropic donations.

These projects are spread right across the country, helping to address many new social and economic needs that are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund’s goal is to not only support these projects through the immediate issues and difficulties they face, but to also ensure their needs are addressed in a sustainable and long term manner. The size of the Round 2 fund will depend on the donations that we can secure between now and the end of August.

I know that many companies have been busy managing their own issues during COVID-19, but as the country begins to open up again, I am asking companies, and individuals who are able to do so, to consider donating.

We sincerely thank the Z Zurich Foundation, Medtronic, Oakfield Trust and Twitter for their generous support for this fund.