Eamonn Donaghy (Community Foundation for NI), Karen Millen (The Funding Network), Geraldine McGaughey (Assistance Dogs NI), Tracy Bell (Giving Northern Ireland), Lesley Cherry (Creative Exchange), Patricia White (Assistance Dogs NI), Aidan Byrne (Street Soccer NI).
Eamonn Donaghy (Community Foundation for NI), Karen Millen (The Funding Network), Geraldine McGaughey (Assistance Dogs NI), Tracy Bell (Giving Northern Ireland), Lesley Cherry (Creative Exchange), Patricia White (Assistance Dogs NI), Aidan Byrne (Street Soccer NI).

Four charities will have just six minutes each to raise thousands of pounds for projects in a high stakes charity crowd-funding event that will have a massive impact on the lives of people in Northern Ireland.

The Dragon’s Den style fundraiser on November 26th in the Harbour Commissioner’s Office in Belfast will see Drake Music NI, Creative Exchange, Assistance Dogs NI and Street Soccer NI pitching their projects to an audience of businesspeople and philanthropists. The audience will then pledge money to the charities of their choice.

This event is being organised by Giving Northern Ireland and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland under the umbrella of The Funding Network (TFN) which runs a host of highly successful events across the world.

The projects this year include:

Assistance Dogs NI: An assistance dog makes a huge impact to a child with autism or an individual with a physical disability (wheelchair user). The charity hopes to raise enough money to purchase and train a new puppy.

Drake Music NI will fund a new project working with musicians with acquired brain injuries by specially building and adapting instruments that will allow the musician to play independently again.

Creative Exchange is setting up a collaborative ‘Wish Tree Project’ in East Belfast that uses visual art to explore social issues such as contested spaces, racism and sectarianism. Ultimately the project aims to discuss the question of how to integrate our changing communities.

Street Soccer NI will use funds to support its 11-a-side homeless street soccer academy which incorporates programmes that help the players engage with a search to find a home and seek employment..

Each charity has a sponsor who has donated £500 to their chosen organisation. At the start of the evening the sponsor will say why they chose this particular cause and then the organisations will get the chance to do their pitch. They will leave the room while bidding takes place.

Sandara Kelso-Robb, Strategic Advisor of Giving Northern Ireland, an organisation that champions philanthropy in Northern Ireland said that this was a great opportunity for local charities to get a big cash injection in a very short period of time.
“It’s fitting that this event is taking place on US Thanksgiving Day as we should all be thankful for the amazing work that charities across Northern Ireland do to help so many people in need. This is an inventive and imaginative way to highlight the work of these four charities and to give them an opportunity to raise funds for important projects.”

Eamonn Donaghy, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland said: “The Community Foundation is delighted to be involved with this event which has become a key fundraising opportunity for local charities. Last year’s funding network event raised over £17,000 worth of much needed funds for the charities which took part on that occasion. We hope those taking part this year benefit enormously and that the event will once again be well supported by Northern Ireland’s growing philanthropic community.”



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