Dear Fellow Donors, Welcome to the first exclusively digital edition of Connect magazine. Our Young Leaders at our summit earlier this year suggested we produce the magazine electronically on a once off trial basis. This experiment is to see if we can communicate all that is happening in The Ireland Funds in a more direct and environ- mentally friendly way. As an organization that is driven by and listens to all its donors, we would grateful for all your feedback on this experiment as we plan future editions of Connect. Other than the delivery of the magazine, nothing else has changed. We are delighted to share with you examples of the effect your generosity is having on outstanding projects such as Age Concern and The Native Woodland Trust. These, and scores of others, are making such a difference across Ireland and Irish communities worldwide. We are also delighted to report on our Worldwide Conference in June which took place in the splendor of Adare Manor in Co. Limerick. We are most grateful to the 150 key supporters from across the world who joined us. The high point of that gathering was meeting many of the projects that you support and learning just how that support is being applied and the impact it is having. Those projects visited by you, our donors, ranged from Music Generation to the Children’s Grief Centre. We also focused strongly on planning for the future of this great organization and exploring how we can adapt to the changes in Ireland’s worldwide diaspora and in philanthropy itself which recently, has become increasingly dynamic. With 40-plus years of experience and with a mission as relevant as ever, we are planning for our 50th anniversary. Again, any insights you might like to offer would be very welcome indeed. As ever, and as you will see in Connect, your support of our events form the lifeblood and identity of our community of donors. Thank you for this and for your commitment to Ireland at a time when it counts most. Kind regards. John Fitzpatrick Chairman, The Ireland Funds America Connect FALL / WINTER / 2018 connect 2018 • 3