The Irish Institute is pleased to have hosted the Non-Profit Development Program, February 28 to March 9, 2004. Participants for this program included ten leaders of non-profit organizations in Ireland and Northern Ireland who examine the theory and practice of philanthropy in the United States. The eleven-day program took place in Boston for the first week and continued in Washington, D.C. for the remaining four days. Trips to these cities helped the participants to become more aware of how philanthropy is carried out in the United States and to see what strategies can be the most effective.
In Boston, the group visited a number of local non-profit organizations, ranging from community-based healthcare centers like the Codman Square Health Center to philanthropy promotion organizations like the Giving Network. The groups also attended seminars at Boston College that focused on innovative trends in U.S. philanthropy and also had a chance to visit the American Ireland Fund, where they participated in a workshop that explained the organization’s goals for peace, education, and community development.
The group then traveled to Washington, D.C. for the remainder of the program to see the world of philanthropy in the nation’s capital. Of particular interest were the relationships and partnerships between and within agencies on all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and private companies. A seminar was held by Dr. Michelle Perrone, a faculty member of Georgetown University’s Center for Professional Development, in which she discussed with the participants the role of strategic planning when running a non-profit organization. The participants also had the opportunity to visit numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Independent Sector, which works to promote a healthy legislative environment for non-profits to succeed, and the Latin America Youth Center, a year round youth and family development center.