Zurich Ireland was delighted to announce in July 2020 that the Z Zurich Foundation would support Rethink Ireland’s Innovate Together Fund with a donation of €500,000. Rethink Ireland is Ireland’s national organisation supporting innovative charities, social enterprises and community organisations. Its Innovate Together Fund aims to support social innovation projects that address the current and long-term social, economic and environmental challenges arising out of the COVID-19 crisis.

The fund of €5 million was open to a second round of applications from 22nd July to 12th August 2020. Rethink Ireland collaborates with the Department of Rural and Community Development and philanthropists to support the fund.

Powering new solutions

The Z Zurich Foundation actively invests in local communities on a global level to help and support a COVID-19 recovery, and in collaboration with Zurich Ireland, is supporting local initiatives. Rethink Ireland's Innovate Together Fund is one organisation that has benefited from Zurich’s support.

The fund was open to projects looking to make an economic and social impact that would improve the overall well-being of people and their communities. Some of the critical areas the fund aimed to support were:

  • Online education: developing new technologies for primary and post-primary school students.
  • Youth mental health: finding new intervention and prevention services.
  • Environmental: promoting recycling and reuse of materials.
  • Food security: improving Irish food production.
  • Remote working: smoothing the transition to working remotely.
  • Community outreach: inclusion and support for vulnerable and marginalised groups.
  • Workforce up-skills: training and educating workers responding to changes in the Irish economy.
  • Physical health: innovating online medical and physical health solutions.

The awardees of the Innovate Together Fund received the necessary support needed to bring their projects to life; including grants starting at €20,000, a business support package, access to an online accelerator programme and performance management.

Z Zurich Foundation support

Z Zurich Foundation is a charitable foundation with a registered office in Zurich established by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd in accordance with Swiss law.

It is the main vehicle by which the Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) delivers on its global community investment strategy.

About Z Zurich Foundation

The Z Zurich Foundation aims to support a fairer, more open and sustainable society by empowering vulnerable people within its communities to better protect themselves from risk, and to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. It focuses its efforts on two powerful and relevant topics of today’s societal challenges: climate resilience and wellbeing/inclusion, by funding grant programs in collaboration with Zurich’s business units and charities worldwide and by developing Zurich employee engagement initiatives.

The Z Zurich Foundation is supporting COVID-19 relief around the world by providing emergency financial support to charities and funding local relief initiatives. The primary focus is on urgent medical emergencies, food poverty, mental health needs, domestic violence and technology for home-schooling.

The Innovate Together Fund is one of the initiatives that the Z Zurich Foundation has supported locally here in Ireland. Another initiative is Tackle Your Feelings a mental wellbeing campaign, run by Rugby Players Ireland in partnership with Zurich Ireland and funded by the Z Zurich Foundation, which aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and provide people with the tools and resources to be more proactive in looking after their emotional wellbeing.

Rethink Ireland

Rethink Ireland is a national organisation supporting innovative charities, social enterprises, and community organisations with cash grants and business supports. Every euro raised via philanthropy is matched by the Irish Government via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Since their first year of operations in 2016, Rethink Ireland has raised over €26 million in philanthropic funding to support over 130 social innovations across Ireland; when matched this has created a fund of €52 million-plus. This has led these innovations to achieve a further €12 million in follow-on-funding and to enable 864 people experiencing disadvantage to progress into employment.

Rethink Ireland's Innovate Together Fund supports social innovators in four key areas:

  Climate justice

 Economic empowerment


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