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.
In August 2023, another funding initiative was announced. The HeadStart Fund is a €3 million, three-year fund, created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Z Zurich Foundation and the HSE. It has been set up with the aim of supporting non-profits which equip young people with the skills they need to improve and maintain their mental health and well-being over time.
Powering new solutions
The Z Zurich Foundation is actively investing in local communities on a global level to help and support community projects, and in collaboration with Zurich Ireland, is supporting local initiatives.Rethink Ireland is one organisation benefiting from Zurich’s support. The Innovate Together and Headstart funds aim to support social innovation projects that address current and long-term social, economic, environmental and mental health challenges. Find out more.
The funds were 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.
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 Innovate Together Fund and the Headstart Fund are two 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 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: