The Irish Youth Foundation is completely unique.

No other body does what we do in the way we do it.

What we do

A grant-making, change-making Foundation

We are dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of vulnerable children and young people living throughout the Republic of Ireland. We raise funds through building relationships with individuals and businesses who want to help shape a more inclusive and fairer Ireland and we also raise revenues through fundraising events and other campaigns.

We then distribute those funds through our carefully-targeted grant-making activities, supporting impressive organisations and impactful projects and programmes that address and reverse the social and personal damage caused by poverty, educational disadvantage, homelessness and social exclusion experienced by children and young people.

Who we support

Giving to evidence based groups to facilitate change

Due to a wide range of social factors, many children are denied their most basic rights – the right to a decent education, the right to be supported by caring adults and the right to a way of life that is free of fear and discrimination. So, all over Ireland, heroic and competent leaders, organisations and groups step in to ensure that rights gap to ensure that vulnerable and excluded children have the right people, programmes and facilities to support them to achieve their full potential.

Levelling the playing field for our young people – every day, at every key milestones, in the most impactful ways.

What we fund

Breaking barriers, building futures

We fund and develop programmes and projects for children and young people living in the most disadvantaged circumstances. We provide financial support in the form of grants to national and local community and voluntary youth groups to ensure that children experiencing economic and social hardship have the right people, programmes and facilities to turn to in order to become agents of their own transformation. The innovative and smart endeavours these organisations and programmes offer are specially designed and tooled to help young people break through persistent barriers and dangers in their lives and take back positive control.

Our growing impact

50,000 and rising

In the last 30 years, the Irish Youth Foundation has raised over €20 million and supported more than 2,000 projects on the island of Ireland, reaching 50,000 young people directly.

In 2019 alone, because of the generosity and vision of kind-hearted people and businesses, we were able to achieve the following:

Projects and programmes
young people directly impacted
Now in the next five years, with your help, we plan to reach another 50,000 in need.

Meet the team

Lucy Masterson
Chief Executive
Prior to joining IYF Lucy was CEO of Charities Institute Ireland. During that time she was a member of the Consultative Panel on the Governance of Charities established by the Charities Regulator. In 2012 she co-founded Hireland, a multi award winning social initiative which started as a kitchen conversation with friends discussing the economic crisis that had hit Ireland and grew into a national movement calling on the nation’s small and medium enterprises to kick-start Ireland’s economic recovery by pledging to hire 1 more person. Over 5,400 jobs were created since Hirelands inception in 2012. She has been recorded by Forbes magazine as leading the charge with social entrepreneurship. Lucy has 20 years experience marketing national and international brands. She lectures NFP Marketing  at US University Champlain College where she is also a board director and she  has worked closely with the UCD Innovation Academy as a mentor. She is a graduate of Philosophy from UCD and a post graduate of Marketing from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is currently completing the Diploma in Corporate Governance at the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School.
Sarah Edmonds
Head of Grants and Programmes
Sarah joined the IYF in May 2017 as Fundraising & Events Manager, with a degree in French & Spanish and a postgraduate diploma in Event Management & PR. Last year Sarah moved into the role of Head of Grants & Programmes where she oversees all grant-making activities for the Foundation. Sarah focuses on connecting with the projects, young people and youth leaders supported by the IYF around the country, as well as ensuring the IYF is up to date on the most relevant research focused on Ireland’s youth. Her priority is to ensure that the IYF understands what are the greatest needs facing children and young people in Ireland today, and to guarantee our funds are channelled into the grassroots and national organisations supporting young people as they negotiate these hurdles. Sarah also has a masters in Psychotherapy, and is committed to supporting mental health awareness.
Charlotte Jones
Events & Fundraising Manager
Charlotte joined the IYF in April 2018 as Fundraising and Events Manager. She has a degree in Modern History and Archaeology from Queen’s University Belfast and previously worked in heritage and tourism before moving to a career in the not-for-profit sector. Charlotte manages the delivery of all fundraising campaigns and events, as well as assisting with the administration of grants. Charlotte manages the IYF social media strategy to communicate our work and impact in supporting children and young people living in disadvantaged circumstances.

Our Board

Mairead Mahon
Bryan Bourke
Cathal Quigley
Eoin Reddan
John Cunningham

Lorcan Tiernan

Michael McLoughlin
Niall Woods
Aedín O’Leary