The One Foundation

Set up in 2004 by Declan Ryan and Deirdre Mortell, the One Foundation is a privately-funded Irish foundation based in Dublin. The organisation operates on the philanthropic principle of ‘giving while living’, with the founder being involved in all decisions. Over the next ten years the One Foundation intends to fully distribute all the foundation’s resources, over a number of areas which it focuses on in Ireland including minority communities, disadvantaged children and families, mental health, and social entrepreneurship. The organisation also has a programme in Vietnam.

An example of an organisation supported by the Foundation is the Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), which was established in 2001 as a national organisation to ‘promote the conditions for social and economic inclusion of migrant
workers and their families who are in vulnerable situations in Ireland’.

The One Foundation’s investment in MRCI followed the Foundation’s venture philanthropy approach. Key aspects of the investment are a performance-based approach, investing core funds over the lifetime of the business plan, and taking a seat on the Board. The investment by the One Foundation (co-investing with Atlantic Philanthropies) has allowed MRCI to significantly expand its combination of community work, direct service provision and advocacy work with migrant workers and their families and its impact as a result.