Industry cooperation amplifies the impact that giving has on our communities
Tinseltown and the party season may be in full swing, but it’s a good time to take a moment of reflection and look at ways we can improve the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. Worth considering might be basis.point, the charity initiative of the Irish funds Industry, which is a unique example of industry colleagues coming together and putting their time, energy and resources together to combat one single issue, educational disadvantage.
Six years ago, the charity was established by a small group of visionaries within the Irish funds sector, who saw the potential of coordinating their own personal giving in a structured fashion in order to amplify their impact. They identified education as a transformative component in offering a child a better future and the concept of #joinedupgiving was born.
The transformative power of education
There is no quick fix to breaking the cycle of poverty, but tackling educational disadvantage has been proven to be highly effective. In partnership with established charities, basis.point funds landmark interventions at key milestones in a child’s journey through the educational system, not simply focusing on the nuts and bolts of literacy and numeracy, but also tackling the peripheral soft skills such as self- esteem, confidence, willingness to engage with authority and resilience. In so doing, children can be encouraged to stay in school, break down daunting barriers, improve their self- esteem, raise their own aspirations and develop skills that they can carry on into their working lives.
Enjoying some festive fun with the ELI Home Visitors.
Enjoying some festive fun with the ELI Home Visitors.

How have they come so far?
Thanks to the support of many Corporate and Individual Patrons and Supporters, basis.point has committed over €1.9 million to six partner charities, supporting a number of multi-year evidence based programmes. Each year basis.point continue to expand and as 2019 draws to a close, will have almost 100 Corporate Patrons and almost 200 individual Patrons and Supporters.
Donal O'Byrne of Matheson helps out at the Battle of the Firms Table Quiz..
Donal O'Byrne of Matheson helps out at the Battle of the Firms Table Quiz..

One of the cornerstones of their funding model is the opportunity for Corporate Patrons to collaborate more intensively on an individual programme with a partner charity. The Coding Club for instance, which is run in conjunction with The Early Learning Initiative of National College of Ireland, is a partner programme where funding from basis.point is equally matched by RBC. BNP Paribas joined basis.point in funding an initiative where the already established Parent Child+ programme was modified to meet the particular needs of families living in temporary accommodation. Kennedy Wilson is co-funding a ground-breaking after school programme exploring talents for kids from Dublin’s North Inner City in association with Archways. They are also working with basis.point to fund an education programme aimed to improve children's overall development through empowering parents and enabling children and their families to experience a safe, secure, learning environment. Other partner programmes are in the pipeline.

A number of Corporate Patrons also provide an additional income stream, like Adminovate who donate the proceeds from a Not for Profit Annual Conference, held in January each year, to two charities, one of whom is basis.point.

Why does it matter?
Shocking statistics point to a national crisis in literacy and numeracy with the deficit at its’ widest amongst those from disadvantaged backgrounds. One fifth of Irish students in international tests did not have sufficient mathematical skills to cope with everyday life, such as working out a 20% discount or dividing up a bill. And with respect to literacy, in a recent study 25% of young people leaving formal education were not able to read the instructions on a box of medicine.
As a result of the basis.point collaborative approach, children most in need of support are more easily identifiable. Long-term relationships with existing charities, enable volunteer mentors to work 1-1 with children most at risk. Robust monitoring and evaluation ensure funding is being used in the most effective way possible and appropriate interventions are delivered to those most in need of support.
Marion Mellett of William Fry shares out the prizes!
Marion Mellett of William Fry shares out the prizes!

The number of children’s lives that have been changed as a result of basis.point’s inventions in 2019 are significant.

49 families from challenging home environments have participated in the Parent Child + programme influencing the lives of almost 150 children in association with the Early Learning Initiative of the National College of Ireland.
456 kids struggling with numeracy have been offered 1-1 mentoring through Suas and next year a further 1200 children from disadvantaged schools nationwide will participate in the programme.
40 facilitators trained in the Incredible Years Basic Parents programme delivered through Archways, each of whom may influence numerous children positively enabling up 100+ primary school children.
60 teachers trained in the Incredible Years classroom management programme through Archways, working with 1500+ children in classroom settings.
60 mentors trained in the Mentoring for Achievement programme helping a further 100+ children offering 1-1 support during school.
3000+ teenagers living in disadvantaged communities or rural isolation have been offered the NFTE programme through Foròige.
100+ students have received mentoring through the Business In The Community programme – an Alumni Network for former Mentors and Students was also established in 2019
400+ junior cycle students introduced to third level education through STEM focused workshops with TU Dublin.
Making maths fun through the Power of 2 numeracy programme.
Making maths fun through the Power of 2 numeracy programme.

Transform the future for disadvantaged children
basis.point is about changing the mindset and the future of a generation of Ireland’s disadvantaged children. 2020 promises to be another exciting year for the charity. They intend to kick start the year with Showcase 2020, which offers Patrons and Supporters, the chance to hear directly from the six charity partners about the impact that their generosity is having. Individual fundraising efforts will be championed by Gavin Nangle of State Street who has agreed to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of basis.point and has set himself a target of raising in excess of €50,000. And there are a number of networking events lined up, including a basis.point week during early summer and the successful Battle of the Firms Table Quiz in the Autumn.

In a nutshell, it is the multiplier effect of an industry coming together, with a planned and approved approach, offering consistent support to our communities in their efforts to educate our young people, that makes basis.point so impactful.

If you’re interested in offering your time, treasure or talents to engage with basis.point on any of these great initiatives, or would like to become a Patron or Supporter, please get in touch through their website
This article appeared in the December 2019 edition.