Category: Community Outreach

The Ireland Funds – Inspiring a Generation of Young Musicians


The Ireland Funds pic

The Ireland Funds

Michael T. Jackson resided in Belvedere, California from 1994 to 2002. He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California. While he and his wife moved from Belvedere to Florida several years ago, much of their family continues to live in California’s Bay Area. Michael T. Jackson focuses on a number of philanthropic causes and serves on the Board of Directors for the US chapter of The Ireland Funds.

Founded in 1976, The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network involved with Irish-related causes across the globe. Through chapters in 12 countries, the organization has raised more than $550 million to fund various programs, including Music Generation.

Music Generation is a music education project established in 2009 in partnership with the rock band U2, which was formed in Dublin and has become one of the best-known groups in the world. U2 and The Ireland Funds sponsored the program with gifts of over €7 million, deemed as the single largest charitable donation to music education in Ireland’s history.

Through the program, tens of thousands of young people have been able to access subsidized tuition for musical training within their localities. Moreover, in excess of 350 job opportunities opened to musicians who were employed to help deliver the program across the country.

Since its initial development, the program has received a second round of major funding from U2, The Ireland Funds, and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, as well as a commitment from the Irish government to co-fund the program in the future.


The Ireland Funds’ Young Leaders Society

Young Leaders Society

A seasoned entrepreneur and investor, former Belvedere, California, resident Michael T. Jackson focuses on hedge fund management and emerging markets. At around the time he left Belvedere for Florida, Michael T. Jackson established SFG Asset Advisors. Moreover, he serves on the Board of Directors of The American Ireland Fund, which is part of The Ireland Funds.

The Ireland Funds counts the Young Leaders Society (YLS) among its programs. Attracting young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, the YLS develops the next generation of leaders and philanthropists while placing an emphasis on connecting with modern Ireland. Collectively, YLS members contribute significantly to the fundraising efforts of The Ireland Funds.

In return for their efforts, YLS members receive free or discounted admission to a range of Irish cultural events annually. Additionally, each member receives an invitation to The Ireland Funds Conference, which takes place each year in Ireland, and The Young Leaders Society Annual Summit in New York City. During such events, YLS members can network with peers and global leaders in fields such as government, finance, and technology.

Grants and Special Initiatives at the Fledgling Fund

The Fledgling Fund pic

The Fledgling Fund

A former resident of Belvedere, California, Michael T. Jackson is the founder of SFG Asset Advisors in San Francisco. After a long and successful career in the financial sector, Mr. Jackson retired and moved to Florida in 2002. Since then, he has been actively involved in a variety of charitable initiatives. Passionate about equal access to healthcare and education, human rights, social justice and women’s issues, Michael T. Jackson supports many nonprofit organizations, including the innovative efforts of The Fledgling Fund.

A private foundation established by Diana Barrett, The Fledgling Fund sponsors grants for documentary filmmakers from around the world. Grant recipients use the funding to create films and inspire social change at all levels of society, with a special focus on the underserved and underprivileged population.

In conjunction with The Fledgling Fund, Michael T. Jackson has supported numerous documentary films such as “Sin by Silence” (advocating for legal rights of domestic violence survivors), “Bully” (dedicated to raising awareness about bullying in U.S. schools), “Escape Fire” (spotlighting problems facing American healthcare system), “Inequality for All” and “American Winter” (raising awareness about poverty, economic inequality & the need for adequate social support system in the U.S.), and many other socially-minded projects.

To learn more about grants and special initiatives of The Fledgling Fund, visit