Theory of Change 2into3

3 reasons why a Theory of Change could increase impact

Nonprofits and charities are at the forefront of catalysing positive change for individuals, communities and society. Whether that is through the provision of frontline services, lobbying and advocacy, or the contribution to policy and research. United by a shared purpose and vision, organisations have developed unique responses to addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time. It is increasingly important to capture and measure the effectiveness and value of such responses, but how can organisations do this in practice?

A Theory of Change (TOC) is both a process and an output which logically and rationally captures how an organisation is achieving the change they want to see. It is a practical and living tool that can be applied to define goals and encourage recognition of achievements, to enable impact measurement and strategic thinking, and to successfully communicate impact. Here are 3 reasons your organisation should develop a Theory of Change.


1. Understanding and Recognising Goals

A Theory Of Change allows your organisation to come together and map how your work is having the intended positive impact and addressing an identified challenge; essentially breaking down what success looks like and the steps to get there. Both the process and the final output of a TOC lead to a renewed clarity and understanding amongst stakeholders, and can contribute to increased focus, engagement, and motivation. It encourages people to work collectively to reach goals, to take ownership of the impact they are having, and to recognise the important achievements they have made.

2. Impact Measurement and Strategic Thinking

A Theory Of Change is an extremely useful tool for impact measurement, giving you a foundation to collect relevant data and feedback, and to gather insights. Your organisation can then capture the progress being made against your TOC, test your assumptions, identify areas for improvement and adapt accordingly. This cycle of continuous learning, reviewing, and improving is conducive to strategic thinking; enabling you to make impact driven decisions, prioritise and allocate resources effectively, and develop long-term plans and projections that are informed by evidence. A TOC and subsequent impact measurement allows you to be more deliberate and proactive, and ultimately do more for the people benefiting from your organisation’s work.


3. Communication

A Theory Of Change is as a framework that succinctly clarifies the logic and evidence driving either your work as a whole, or a specific programme/project within your organisation, By linking together your motivation, your activities, the results, and the wider impact you are creating, you are effectively condensing the story and the strategy that guides your work and capturing the contribution of your organisation to the community or a sector. In a competitive funding environment and with increased emphasis on organisational transparency, a TOC demonstrates to partners, funders, and the wider public, that you have a logical and coherent plan to achieve your goals and have gathered evidence to back it up.


How to develop a TOC? 

In order to build collective buy-in and be truly reflective of your organisation, a TOC requires meaningful input and collaboration from staff and other relevant stakeholders. It is most effective when developed iteratively through consultation, generating ownership from relevant stakeholders.

If you would like to hear more about how a Theory Of Change would benefit your organisation, or what our process for developing a TOC looks like, do not hesitate to contact our Director of Advisory Services and Head of Impact and Strategy Practice, Luna Atkins, or visit our website.


Written by Alison McGearty, Analyst, 2into3.

Sports Capital Grant Announcement 2023 2into3 Grants

Sports Capital & Equipment Grant Announcement

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has announced that Sports Capital & Equipment Programme 2023 will open on Monday 17th of July at 9am and will close at 5pm on the 8th of September. It is important to list the changes that have been made to the Sports Capital Application this year.


The major changes to the programme are: 

  1. Capital Grants have risen from €150,000 to €200,000. Equipment Only grants have also risen from €50,000 to €70,000 and only needing only 5% match funding.  
  2. Regional Grants have increase from €300,000 to €500,000 with grant applicants needing a letter of support from national governing body of sport confirming the regional status of the project. 
  3. A specific focus on gender equality with all applicants must be compliance with the provisions of the Equal Status Acts. Clubs that do not provide equal access to its facilities, on similar terms, to men and women will not be eligible for capital funding. Funding of women-only facilities will still be valid for the grant. 
  4. The introduction of a separate category for environmental initiatives, population growth and level of existing facilities.  


A link to the application guidelines is included here 


Our Impact

We are here to help you with your grant application. Since 2014, 2into3 has helped Clubs and NGBs secure over €3.3m in Sports Capital Grants. In the 2021/22 announcements, our results were as follows:

Over €2.4million in grants allocated across 16 applicants 

Success rate of 94% of applications successfully allocated and the remaining being supported in the appeals process 

50% of clients receiving the full allocation of 100% of what they applied for 

Average allocation of amount sought was 84% 

2into3 also offers webinars on the Sport Capital Programme for your National Governing Body. As availability is limited, please contact us if you are interested in attending.

Get in Touch

If you would like to have an initial discussion about your groups needs and how we can help, then please contact Patricia Keenan at 086 0657347 or David Kerley on 086 4400850. For more information on our Grants Advisory Practice area, visit our website here.

social enterprise challenges

4 Challenges Facing Social Enterprises

As of this year, there are 4,335 social enterprises in Ireland, constituting a vibrant and growing sector that brings significant added valued on an economical, societal and environmental level. At the same time, some key challenges undermine the potential of social enterprises and the collective strength of the sector.

Here are some key takeaways regarding the common challenges facing both start-up and well-established organisations in Ireland and beyond, from a recent sectoral conference hosted by the Oakfield Trust.

social enterprise

1. Sustainable funding

As you can see in the menti poll above, from the less-than-perfect photo, funding was identified as the number one challenge by conference participants, and a word that came up again and again in relation to funding was ‘sustainability’. A survey of the sector recently found that 40% of social enterprises have an annual income of less than €100,000.

Whether its increasing traded income to reinvest back into its purpose, or securing grant funding for capital or project costs, or attracting philanthropic support – or, most likely, the balanced mix of all of the above, having a clear and well thought through funding model and income strategy is vital to the long-term success and growth of any social enterprise.


2. Misunderstanding

While the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 has done a great deal to build awareness about social enterprises, this remains a misunderstood market. Neither nonprofit nor business, it can be difficult for some people to understand a social enterprises’ model and place in a community. As we move towards strengthened recognition, promotion and policy development of the social enterprise sector, clarifying the role of social enterprises is an increasing priority. Having a clearly-stated mission that puts your purpose at the centre, and strategy that shows how profits contribute to your social objectives helps to bridge that gap in understanding.

3. Measuring impact

Related to the point above, it’s not just important to say how your enterprise has a social impact, but you need to be able to show it too. Developing a theory of change that describes the outcomes your work has, and an impact measurement approach that tracks this impact is vital not just to your storytelling but to your fundraising.


4. Legal compliance

Particularly for newer and smaller social enterprises, picking the best legal form can be a minefield. Many choose to register as charities, particularly to be able to access certain forms of funding, however this comes at a cost and with a high compliance burden. It often takes expert independent support to help social enterprises pick the best option for them and to help them put the right structures and policies in place.

Contact Us

We have experience of working with social enterprises throughout their lifespan – from start up, to scaling, to scaled. If you want to discuss how we can support you with your journey, contact Luna Atkins for our advisory services (strategy, impact, governance) or Dennis for our funding services.

Facilitation 2into3 3 Reasons to Hire an External Facilitator

3 Reasons to Hire an External Facilitator

Running effective workshops and meetings is about so much more than gathering people in the same place, at the same time. If you are bringing people together, it’s important to make that time investment count – and all the more so when the stakes are high. Bringing in an independent expert facilitator to design and deliver your meeting can transform the effectiveness and outcome of your session.

Whether it’s strategic planning, a reflection session, a stakeholder consultation, announcing an organisational change or strategic shift, or team building, here are 3 reasons why you should consider hiring an external facilitator.


1. The right tools

An expert facilitator will take into account your organisation’s history, the relationships between participants and your desired outcomes – be they hard (such as strategy) and soft (team culture). A facilitator can create the most appropriate meeting setting and experience for you. This includes the set up of the room to enable participation, to setting ground rules; ice-breakers to create the right headspace and methodology that results in the decisions you need.


2. Space to participate

Engaging a facilitator allows the leader to fully participate without worrying about the objectives of the meeting, the time keeping or the dynamics. You will be allowed the freedom to listen, think and participate alongside your colleagues. You will be able to contribute as a participant.


3. A neutral navigator

A facilitator can ask the difficult questions with objectivity and a fresh perspective, encouraging divergent views to result in something powerful. The facilitator’s role is to ensure every voice is heard equally across the board. Furthermore, if any difficult conversations arise, an external facilitator will have the ability to progress the conversation into a more productive space.


Contact Us

If you would like to discuss how 2into3 can help you to design and facilitate a successful meeting or workshop, please visit our website for more information, or contact Luna Atkins at +353 (021) 237 9838.

Social Impact S in ESG Partnerships Practice

4 Key Ways Corporates Can Maximise the ‘S’ in ESG

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) is a framework designed to be embedded into an organisation’s strategy. As stakeholder attitudes develop over time, adopting and abiding by such principles is becoming a key consideration for corporates. With social value becoming an increasing part of organisations’ ‘licence to operate’, corporates are beginning to look at the ‘S’ as a means of maximising social impact.

The ‘S’ element within the ESG framework is challenging for businesses. The scale and breadth of social issues makes it more difficult to define than environmental and governance issues, leaving many companies confused on where to focus their social efforts.

Creating a charity and corporate partnership is one key strategy for maximising the ‘S’ in your ESG framework. However, there are also other approaches to consider.


Key Approaches to Maximise ‘S’ in ESG


Identify social impact issues your business is uniquely poisitioned to improve

Identify which potential issues your organisation is uniquely positioned to tackle, considering the resources your corporation has access to. Dedicate your organisation to those specific social issue(s) publicly in your external communications. Ensure your board, staff and partners know exactly what issues you’re working on and what you’re doing to help tackle the issue. This will ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the social issues you are trying to achieve.


Avoid being all-encompassing

No organisation can work on every social issue effectively. It’s unlikely that your business will have the expertise to position yourself externally as solely specialising in an entire social area. Working on complex issues requires collaborative partnerships, with each partner playing a distinct role. Therefore, clearly identifying the exact social impact issue(s) you are working towards will make it easier for investors to understand the ‘S’ in your ESG. This will increase investment potential, and improve your chances of further charity partnership opportunities.


Measure your progress

Identifying the correct social strategy within your ESG framework will take time to consider, develop and flourish. Your organisation may not have all the answers initially and it can take years to demonstrate results. Therefore, it is extremely important to invest in measuring your social impact. This will help identify which strategies are working well and need further development, and which ones need revised entirely within your ESG framework.


Seek partnernerships with diverse groups

Partnering with groups that share your purpose and commitment to advancing social impact will complement and accelerate your work. Ensure that inclusion remains a core component in your efforts, such as intentionally partnering with diverse groups and encouraging a wide range of voices, including stakeholders who are most impacted by the issue.


Identifying and developing the ‘S’ in your ESG can seem daunting. However, it is extremely important, not only for your organisation, but to help tackle greater social issues and create improved communities. By following these steps, we hope you can maximise the social element of your ESG.


Contact Our Partnerships Practice

If you are interested in developing your social impact, gaining support with your ESG strategy, or are interested in learning more about developing charity partnerships, visit here or contact Denise Cranston, Head of Partnerships Advisory Practice.

Partnerships 2into3

How To Build Successful Partnerships With Corporates

The findings in our recent Giving Ireland 2022 Report shows that the nonprofit sector experienced a 17% decline in fundraised income in 2020. Sectors such as Arts & Culture, Sport & Recreation, Health and others, experienced the most substantial decreases. In recent years, charitable organisations are seeking new ways to create long-term value to endure any future storms. Similarly, many corporates are seeing a shift in consumer behaviour. It is no longer acceptable to ‘social wash’ and private companies are under increased pressure to create social impact.

Therefore, by partnering corporates and charitable organisations, they can work together to create sustainable partnerships that work for both parties.

Here are 3 key approaches to building successful corporate partnerships for charitable organisations.


1. Purpose-led

Although many corporates provide charities with monetary investment, it is essential to recognise that corporate giving has changed in recent years. A transactional based relationship does not provide long-term value to charities, or corporates. These transactional, outdated corporate fundraising models are no longer fit for purpose. It is essential to ensure your charitable organisation’s approach to corporate partnerships is purpose-led and considers how businesses can help them deliver their mission

Building a partnership based on a shared mission or purpose allows your partnerships to grow and flourish over time. This will steer your partnerships from having a short-term focus on financial incentives, to a long-term vision that delivers value for your charitable organisation, the corporate and society.


2. Outline your value

Recognise the value your charity can bring to a partnership and present your potential corporate partner with an inspiring offer, rather than an ask. Most charities have an extensive social reach within local communities and have a unique advantage in supporting businesses achieve their social impact goals. It is important to do an analysis of your charity’s current value and potential future value. Presenting the value your organisation can bring to a corporate partnership is key to building a balanced relationship, where both parties are benefitting equally.


3. Long-term focus

Corporate fundraising is often driven by short-term financial targets. However, it is important to give your partnership the time time to build a stong relationship. Strategic and transformational partnerships take time to cultivate, often up to 18 months. Whilst it is important to increase funds for your charitable organisation, do consider investing time into building stronger, sustainable partnerships. In the long-term, this will achieve the best results for both organisations.


2into3 Partnerships Practice

At 2into3 we provide insight and expertise to support both corporates and charities to build strong purpose-led partnerships that can be a force for good, achieving the scale and sustained impact we need to see. If you are a charity or nonprofit organisation seeking more information on our partnerships process, visit here or contact our Head of Partnership Advisory Practice, Denise Cranston on +44 28 9592 2389 or +353 86 085 5836.

Castlebar Town FC

100% Success for Grant Application to the Community Centre Investment Fund

Castlebar Town FC logo client of 2into3

We are delighted to announce Castlebar Town FC, one of our Grant advisory clients, has received 100% of their grant application to the Community Centre Investment Fund. They were successful in attaining €35,000 for their clubhouse facilities, the first grant they have applied for. Our Grants advisory team worked with Castlebar Town FC on their grant application for the Community Centre Investment Fund.


The new Community Centre Investment Fund introduced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD, announced that Community Centres in Ireland will receive funding of over €33 million to upgrade 278 community centre facilities. This represents the largest single investment in community centres in decades.


Projects for an organisation’s development require a structured and planned approach, especially when making a successful grant application. Public funding programmes have strict funding criteria and application processes, our expert advice will guide you through the system to ensure you maximise the grant potential and achieve a successful outcome.


Need support with your grant application?

Our experienced Grants Advisory Team has particular experience with funding across Ireland and can help you with your application. For more information, on our Grants Services, visit here. To speak with our Head of Grants Advisory Practice directly, please contact Patricia Keenan.

Partnership Practice 2into3 Corporate Charity Nonprofit

Introducing our Partnerships Practice for Corporates and Charities 

With the long-term implications of Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis, there is a wave of uncertainty facing our current economy. Governments alone cannot solve these issues and the expectation for businesses to make a social impact is increasing. Many businesses want to engage in a more sustainable relationship with society. A key way of doing so is by forming a partnership with a charity or social enterprise to align your business towards social change. 

Similarly, the implications of Covid-19 continue to have an effect on charities. The data from our 2022 Giving Ireland Report shows the social and economic consequences on the Irish nonprofit sector led to a loss of €1 billion. Therefore, as many charities are in a period of recovery, it is also important to look ahead to new approaches. Building strategic corporate partnerships is a viable way for charities to accumulate extra funds during a period of recovery. 


Partnership Practice 

With this in mind, we are delighted to announce the launch of our Partnership Practice for both Corporates and Charities. We work with your organisation to provide insight and expertise to support corporates and charities to build strong purpose-led partnerships. We aim to create long-lasting partnerships that can be a force for good, achieving scale and sustained impact.

“Looking forward to working with both charities and corporates to provide insight and expertise to build strong purpose-led partnerships that go beyond raising funding to seeing both parties creating new value, and achieving the social impact we need to see.” – Denise Cranston, Head of Partnerships Advisory Practice.


Our Partnership Process for Corporates 

Creating social impact in your business has never been more important for stakeholders. In a recent study by Peter Novelli, respondents said that when a company leads with purpose they are “76% more likely to trust that company and 72% more likely to be loyal to that company.” (Novelli, 2021). Becoming a purpose-driven business requires focusing on benefitting wider social or environmental causes.  

Our Head of Partnership Advisory Practice, Denise Cranston, works with your entire organisation to select the ideal partnership for your business. We will help you choose charity partners that complement your vision. See our partnership process below or for more information, visit our corporate partnerships page. 


Our Partnership Process for Charities 

A corporate charity partnership is a collaboration between a corporate entity and a charity who share a passion and commitment to sustainable social change. By working with us, we will create a strategy that feels co-owned by your entire organisation. See our process below or for more information, visit our charity partnership page. 


Achieving Social Impact Through Purpose-Led Partnerships 

Our Head of Partnerships Advisory Practice, Denise Cranston, outlines the practical insights for businesses seeking to achieve social impact through Purpose-Led Partnerships.  

The key insights of this White Paper include: 

  • Impact of the cost-of-living crisis 
  • High Level Solutions
  • Developing Purpose- Led Charity Partnerships 
  • Case studies of successful partnerships 
  • B Corps 
  • Social Impact Investing 
  • Measuring Social Impact 
  • 2into3 Partnership Process 
  • Choosing Charity Partners 
  • Business Benefits 


Achieving Social Impact Through Purpose-Led Partnerships


Interested in finding out more? 

If you are a corporate seeking more information on our process, visit here. If you are a charity, visit here or contact our Head of Partnership Advisory Practice, Denise Cranston on + 44 28 9592 2389 or +353 86 085 5836.


mplementing Mental Health to your Nonprofit 2023

Integrating a mental health approach in your nonprofit in 2023

As we enter 2023, it is important to reflect on the year gone by, and equally to look forward to fresh starts. The nonprofit sector is no different and Mental Health Reform’s recent event, ‘Coalition Conversations; Celebrating the work of the Mental Health Sector in 2022’ was an insightful morning. There were representatives from organisations including HAIL, Doras, ISPCC, Jigsaw, A Lust for Life, KDYS, Cairde and the HSE, as well as mental health advocates, university lecturers from Maynooth and WIT and the Ombudsman for Children.

These panel discussions orientated around the three core themes of housing and health, youth mental health and health in era of global displacement, there was plenty of space for learning. One insight in particular has the potential to generate positive change within your nonprofit and across the nonprofit sector; that of embedding a mental health approach.

Mental health today

One in every four people will experience mental health difficulties at some point in their life,[1] making it one of the most pressing issues of our time. There is increasing awareness that mental health problems are complex, cross-cutting and inextricably linked to the environment we live in. Oftentimes, they are produced and perpetuated by the presence of deprivation, poverty, inequality and other socio-economic factors. [2] Mental health does not exist in a vacuum and often transcends individual actions, thus the wellbeing of society must be considered in light of structural determinants.

At present, Ireland is experiencing a housing crisis[3] which is driving insecurity and acting as a barrier to a thriving society. In addition, the rising cost of living, international conflict, and the fallout from the pandemic have resulted in increased vulnerabilities. This has denied many individuals of safety and security, essential pillars to our wellbeing. In recognising that mental health is so much more than a simple absence of mental illness, and that there are a multitude of external influences, we must in turn see the value in multi-sector approaches. [4]

A multi-sector approach would complement the health services by creating programmes and policies across the sectors of education, housing, employment, social welfare and legal support which are sensitive to mental health. This involves inter-departmental government cooperation[5] , as well as Nonprofits and civil society organisations building on a history of cross-sector collaboration to strengthen overall mental health responses.


The case for integrating a mental health approach

Nonprofits are uniquely positioned in Irish society, working to build inclusion and resilience and to foster community development. Nonprofits engage with some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups of people in our society.  These include ethnic minorities, migrants, children and young people, unemployed people and older people, all of whom are at high risk of developing mental health problems. [6]

In this sense, nonprofits have first-hand experience of the emotional and psychological effects of issues such as homelessness, displacement, addiction, abuse and poverty. They are at the forefront of witnessing the causes and consequences of mental health problems and as a result are central to forming solutions.


What does a mental health approach look like?

Dynamic and cohesive responses which are proactive instead of reactive are the future. Moving forward, a progressive mental health approach should advance from siloed, fragmented responses and towards an open system of collaboration.

This involves an acceptance of the presence of mental health as an aspect of working with people. Furthermore, it also involves an opening up of the conversation around mental health. It is about increasing awareness of the issues vulnerable groups face, both in maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing and in accessing supports. It could be making a conscious effort to prioritise training around mental health awareness, adopting culturally sensitive mental health supports or committing to a developed understanding of the intersecting factors that can contribute to positive mental health.

There could be increased activity around mental health advocacy and campaigns, or an elevated effort to enhance joint initiatives between organisations. Furthermore, a mental health approach should be inclusive and comprehensive, sensitive to the mental health of staff and volunteers.


The result

Steps towards developing a mental health approach can be big or small, however any effort could have a transformative effect on the impact of your nonprofit and in turn, on society in general, serving to embed a people-orientated approach in services and supports, create sustainable solutions and contribute to the normalisation of conversations on mental health and the deconstruction of the stigma associated with mental health in Ireland.


Further Support

If you’re interested in developing organisational change within your nonprofit, consider developing a Strategic Plan. This will help unify and motivate your organisation to think about future sustainability and organisational change. For more information, visit our website or contact Luna Atkins directly.



[1] Healthy Ireland Framework 2013-2025, Health Services Ireland

[2] WHO (2011) Impact of economic crises on mental health, 2011.

[3] Housing for All – a New Housing Plan for Ireland (05/09/21), Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

[4] WHO (2022) World mental health report: Transforming mental health for all.

[5] WHO (2022) World mental health report: Transforming mental health for all.

[6] WHO (2011) Impact of economic crises on mental health, 2011.

Giving Ireland Report Launch 2022

Giving Ireland 2022 Report Launch

2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland warmly invite you to the launch of Giving Ireland 2022 – Analysis and Insights on Funding of the Nonprofit Sector in 2020. Kindly supported by The Community Foundation of Ireland, Quilter Cheviot and Ecclesiastical Insurance.

The report will examine the total fundraised income from philanthropic sources in 2020, changes from 2019, the fundraising performance of the sector, the fundraising mix in 2020, the cost of fundraising by method and international comparisons.


Giving Ireland 2022 – Event Details

We are hosting 3 in-person only events in Dublin, Galway and Cork from the 17th-24th November. If you are interested in attending, please register via the links below.


When: Thurs 17th Nov
Where: TU Dublin, St. Laurence’s Church, Grangegorman
Time: 9am-11am
Register for Dublin event here


When: Wed 23rd Nov
Where: Republic of Work, 12 South Mall, Cork
Time: 10am-11.30am
Register for Cork event here


When: Thurs 24th Nov
Where: Portershed, Eyre Square, Galway
Time: 10am-11.30am
Register for Galway event here


About Giving Ireland 

The Giving Ireland 2022 Report gives a detailed analysis and insights on Funding of the Nonprofit Sector in 2020. Formerly known as “The Irish Not-for-Profit Sector: Fundraising Performance Report”, the Giving Ireland Report, builds a year-on-year performance insight into fundraising by the nonprofit sector in Ireland. It used a representative sample of nonprofit organisations to chart philanthropic income trends in Ireland.

Giving Ireland is kindly supported by The Community Foundation, Quilter Cheviot and Ecclesiastical Insurance.


About Philanthropy Ireland 

Philanthropy Ireland promotes the development of Philanthropy and good giving practice in Ireland and aims to maximise the impact of giving, making real and lasting change for the benefit of society. While 90% of people in Ireland give to charity, it is estimated only 12% do so in a planned way. Philanthropy Ireland aims to change this and to encourage people to give more and give more strategically.

About 2into3 

2into3 works with mission-driven organisations to build capacity, so that they can have a transformative impact on society in Ireland and the world. The Irish nonprofit sector is comprised of a diverse range of subsectors, from Social Services and Health to Education and Sport. 2into3 has experience working with organisations across the sector in Strategic Planning, Fundraising, Grants Services, Governance, Recruitment and Research.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact For more information on Giving Ireland, visit here.