Giving Ireland 2022 Launch and Subsector Webinars

Thanks to everyone who attended our Giving Ireland 2022 – Analysis and Insights on Funding of the Nonprofit Sector in 2020 Report Launch events in Dublin, Cork and Galway. We were delighted to be joined by a fantastic range of panellists and attendees to launch our fundraising insights from a particularly interesting year. To download the Giving Ireland report, visit here.

A special thanks to Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel, who hosted our Dublin event, to Niamh Carruthers for presenting the report and especially to Laura Botey Gaude, author and researcher for Giving Ireland 2022. We would like to extend our thanks to our sponsors, The Community Foundation for IrelandQuilter Cheviot and Ecclesiastical Insurance Office.

We are hosting a range of Giving Ireland 2022 Subsector Webinars. See the final section below for information on how to register.


Dublin Giving Ireland 2022 Launch Event

Giving Ireland 2022 charlie lamson jackie harrison anne marie corry deirdre garvey

Giving Ireland is a joint collaboration between 2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland, looking at the fundraised income in Ireland from 2020. Deirdre Garvey, CEO of the Wheel, acknowledged that “This report has shown that the sector, as a whole, did not anticipate the full impact of COVID and the annual Giving Ireland reports are valuable for comparison purposes.”

Our Dublin Giving Ireland 2022 Launch event took place on Thursday 17th November. Deirdre Garvey hosted the session, inviting Niamh Carruthers to present the Giving Ireland 2022 report. Hereafter, we were delighted to be joined by the following panellists who provided their insights on the report:

– Jackie Harrison, Director of Philanthropy at The Community Foundation for Ireland. Jackie holds a masters research in the area of Philanthropy, and noted how the Giving Ireland Report reiterated the lack of data in this area. This report brought back the turmoil the sector faced in 2020, but agreed that we all look towards hopefully seeing a growth in Trusts and Foundations going forward.

– Charlie Lamson, Head of Fundraising at Irish Red Cross mentioned how The Irish Red Cross have witnessed incredible support for Ukraine, but the Giving Ireland report highlighted to him that the fundamentals of fundraising are critical.

Helen Martin, CEO at Charities Regulator, noted how she was surprised to see the overall income in the sector increased in 2020, but acknowledged that this was primarily from the government and did not impact all organisations in the sector equally.

– Anne-Marie Corry, Executive Director at TU Dublin Foundation, acknowledged the Giving Ireland report as an in-depth report, providing valuable insights by looking at trends. She noted the resilience of the sector, even throughout trying times during 2020.


After sharing their insights, we opened a Q&A session to all attendees. This provided a fantastic opportunity for a range of nonprofit representatives to share their own insights, ask the panellists and presenters informative questions on the report.

Cork Giving Ireland 2022 Launch Event

Cork Giving Ireland event 2022 2into3

Our next Giving Ireland launch took place on Wednesday 23rd November in our office at Republic of Work, Cork. We were joined by a range of experienced panellists, including Rachel Stevenson, Head of Fundraising at Cork Simon Community, Michael Nason, CEO of Cork University Hospital Charity and James Lyons, Co- Founder of Sailing Into Wellness.

Hereafter, we invited our attendees to ask the panellists some questions on their insights. Our regional event in Cork provided a smaller group discussion around funding in 2020 and what that meant for specific nonprofit organisations in attendance.


Galway Launch Event

Galway event 2022 giving ireland

We concluded our in-person launch events in our office space at the Portershed, Eyre Square, on Thursday 24th November with Sharon Fitzpatrick, Head of Development at COPE Galway and John Crumlish, CEO at Galway Arts Festival.

We were delighted to see such fantastic attendee engagement at our regional in-person events. We look forward to doing more in future and bringing together nonprofit representatives across Ireland to discuss important topics within the sector.


Giving Ireland 2022 Subsector Webinars

Giving Ireland 2022 Subsector Webinars

After the successful launch events of the Giving Ireland 2022 Report – Analysis and Insights on Funding of the Nonprofit Sector in 2020, we are now hosting a subsector webinar series. We will explore the various funding methods of the sector and discuss how best to support the recovery of the sector as we move forward.

We are kickstarting our Giving Ireland 2022 Subsector webinars from next Tuesday 29th November until Thursday 8th December. This webinar will be recorded. All those who register to the subsector webinars will receive a recording of the webinar afterwards.

Register to each subsector below:

Contact Us

For more information on Giving Ireland, or to download the report, visit here. If you have any questions regarding the subsector webinars, please email Eilis O’Boyle.

nonprofit talent trends 2022 q3

Nonprofit Talent Trends Q3 2022

The latest instalment of the 2into3 Nonprofit Talent Trends report shows a continued increase in the level of senior recruitment within the sector. 

 For the third quarter of 2022, we recorded a total of 272 management roles advertised, an increase of 45 or 20% on the same period last year. These roles were with 193 different organisations, up 27 or 16% on 2021. This activity was spread across all main subsectors, with some significant shifts in some areas.  


Nonprofit Talent Trends q3 2022

Analysis by Subsector

4 sectors saw a drop in the number of roles advertised, including Health (37 down from 41), Education & Research (13, down from 19) and Arts Culture & Media (8, down from 11). 

In contrast, 7 sectors had an increased number of vacancies advertised, with Social Services the most active, with 92 roles, up from 68 in 2021. Philanthropy & Voluntarism was considerably more active as well, with 16 roles advertised this year versus 7 last year. Roles in the Religion subsector grew significantly, albeit from a relatively low base, from 3 to 8 year-on-year.  

It is also interesting to note the shift in role types over the course of the last year as well. CEO and Executive Director level roles went from representing 8.5% of all advertised to 4.8%, while Fundraising & Business Development dropped from 20.3% to 14.3%. Service Delivery & Operational Management positions remained fairly steady (53% versus 52%) but increased in number from 118 to 145. 

 Admin, Strategy and Governance more than doubled their share of roles, from 4% to 7.4% albeit from a low base, while most other role types remained relatively static in their share of advertised activity. 


So, overall, we continue to see an active and growing level of advertised recruitment activity for senior roles, at least from this snapshot, with the post-COVID recovery showing little sign of abating. 

We are however seeing some differences appear within the different subsectors, with the urgency of Health roles during the pandemic working their way out of the system, for example. On the other hand, Social Services needs are still high in the current economic climate, as evidenced by the volume of roles being advertised. 

Contact Us

From our own anecdotal experience in 2into3, the demand for talent remains high and we would expect this to continue into Q4, if the first few weeks are anything to go by.  We continue to receive requests for support from organisations who have been unsuccessful in attracting qualified candidates via their own internal recruitment efforts, a sign possibly that a more targeted approach using larger databases and networks is needed. 

The 2into3 Recruitment Team are available to discuss this report and the current recruitment market in the context of your own requirements. Please contact Fergal O’Sullivan at or on (086) 180-6051. 

LEADER programme funding 2022 2into3

€180m LEADER Programme for Rural Development

The Department of Rural and Community Development has announced the details of the €180 million LEADER Programme for 2023-2027. This funding is available for a range of organisations, including Sports Clubs and Community Groups, Voluntary Organisations, and Local Partnerships. 

The LEADER programme is administered at a local level by 29 local action groups, which contain local representatives from the community, public and private sector. Each group is responsible for selecting and awarding LEADER funding to projects within their geographical area.


LEADER Funding is available for the following projects

  • Rural Tourism & Recreation 
  • Projects which have the potential to make the area more attractive for local, national and foreign visitors 
  • Rural Infrastructure  
  • Projects to promote attractive places to visit, live and do business in, through coordination of integrated approaches that build on the economic strengths and infrastructure of the area whilst addressing the key challenges for business, community and recreation 
  • Accessible Services  
  • Improving access to basic services for people living in rural and remote areas and groups who are at risk of social exclusion These may include introduction of a new service or the reintroduction of a withdrawn service in the following areas: community; education/training; social/cultural; and recreation 
  • Rural Youth 
  • The promotion of youth entrepreneurship and training to improve pathways for young people to access economic opportunities in rural areas. Activity to develop the social infrastructure of rural areas for young people to realise their potential. 
  • Renewable energy  
  • Community based initiatives will play a key role in realising national and EU environmental targets, particularly in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through energy infrastructure Renewable energy technologies may also generate new employment opportunities in rural areas 


2023-2027 LEADER funding allocations by county 

County  Allocation 
Carlow  €4.9 million 
Cavan  €6.4 million 
Clare  €6.8 million 
Cork (North Cork, South Cork and West Cork)  €16.8 million 
Donegal  €10.4 million 
Dublin Rural  €4.7 million 
Galway  €9.0 million 
Kerry  €8.2 million 
Kildare  €5.4 million 
Kilkenny  €6.1 million 
Laois  €5.7 million 
Leitrim  €6.3 million 
Limerick  €6.9 million 
Longford  €5.8 million 
Louth  €4.9 million 
Mayo  €8.8 million 
Meath  €5.5 million 
Monaghan  €6.0 million 
Offaly  €6.3 million 
Roscommon  €6.8 million 
Sligo  €6.1 million 
Tipperary  €7.8 million 
Waterford  €6.1 million 
Westmeath  €5.7 million 
Wexford  €7.3 million 
Wicklow  €5.3 million 
Total  €180 million 

Interested in applying?

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. 

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

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.

Penelope Kenny Head of Governance 2into3

Welcoming Penelope Kenny as Head of Governance

The range of services we offer has expanded in recent years, and our client base accordingly. With this expansion, we are delighted to be welcoming Penelope Kenny as our new Head of Governance Advisory Services, on a part-time basis. Penelope is an experienced Chartered Accountant, with an extensive existing portfolio of directorships and key positions, both in state bodies and the financial services industry. Penelope’s experience also extends as Non-Executive Director, Audit committee chair, CFO, with a Certificate in Corporate Governance. Her experience is based upon embedding positive corporate governance practices to organisations, with a focus on board effectiveness and financial control. Furthermore, she is a member of the Institute of Directors and holds a Masters Degree from UCD, publishing a book on ‘Corporate Governance’ by the Chartered Accountants Ireland.

“I am delighted to assist 2into3 in growing and developing their governance practice. I will be assisting 2into3 on a part time basis from September 2022 and I look forward to working with and growing their interesting portfolio of high quality and engaged clients.” – Penelope Kenny

Penelope initially joined 2into3 as an Associate in 2022. Since joining as an Associate, Penelope has worked with: Social Innovation Growth Fund Ireland, Trocaire, YMCA Ireland, Atlantic Youth Trust, Cuanlee, Dublin Central Mission, KDYS, Outhouse, Dark Sky Ireland, County Carlow Development Partnership, Irish Cancer Society, County Kildare Leader Partnership, Colaiste naMumhan, Dublin South City Partnership, Gheel Autism Services and Missio Ireland.

2into3 Governance Advisory Services

Good governance comes directly from the board. A board should typically meet on a monthly basis and is strategically focussed. A focussed governance plan and project will speed the journey to good and sustainable governance practices, by the board and by the executive team.

2into3 has developed governance practices with boards and leadership teams across the sector. We present your board with a range of options, which can be customised to suit your needs. Some of these include:

  • Effectiveness surveys for all board members
  • Board member interviews
  • Board development programmes
  • Board effectiveness feedback with action plans and recommendations
  • Formal reports on governance for the board.

Get in Touch

If you’re interested in availing of our governance services, visit our website for more information, or contact Penelope Kenny directly.

celebrating 350 clients 2into3

Celebrating our 350th Client with Aiséirí

We are delighted to announce that we are celebrating our 350th client. Our team has worked with a range of fantastic organisations over the past 16 years and we are thrilled to have reached another milestone in our client base.

Our 350th client is Aiséirí, who provide community and residential services to help young people, adults and families overcome addiction and lead meaningful lives in recovery. Aiséirí was seeking a ‘Communications and Engagement Officer’ to support their Development, Communications and Marketing team. We referred them to our sister brand, the For Purpose Graduate Programme, which connects graduates with nonprofit organisations.

“In terms of recruitment, the For Purpose process was excellent. Rhonda provided us with so much support and expertise. We are so delighted to have our new Communications and Engagement Officer on board, she is already part of the team and is settling in brilliantly.”

– Philomena Furlong, Development, Learning & Engagement Manager, Aiséirí.


For Purpose Graduate Programme

The For Purpose Graduate Programme is our sister brand which connects eager graduates to nonprofit organisations. For Purpose assists nonprofit organisations attract, mentor and develop the future leaders of the nonprofit sector. The programme covers a wide range of career paths in a number of different sectors, ranging from marketing & communications, fundraising, social services, human resources, housing officers and more.

Why invest in a graduate through For Purpose?

  • Shape the future leaders of the nonprofit sector
  • Fresh ideas for your organisation
  • Technical skills / social media savy
  • Values driven candidates who are keen to develop within nonprofit organisations

 Click here for more information on the Value of Graduates in Nonprofit Sector.

Get in Touch

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, partners, and those who have supported 2into3 over the past 16 years. For more information on our services, visit here or contact Dennis O’Connor. If you’re considering recruiting a graduate to develop your nonprofit, contact Rhonda Wynne directly.

About Aiséirí

Aiséirí provides residential and community based addiction treatment service for adults and young people. Their services include detox, primary and secondary residential treatment and a continuum of care programme. Their specialist and caring staff create an environment that is therapeutic in all aspects, where each person feels valued, safe and supported as they make their journey towards recovery and new life changes.


TUD Giving Ireland 2into3 Partnership

TU Dublin And Giving Ireland Announce Partnership On PhD

We are delighted to announce the partnership of Giving Ireland (our joint collaboration with Philanthropy Ireland) and TU Dublin. The outcome of this partnership is the creation of a PhD research programme investigating how nonprofits are impacted by the culture of giving and donating in Ireland. This programme, titled: “Sustaining the Nonprofit Economy: An Investigation into Giving Culture and Infrastructure for Charity and Philanthropy in Ireland”, will aim to inform nonprofits and government policy makers to aid decision making. 

We are delighted to collaborate with TU Dublin on this innovative programme, bringing together the nonprofit sector and academia to identify and explore the most pertinent funding issues faced by the nonprofit sector. How to build resilience and growth in the social economy so it meets the needs of those it was setup to support. What does transformative scale look like and how can this be achieved? I’ll be very interested to read the findings the programme will produce”, said Dennis O’Connor, our CEO. 


About Giving Ireland 

Giving Ireland is a collaboration between 2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland. It seeks to provide a platform for the sector that will foster collaboration, provide insights and encourage collective action. The objective of Giving Ireland is to provide insights into charitable giving in Ireland and support informed decision-making.  


Outcome of Giving Ireland and TU Dublin Partnership 

As Ireland experiences significant societal change and the operational environment of nonprofits is increasingly complex, the programme combines industry with academia to address several of the nonprofit sector’s pressing issues, namely, how to scale giving to be transformative, how to move into a future/digital society sustainably/supported by giving, and how to harness policy as a tool to enable giving in a way that bests support a resilient/sustainable social economy and meet the needs of its people. 

 Its aim is to empower nonprofits to improve decision making and to invest in giving and fundraising strategies that gain support from key stakeholders (public, colleagues, boards, regulators, politicians and media), and to reduce barriers to scale charitable and philanthropic giving.  


Giving Ireland Report 

A key output from this programme will be the publication of the annual ‘Giving Ireland’ report that aims to narrow the gap in knowledge on the sector by providing an analysis of its composition, funding and benchmarked performance. This report delves into the funding of the sector, looking at State, Earned, Investment and Fundraised income and exploring the implications of these trends.  

The insights and data published in the Giving Ireland report will further inform the leadership of the nonprofit sector. In the summer of 2022, TU Dublin started the research for Giving Ireland 2022 report, previous Giving Ireland reports were researched and published as part of a collaboration between 2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland. Both 2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland will continue with their support of the Giving Ireland report publication and distribution. 


The Research Partnership 

Dr. Etain Kidney, Head of School, Marketing and Entrepreneurship at TU Dublin said, “This collaboration reflects our commitment in TU Dublin to creating a better future together with our partners. We want to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, using research and education to drive of social change. Our partnership with 2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland will uncover truths about the unique giving culture here in Ireland and offer insight into how this can be mobilised to benefit those in need”. 

 Éilis Murray, Philanthropy Ireland, Chief Executive Officer said, “We at Philanthropy Ireland are delighted to be involved in this exciting research initiative and we look forward to the insights the findings will bring.  Philanthropy can be a transformative complementary, component of the funding mix, offering the nonprofit sector opportunities for scaling, partnership, and innovation. Data is needed to inform philanthropy, for both funders and grantees. This research initiative is an excellent step in supporting philanthropic activity in Ireland.  


Contact Us 

For more information on Giving Ireland or TU Dublin, visit their website If you have particular research questions, please contact Dennis O’Connor. 

2023 Budget: Supports for our Grant Services Clients

2023 Budget: Supports for our Grant Services Clients

This year’s budget comes at a time of massive uncertainty with the cost of living crisis, high energy, high inflation, and war in Ukraine. The government announced a “budget-within-a-budget” with €4.1 billion one-off measures supporting the €6.9 billion package to protect Irish people against this crisis. We have outlined the range of government supports that will affect our grants service and more importantly, how they will improve your nonprofit organisation. 

Department of Rural and Community Development 

Rural and Community Development Irish Budget 2023

Rural Development, Regional Affairs and Islands – €201 million 

This programme saw a slight decrease from the 2022 levels, from €202.1 million to €201 million. With the allocation, we will see commitments to: 

  • Deliver Our Rural Future, rural recreation supports, and the Towns Centres First initiative. 
  • Continue to invest in rural regeneration and development through a range of capital schemes, including the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, Town and Village Renewal and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. 
  • Fund activity under the Department’s capital programmes, including the next iteration of the LEADER programme, which is due to come into effect in 2023.
  • To ensure continued provision of lifeline transport services and the maintenance and upgrade of essential island infrastructure. 


Community Development – €187 million 

Community Development Irish Budget 2023 nonprofits

The level of support has increased with a 9% rise from the Government from 2022 from €171 million to €187 million this year. The programme aims to promote and support the development of inclusive communities, and in the community and voluntary sector. The allocation will see:  

  • Continued and improved delivery of all of community development schemes, with increases in funding for schemes such as SICAP, the Community Services Programme, supports for volunteering, and mentoring for social enterprises.  
  • Strengthen local participation through supports for Public Participation Networks and Local Community Development Committees.
  • Increase funding under the newly established Community Centre Investment Fund.  


Arts & Culture, Tourism, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media   

Budget 2023 Ireland Sports Nonprofits 2into3

Sports and Recreation – €174.8 million 

This department saw a decrease in funding of 4% from €181.2 million in 2022 to €174.8 million in 2023. The government aims to promote to a healthier and more active society through sports participation. This programme will see the allocation:  

  • Provide additional support for Sport Ireland to support preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics in 2024 and to increase sports participation.
  • Sustain funding for Sports Capital and Equipment Programme.
  • Sustain funding for Sports Measures via the Dormant Accounts Fund. 
  • Sustain funding for attracting major sporting events to Ireland. 

Some of the selected new measures promoted by the department: 

  • Increased funding for Sports Ireland to support high performance athletics’ preparation in the run up to the Olympics and Paralympics in 2024 – €4 million.
  • Increased funding for the implementation of the Sports Action Plan 2021- 2023 – €4 million.


New Measures

Funding Budget 2023

Selected new measures highlighted by the department include: 

  • Increased funding for key schemes such as the Local Improvement Scheme (+1m) and CLÁR (+0.5m) – €1.5 million.
  • Increased funding for the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in the context of the forthcoming National Outdoor Recreation Strategy – €1 million.
  • Increased funding for the Community Services Programme to implement a new funding model for supported organisations – €3.5 million.
  • Enhanced social community supports through the European Social Fund – €1 million o Increased funding for SICAP and similar type supports – €2.2 million.
  • Enhance volunteering supports (+€1m) and assisting the work completed by Public Participation Networks (+€0.4m) – €1.4 million.
  • Additional funding for the new Community Centres Investment Fund, which launched in 2022 and will benefit both rural and urban communities.


Contact Us

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. Our experienced team will help you come to informed decisions that are in the best interests of your organisation going forward and planning for sustainability.  

In the last 2 years, our Grants Advisory team have managed 16 applications for the 2021 Sports Capital Grants for local clubs and NGBs. They secured a total of €2.4 million in grants with a success rate of 100%, with 50% of clients receiving full allocation of what they applied for.

For more information on 2into3’s Grant Services, visit our page or contact Patricia Keenan directly on +353 (0)86 065 7347.

Nonpaid Benefits nonprofits 2into3

Non-paid Benefits: An Analysis of the Market

Undoubtedly, we are still seeing a shift in the employment market to that of a ‘buyers’. In March of this year, Charities Institute recorded that 79% of organisations were struggling to hire, as there is an oversaturation of roles on offer in the sector. Increasingly, nonprofits find their talent being poached by the corporate organisation with a higher profile, higher pay, better pensions and employment guarantee.When Charity Staff leave an organisation, 62% move out of the charity sector altogether’. Restricted funded organisation, the likes of section 39’s, find themselves losing staff due to better benefits elsewhere. Rising Inflation prices are also a consistent concern that is being felt across sectors. According to the Irish Times, ‘Prices in Ireland rose an estimated 9.6 per cent in the year to July’. With inflation, security and burnout becoming increasingly prevalent worries for staff, do organisations need to start putting emphasis on other non-monetary supports, such as non-paid benefits? 

Staff Retention and Non-Paid Benefits

In the wake of the 2008 Recession, employees working in the nonprofit sector, along with other sectors in the economy, experienced pay cuts and/or pay freezes, worked shorter hours and/or took on extra work for reduced pay. HSE funded organisations saw a funding-cut that has seen organisations recovering to only 70% of pre-recession funds. Staff were left feeling undervalued, underpaid and with a lack of career progression. This caused unforeseen difficulties for organisations, despite their team’s dedication to the mission, they struggled to retain staff due to budget cuts. With inflation on the rise and economic advisors throwing around the word ‘recession’, we can learn from here to get our cards in order in a proactive manner to protect both our organisations and staff. 

Flexibility in Post- Covid Working Environment

Non-paid Benefits Staff Retention 2into3

In analysis of The Community Foundation’s National Guide to pay and benefits in community, voluntary & charitable sector 2019, some obvious areas for consideration are apparent. ‘Flexibility’, is an element of the report in a post-covid working environment that can be easily addressed by your organisation. Remote and Hybrid policies are essential for providing work/life balance to staff. Though it may seem like an obvious standard to have in place, many companies are enforcing return to work policies. It is important to ask the following questions before proceeding with enforcing new policies. Would your staff prefer to work from home or have flexible working hours instead? Could you offer more days of annual leave to your staff? Do you offer income protection, death in service or have sick leave policy in place that is higher than the statutory amount? Do you offer a pension contribution to all staff or just the most senior of the team?  

There are also certain statutory requirements that could be considered non-paid benefits that your team aren’t aware of. If you have a human resource function, this could be easily bridged by explaining, for example, how to avail of a tax saver public transport ticket or how to get onto the bike to work scheme. If you have a generous maternity or paternity leave policy in place or provide service leave for long standing staff, are your employees or candidates aware of this? Do you provide any educational assistance in the form of study leave or monetary assistance to any or all staff? Could you provide a lower pension contribution to junior staff at 2% to help all staff with long- term financial planning? 

Reflecting on Your Organisations’ Benefits

Non-paid benefits Staff Retention 2into3

As The Wheel & The Community Foundation for Ireland compile their most recent research into the non-paid benefits of the nonprofit sector for 2022, it is as good a time as ever to question your organisation’s benefits and career progression structures. What are your staff struggling with and which non-paid benefits are they seeking? Is your organisation large enough to have a Human Resources function? If not, do your board members have capacity to provide that support to staff? Do you provide a career mentor service to younger staff for career progression?  

In response to funding uncertainty, you could provide pay scales, simplify pay structures or introduce a Service Award e.g. a payment after ‘x’ number of years to help retain staff. For staff morale, you could introduce ‘staff away’ days or include a staff wellness programme. For attracting junior staff, could you introduce a graduate programme or offer links with third level institutions.  

The two most important takeaways are: to consider your staff and their needs, and be creative in how to support them within your financial limits. In placing your team, however big or small, at the forefront of your organisational culture, you will undoubtedly see more staff retention and attraction of talent. Job insecurity, burnout and inflation are going nowhere anytime soon and non—paid benefits will continue to be at the centre of candidate’s minds where salary no longer becomes the most important element of contract discussions. 

For more information on staff retention, visit our recent ‘Recruitment and Retention’ event summary, or if you’re interested in expanding your team, contact Fergal O’Sullivan for further details on senior recruitment.

How to Recruit and Retain Volunteers 2into3

How Nonprofits can Mitigate Risk at a Time of Crisis

Last weeks session by the Wheel on their Pre-Budget 2023 Submission was a stark reminder of the scale of the financial challenges facing the community and voluntary organisations. The Wheel have completed fantastic work in developing a set of costed asks on behalf of the sector for An Taoiseach and relevant Ministers to consider in putting together the 2023 budget. As we await the decided outcome on the 27th September, there are some important lessons that all nonprofits should reflect on to ensure they are best placed to weather this and future storms.


The importance of a diverse funding model

Organisations that do not rely too heavily on one source of income are more resilient.

We saw the extent to which public and community fundraising was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The Wheel’s submission describes how community and voluntary organisations which are reliant on state funding – including under Section 39 (HSE), Section 56 (Tusla) and Section 10 (Housing Act) arrangements – now face an existential shortage of funding, with many not seeing any increases in funding since 2008, representing a decline in real terms. State funding can often be the slowest to adapt and respond.

Our data from the Irish Giving Index shows that fundraising is surprisingly resilient during times of crisis or economic downtown. However, different income sources are affected by differently. All nonprofits should consider and strategise for how to diversify their funding models to reduce risk.


The importance of making time to strategise

Strategy Development 2into3 How nonprofits can mitigate risk at a time of crisis

COVID-19 demonstrated that nonprofits are capable of innovation and flexibility, with virtually every organisation having to adapt how it delivered its mission and key services almost overnight. The necessity of responsiveness continues today with organisations tackling what seem like the poly-crises of inflation, the impact of the War in Ukraine, housing, and health waiting lists.

Organisations and their staff can operate reactively for only so long. While it can seem too difficult to carve out the time for strategic thinking at a time like this, it’s the only way that nonprofits can find a way out of firefighting mode in the medium to long term.

In order to ensure the sustainability of your operations, and ensure the wellbeing of your staff, make the time to ask the tough questions: What is our core purpose? What services and supports will help us deliver our Mission and meet the needs of our service users and communities? Can we deliver our work in more efficient or effective ways (such as through collaborations or by using hybrid models)? Do we have the right organisational structure to deliver on our ambitions?


The importance of talent management

Recruitment selection 2into3 How nonprofits can mitigate risk at a time of crisis

We all know that pay has never been what has attracted people to the community and voluntary sector. However, there are now many factors that risk drawing away your key talent – including the impact of inflation on household’s own budgets, and the negotiated increases in public sector pay. Fran Brennan, The Wheel Event panellist from Polio Survivors Ireland, shared that it took the organisation 18 months to recruit a volunteer coordinator.

The Wheel is making some important asks to government that will support the sector recruit and retain staff such as mainstreaming multi-annual state funding, providing funding that supports full-cost-recovery, and dedicated investments for workforce skills and training.

As we discussed at a recent 2into3 event, there are other things organisations can do beside pay increases to retain staff for instances flexible working policies, a supportive working culture, training and development opportunities.


If you’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the implications of 2023 budget decisions on your organisation and the community and voluntary sector, register to the Wheel’s budget analysis webinar. In the meanwhile, they are encouraging everyone to join their #FutureIsCommunity campaign to create pressure for these important decisions.

For more information on these findings, or to avail of our strategic planning services, contact Luna Atkins or visit here.