Matt McKerrow Governance Insights

“We’ve tried – women just don’t want to be on our board” Governance insights for your sports organisation from an international perspective

Authored by Matt McKerrow, Associate Consultant


As a father of toddler boy/girl twins, I am ever vigilant (and regularly reminded by my constituents) to ensure I am equitable in all dealings, particularly those that pertain to distribution of important resources – like strawberries, or marshmallows.

And OK, whilst two for the price of two does require significant extra resources (time, energy, and effort) – one of the great benefits of parenting dual small humans, beyond the constant gender equity check, is the diversity of experiences, learning, and as a result extra knowledge, that comes and will continue to come from raising a girl and boy the same age at the same time. That’s without considering what they’ll learn and gain from each other in the process. Summary: More work, tricky to balance, but increased knowledge, richer experiences, better and fairer outcomes for all, right? That’s my theory anyway.

Therefore, I can’t help but notice some parallels as the Irish sport governing body sector prepares for the pending 40% board gender balance deadline at year end. Recent media reports indicate the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) [1] [2] and the GAA [3] are among the organisations working earnestly towards change facing into the challenge of meeting the deadline – and I am sure there are others.


Here are some key points to consider for making progress towards balancing your board:


S/he got more than me

Whilst those electing sports boards may not prioritise or appreciate the benefit of the additional experience, knowledge and perspective that having a diverse board brings, it does seem implausible they could rationalise leaving 50% of the funding available to their sport on the table. Especially when this would then potentially be available to be re-distributed to other NGBs, their fellow ‘sport system siblings’. Neither of my 3-year-olds would stand for that.


International perspective

Having spent near equal amounts of time during my 20+ year career working in sports governance in Ireland, as in New Zealand & Australia, I am well placed to compare and contrast the Irish context with others I’ve worked in. I’ve also seen/heard some absolute clangers (refer to this article’s title quote, uttered much more recently than you’d imagine) and gathered some fascinating insights from both hemispheres as national sports systems have evolved to tackle the challenges of board gender balance and board independence.


Governance Principles over time

In a federated country, Australian NGBs (National Sporting Organisations or NSOs as they’re known down under) have long grappled with multiple layers of governance existing together – especially when it comes to the issue of independence.

A first version of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Governance Principles were published in 2002 and they have undergone several iterations since, most recently in 2023 [4]. The most recent version is explicit regarding board gender balance at 4.3: “The board (…) should be composed in a manner such that no one sex accounts for more than 60% of the total number of Directors”; and regarding independence at 4.4: “The organisation’s directors should be independent, regardless of whether elected or appointed”.

It is of note that whilst the ASC “Governance Code” has existed for decades, with prescription regarding board composition, a Women on Boards report [5] published in 2020 indicated that up to approximately 30% of funded Australian NSOs did not meet the 40% target that is currently prescribed in the ASC principles at that time. The more recently published ASC Governance Standards Benchmarking Report 2023 [6] depicts a decrease in the gender balance standard (4.4) since 2021, and highlights Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (4.2) as one of the “bottom 5” poorer performing standards where Board Independence (4.4) is among the Top 5.


Which country has it right?

By contrast, New Zealand, which is often compared to Ireland, in land and population size, sadly in terms of 2023 RWC performance, and notably examined in sporting system context detail at the 2018 Federation of Irish Sport Annual Conference – could be said to lead the way in board gender diversity. Sport New Zealand reported near 100% compliance (65 out of 66 funded organisations) with its 40% gender target in 2021, three years after publication of its 2018 Women & Girls Strategy and accompanying policy to impose significant penalties for those organisations not in compliance. Sport NZ report an overall improvement in governance and board dynamics as a result. [7]


Fiercely independent?

Speaking of New Zealand, and at the risk of again mentioning rugby, it is relevant to reference the recently published NZ Rugby (NZRU) Governance Review [8]. A highlighted summary contended the governance of the NZRU, the organisation behind the All Blacks and Black Ferns, is not currently fit for purpose, and offered some strong recommendations.

In contrast to the current issues reported in Ireland within the FAI – as they attempt to re-structure their board to meet their MOU obligations to government to have a 50/50 split of “football” and “non-football” directors [9] – the recommendation of the NZRU review is that the NZRU board be completely independent of constituent directors, instead proposing the inception of a Council structure where representatives of rugby’s stakeholder groups would feed into the governance of the organisation on select and specific terms. In that review, an independent director is defined to be one who is “four years (out of the game or) out of positions of influence within the game”. This may be viewed by some as heavy handed.


Rising through the ranks

For sports organisations with federal structures of governance – eg club> county>province>national, as in Ireland, there is an established practice of Presidents/Chairs/board members progressing “up the ranks”. This is often lauded as an achievement and viewed as an acknowledgement or even an entitlement based on time served within the sport. It would be common that upon election to a higher tier the director would resign from their lower tier appointment, but often one occurs directly following the other, with minimal, if any, time away from influential roles in the sport – and certainly not a four-year stand-down.

Nearly there

In late 2022, Sport Ireland indicated that if the current trajectory to that time were to continue, the target of 40% gender balance on NGB boards would be achieved in 2023 [10]. This can only be viewed as a positive development for Irish sport in terms of the greater knowledge, insight and diversity in board decision making, and overall improvement in governance of the sector.

More to come?

One wonders – if Irish sport is emulating, and close behind, our NZ counterparts in achieving board gender balance targets; our government, via their MOU with the FAI, are already seeking to ensure greater independence on sports boards; and the organisation behind arguably one of the world’s greatest sports teams appears set to be governed by a rigorously independent board – could we, and should we, expect to see the Sports Minister and Sport Ireland setting quotas and targets for board independence similar to those for gender balance in the not too distant future?



Insight 1

Like ‘em or loathe ‘em – quotas are here to stay

  • Target quotas are a mechanism that serve the purpose of rallying a sector and allow measurement of progress towards a broader societal aim. Their detractors might say they are crude and tokenistic or may use phrases such as “box-ticking” and “window dressing”. Based on my experience of sports governance across international contexts, they are, and continue to be a necessary tactic to ensure the advantages of board diversity and independence are promoted and achieved for the wider benefit of an organisation’s stakeholders and society at large. With a continuing societal movement towards ESG targets in Ireland and abroad, we are likely to see that measures and quotas will continue across all walks of life, not just sport. Moreover, perhaps board independence is next?

Insight 2

Targeted strategy, investment and quotas are supercharged when leveraged with penalties

  • With New Zealand as case in point, sports systems that have moved to significantly penalise non-compliance have experienced greater success than those where principles exist without meaningful consequence. It is encouraging to see the firm line taken by the Sports Minister and Sport Ireland threatening a 50% reduction in the allocation from 2024 for all non-compliant organisations, especially in relation to capital grants as well as program funding. The sports sector will wait with interest to see the ramifications for any organisations not achieving the target in the New Year.

Insight 3

S/he who pays the piper…

  • Many sporting organisations have bemoaned the loss of sovereignty that comes from a government funder dictating terms and imposing what might be seen to be heavy handed conditions upon them. “Who are they to tell us how to run our sport?” Whilst you’d expect a sport’s community are best placed to deliver that sport – it is however worth remembering that if s/he who pays the piper calls the tune, a sport seeking investment from government, sponsors, philanthropists and even from their own members and clubs – must take heed of their wishes in putting together their playlist. Furthermore, it’s not unreasonable to expect that diversity, independence and other ESG factors will feature in their requests.

Insight 4

It’s no walk in the park, but the effort is worth it.

  • A Richie McCaw quote highlighted in the NZRU Governance Review says: “If you want to be the best in the world, it is going to be hard. If you are not prepared to do that, you are in the wrong room”. Progressing the governance of your organisation so your sport can attract heightened funding and achieve great things in terms of increasing participation, connecting communities, raising profile, and delivering awe inspiring winning performances isn’t easy. But it’s a choice. The process is not glamorous, it takes time, significant effort, considerable energy and you can certainly expect detractors, hurdles, miss-steps, learning experiences, unpopularity, argument, compromise and debate along the way. But that pales in comparison with the benefits as greater knowledge, richer experiences and ultimately the achievement of inspirational outcomes are realised. The final destination is worth enduring the tantrums – just like twin parenting.


Get in Touch

This article is authored by: Matt McKerrow, Associate Consultant,  specialising in governance and strategy assignments for NGBs, clubs and other sports organisations within 2into3’s sports sector.

If your sports organisation is interested in gaining support in governance or strategy, contact our Associate Consultant, Matt McKerrow or our Director of Advisory Services, Luna Atkins. For more on our work with sports organisations, visit our page here.



[1] Headache for FAI as crucial motion fails to pass

[2] Funding to FAI from Sport Ireland delayed (

[3] Relief as GAA votes for better gender balance on management committee

[4] Australian Sports Commission Governance Standards SGS-final.pdf (

[5] Women on Boards NSO Board Gender Report (

[6] Sport Governance Standards Benchmarking Report (

[7] Gender-equity-in-governance-sport-nz-3-11-22.pdf (

[8] NZRGovernance-Review-31-August-2023_web.pdf (

[9] Sports minister warns FAI of ‘serious consequences’ if they fail to meet gender balance requirement (

[10] Women in Sport Leadership Snapshot | Sport Ireland

The power of social media in elevating your fundraising efforts

Last week, we saw a fantastic example of leveraging social media platforms for fundraising campaigns. After the tragic stabbing in Dublin last Thursday 23rd November, the bravery of Caio Benicio was celebrated by the creation of, ‘Buy Caio Benicio a pint’on Go Fund Me. By leveraging social media to spread awareness of this campaign, over €360,000 has been raised to celebrate Caio Benicio amidst a terrible tragedy.

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for fundraising, revolutionising the way charitable organisations and causes connect with donors and supporters. Particularly since 2020, we have seen a surge in the use of social media within fundraising strategies, with many nonprofits focusing on leveraging their social media platforms to reach fundraising goals. Social media has the power to elevate your fundraising efforts, here are 5 reasons why:


1. Amplifying Campaigns

One of the most significant advantages of social media in fundraising is its ability to amplify messages. A single compelling post or campaign can reach a vast audience in a matter of seconds. The shareability of content on platforms such as LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, allow supporters to become advocates, spreading the word about a cause to their own networks.


2. Breaking Geographical Boundaries

Social media has the capacity to break geographical boundaries. Traditional marketing techniques only had the ability to reach a small pool of people. Fundraising efforts are no longer limited to local or regional audiences. Organisations can connect with supporters, donors, and volunteers from around the world. This global reach opens up new opportunities for fundraising and collaboration on an unprecedented scale.


3. Increasing Accessibility

Crowdfunding platforms like ‘GoFundMe’ have used social media to make fundraising accessible to individuals who like to make one-off donations. Additionally, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, where supporters create their own fundraising pages and share them on social media, have become highly effective in mobilising communities.


4. Leveraging Trends

Many trends and challenges often go viral on social media. The ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’, for example, raised millions for ALS research by encouraging people to record themselves dumping ice water on their heads and challenging others to do the same. These viral campaigns demonstrate the immense potential for grassroots fundraising on social platforms.


5. Direct Engagement

Social media provides a real-time platform for engagement. Organisations can interact with their supporters instantaneously, responding to questions, providing updates, and expressing gratitude for contributions. This direct and immediate connection fosters trust, transparency and improves communication.


The power of social media in fundraising enables individuals and organisations to connect and drive positive change in ways that were once unimaginable. To harness this force for good effectively, fundraisers must adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape. Moreover, this is particularly apparent with the recent increase in the use of AI. It is important that fundraisers leverage AI and social media together to drive further awareness for their fundraising campaigns and creating a lasting impact. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use AI for your fundraising efforts, see our previous post, ‘The impact of Artificial Intelligence in fundraising’.

Get in Touch

If your organisation’s fundraising strategy needs refreshed, updated, or if you’re seeking support to align your goals for 2024, contact our Head of Fundraising Advisory Practice, Rob Foley on 086 032 7935.

2into3 nonprofit Talent recruitment trend

Nonprofit Talent Trends – Q3 2023

The latest snapshot of senior recruitment activity in the Irish nonprofit sector shows a stabilisation in activity year on year. 2into3’s tracking of roles advertised found there were 253 senior posts advertised in Q3 of 2023, a reduction of 6.9% from the 272 roles advertised in the same period last year.

In terms of the number of organisations that were seeking to fill these roles, the change was similar, at 181 versus 193 in Q3 2022 (down 6.2%). That said, there is an increasing trend appearing in recent months for organisations to advertise roles anonymously, with 31 of the 253 in this review deliberately not identifying the organisation.


Organisational Breakdown

Q3 2023 2into3recruitment monitor

Where information was known about the organisations, the subsector breakdown was as follows:

Two subsectors – Social Services (49) and Local Development & Housing (34) – accounted for 55% of all roles advertised, with the remaining 10 subsectors accounting for the other 45%. Within that group, Health was the largest with 26 roles.


Roles by Subsector

Looking at the number of roles by subsector (again, where we were able to identify this from the advertisements), there were increases and decreases across the subsectors, although with the increase in anonymous advertisements, these figures do come with something of a health warning.

There were increases in the number of roles in the Local Development & Housing and International subsectors, while all others saw a drop in the level of activity, apart from Environment & Recreation & Sport, which were unchanged.

Organisational Income

Where income data was available (for 143 organisations), the usual even split was observed. 40 had income over €10M, 43 had income below €1M and the balance sat between these two.

Role Types

Looking at the types of roles being advertised, 40.7% of those we tracked were in the Service Delivery & Operational Management category, with the next largest area being Finance (18% of all recorded activity) and Fundraising & Business Development (14%). Year-on-year, there were increases in the number of roles in CEO/Executive Director, Finance and Human Resources, with all other role types seeing a decrease or standing still.



At a macro level, the post-COVID return to stability in the market that we have observed in Q1 and Q2 this year is very much confirmed with a year-on-year of almost identical activity for July – September.

That said, there are some variations to be observed when you break the information we tracked into subsectors and role types. For example, even though the number of Service Delivery & Operational Management roles fell from 145 to 103 between 2022 and 2023, this subsector still accounted for 40.7% of all roles advertised.

The number of Finance roles that were advertised jumped significantly (17 to 46), while the previously active Fundraising & Business Development roles were static, dropping from 39 to 35.

As mentioned above, there seems to be a significant trend emerging with organisations not disclosing their identity when advertising senior positions. From our own perspective, this would appear counterproductive, as nonprofit roles often attract candidates who can identify strongly with their mission, vison, and values. If this is hidden, then you miss that cohort, and may indeed receive enquiries and applications from those who would not be a match for your work.

We continue to track recruitment advertising for the sector and look forward to completing both a Q4 analysis and a full year assessment to share in early 2024.


Contact Us

If your organisation is interested in expanding your team, visit our website for more information, or get in touch with our Director of Talent Management, Fergal O’Sullivan on +353-86-180-6051.

Giving Ireland 2023

Launching Giving Ireland 2023 Report

On Thursday 26th October, we launched Giving Ireland 2023 Report, in collaboration with Philanthropy Ireland. Our report launch event was followed by four subsector webinars, on Sport & Recreation, Religion & International, Environment and Health & Social Services. Thank you to everyone who attended our launch event and webinars, for our panellists for providing their insights, to our sponsors, our Giving Ireland author and everyone who made this years report possible.


Giving Ireland 2023 Report


Giving Ireland Summary Quilter Cheviot

Giving Ireland 2023 Summary, Quilter Cheviot


Giving Ireland, established in collaboration with Philanthropy Ireland, aims to provide insights into charitable giving in Ireland and support informed decision-making. This year’s research, in partnership with Technological University Dublin, reveals the continuing impact of the global pandemic during its second year and highlights emerging challenges facing the nonprofit sector.

This years report found that:

“Looking back, 2021 saw Ireland still very much in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Certain aspects of ‘normal life’ had resumed, albeit cautiously. The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine continued, while climate and energy issues gained increasing urgency in the public discourse. The end of 2021 then saw the cost of living crisis come to the forefront of our collective consciousness, where it has remained.

This report sets out to explore how nonprofits in Ireland fared in 2021 compared to 2020. The findings suggest that 2021 was a year of modest recovery. Funding remained a challenge for many organisations, while the struggle faced by organisations of all shapes and sizes to attract and retain staff intensified (Wheel 2023).

Total funding in the sector increased slightly, while earned revenue stagnated and fundraising declined for the second year in a row. For a second year, the State stepped in to fill the funding gap, stabilising the sector. In 2021, we witnessed the lead-up to the war in Ukraine. As we prepare for next year’s report, we predict that it will showcase the sector’s ability to adapt and respond to new challenges, as many organisations made adjustments to assist incoming Ukrainian refugees, not to mention the international response led by our aid organizations. 2021, however, was a year for regrouping and refocusing in the pandemic’s wake.” – Giving Ireland 2023 Report

Read Giving Ireland 2023 Report here.


Giving Ireland Launch Event

Giving Ireland launch event

On Thursday 26th October, our Giving Ireland Launch Event took place at St. Laurence’s Church, TU Dublin. We were joined by a range of experienced panellists, including:

Jackie Harrison, Director of Philanthropy at Community Foundation Ireland
Nell Ward, Director of Development at Grow It Yourself Ireland
Charlie Lamson, Head of Fundraising at Irish Red Cross
Etain Kidney, Head of Marketing & Entrepreneurship at TU Dublin

An extended thank you to our MC, Ivan Cooper, CEO of The Wheel, to Eoin Langan, Dean of Faculty of Business, TU Dublin and Niamh Carruthers, Senior Researcher, for authoring this years report.

Giving Ireland would also not be possible without our sponsors, Community Foundation Ireland, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office and Quilter Cheviot. Thank you for continuing to support this report.

Giving Ireland Subsector Webinars


Giving Ireland 2023 Subsector Webinars

Following the launch of Giving Ireland 2023 Report, we held a series of subsector webinars. This series was hosted by Rob Foley, Head of Fundraising Advisory Practice at 2into3, and Niamh Carruthers, Senior Researcher and Giving Ireland Author.

Sports & Recreation: Exploring Sporting Impact Giving Ireland 2023 Report Subsector Webinar. Watch webinar here.
Panellists: Matt McKerrow, Associate Consultant at 2into3 and James O’Callaghan, Performance Director at Irish Sailing Association.

Religion & International: Bridging Borders and Faiths: Giving Ireland 2023 Report Subsector Webinar. Watch webinar here.
Panellist: Jennifer Donovan, Donor Engagement Manager at Misean Cara.

Environmental: Sustaining Our Future: Giving Ireland 2023 Report Subsector Webinar. Watch webinar here.
Panellists: Nell Ward, Director of Development at Grow It Yourself and Karen Ciesielski, CEO at Irish Environmental Network.

Health & Social Services: Strengthening Communities: Giving Ireland 2023 Report Subsector Webinar. Watch webinar here.
Panelist: Ruth Allen, Head of Communications & Development at Childvision.


Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about Giving Ireland, visit our website. For direct queries regarding this years report, contact If you’re interested in becoming a part of Giving Ireland as a sponsor, supporter, or panellist for next year, contact
Importance of Storytelling

5 Tips For Effective Storytelling in Fundraising

One of the most difficult challenges for nonprofits who engage in fundraising is effectively engaging donors and inspiring them to support their mission with, or over, the plethora of worthy causes around the world. A solution to this problem can be found in the art of effective storytelling. Stories have a unique power to connect on an emotional level, fostering empathy, understanding and has the ability to transcend cultural boundaries.

In this post, we’ll explore the significance of impactful storytelling in fundraising and provide actionable tips to help organisations forge a powerful connection between donors and the heart of their cause.


1. Start with a captivating opener

Begin your story with a strong hook that grabs the reader’s attention. This could be a surprising fact, a poignant quote, or a thought-provoking question. By opening with a strong hook, the reader is more likely to engage with the remainder of your story.

2. Introduce a protagonist

Every story needs a protagonist or central figure. Introduce a character whose experiences embody the challenges and triumphs of your cause. This could be a beneficiary, a volunteer, or someone who has been deeply impacted by your organisation’s work. Personal anecdotes, testimonials, and narratives bring abstract issues to life, making them relatable and compelling.

3. Highlight the problem

Clearly articulate the issue or problem your organisation aims to address. Use vivid language to paint a picture of the challenges faced by your protagonist and others affected by the cause.

4. Appeal to emotions

Emotions drive action. Share personal stories that evoke emotions such as empathy, compassion or hope. When donors feel a strong emotional connection, they are more likely to act.

5. Show transformation

Take your readers on a journey of transformation. Describe how your organisation’s intervention or assistance has positively impacted the protagonist’s life. Use before-and-after scenarios to illustrate the change. By detailing and outlining the impact of your cause, it provides a viable outcome and further incentive for donors to engage.


Impactful storytelling isn’t just about relaying facts; it’s about invoking emotions and igniting action. When harnessed effectively, it becomes a bridge of empathy, allowing donors to step into the shoes of those affected by the cause. By crafting compelling narratives that resonate with donors and connect them to the heart of your cause, your organisation can inspire a community of dedicated supporters who are truly invested in creating meaningful change.


Get in Touch

If you’re interested in developing your fundraising strategy, visit our website to learn more about our range of services. Or, contact our Head of Fundraising Strategy, Rob Foley.


Sports Capital applications

2023 Sports Capital Grant Applications

The Sports Capital Programme is the primary vehicle for government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. The 2023 Sports Capital and Equipment Programme opened for applications on Monday 17th July 2023 and closed last Friday 8th September.


Sports Capital Masterclasses

Our Masterclasses shed light on the Sports Capital landscape for attendees. During these sessions, our Head of Grants Advisory Practice, Patricia Keenan, shared her experience with attendees to help avoid common pitfalls that lead to invalidity, helping to ensure that they have the knowledge to best strengthen their potential application.

Our grants team completed 4 in-person Sports Capital Masterclass presentations and 18 webinars. Our webinars reached 1,000 clubs across Ireland, with approximately 5,000 views of our webinar recordings. It was fantastic to see so many clubs taking our advice and preparing for their Sports Capital Grant Applications well in advance of the closing date. Our advice is always to be prepared early and ‘be grant ready’.


Sports Capital Applications

The 2023 Sports Capital Programme closed for applications last Friday 8th September at 5pm. Throughout the last two months, our grants team assisted 60 clubs who are requesting grants for a total of €14 million, towards projects that have a total cost of €21 million. We wish our clients the best of luck in the grant allocations.

Since 2014, we have helped Clubs and NGBs secure over €3.3million in Sports Capital Grants. Our Success rate is 94%, as per the latest round of allocations. Last year, our clients received a total of €2 million in grants allocated across 14 applicants, with 50% of clients receiving the full 100% allocation of their grant. The average allocation grant received was 84%.


Get in Touch

If you’re interested in gaining support for grant applications in Feasibility Studies, Community Grants, Business Case, Heritage & Arts, LEADER, LSSIF and Peace Plus, contact Patricia Keenan


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.

Artificial Intelligence in Fundraising

The impact of Artificial Intelligence in fundraising

Artificial Intelligence (AI) undoubtedly has the potential to revolutionise the way organisations choose to fundraise. The future impact of AI in the sector is likely to be significant and wide-ranging, with both positive and negative repercussions certain to arise in the upcoming years.

Before we delve into the potential drawbacks of AI in fundraising, it’s important to highlight some benefits that we’re likely to see in the near future.

1. Improved Donor Insights

AI algorithms can analyse large volumes of donor data to uncover valuable insights, such as giving patterns, preferences, and motivations. This allows organisations to better understand their donors and tailor their fundraising strategies accordingly, leading to more targeted and effective campaigns.

2. Accurate Donor Identification

AI can group prospects or donors based on shared characteristics including region, age, past donation behaviour, preferences and other traits. In order to better engage and keep donors, this might help to customise fundraising efforts. The process of creating these segments is frequently called clustering or cluster analysis. Models of giving likelihood can be paired with segmentation to aid in retaining or upgrading donors.

3. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can enhance donor engagement by providing instant and personalised responses to donor inquiries, improving donor engagement and satisfaction. These AI systems can handle a high volume of interactions simultaneously, ensuring prompt and efficient support for donors, thereby fostering stronger relationships.


Drawbacks of AI in Fundraising

While it is difficult to deny the positive elements AI is sure to add to fundraising, we must also acknowledge the impending challenges that will coincide with continued growth of AI, such as:

1. Privacy Concerns

AI’s reliance on personal data and the collection and use of donor information raises privacy issues. Organisations must be transparent about data collection practices, inform donors about how their data will be used, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations to maintain donor trust. Additionally, storing and processing sensitive donor information on AI-powered platforms can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. AI-driven fundraising systems should have robust security protocols in place to safeguard against data breaches and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of donor data.

2. Possibility of Bias

AI algorithms learn from historical data, and if this data is biased or incorrect, the AI system could possibly thwart fundraising efforts. Biased algorithms can lead to unequal treatment of donors while also creating barriers for certain donor segments.


Overall, the impact of AI in fundraising will be characterised by tremendous leaps in technology. It has the potential to revolutionise the way organisations and individuals fundraise. This rapid advancement of technology also poses challenges as organisations will have to be wary of a number of possible issues, notably data concerns. To mitigate these potential repercussions, organisations should adopt responsible AI practices, ensure transparency, and prioritise ethical considerations.


Get in Touch

If your organisation is considering the future of your fundraising, contact Rob Foley for support with your fundraising strategy or visit our website.

2into3 nonprofit Talent recruitment trend

Nonprofit Talent Trends – Q2 2023

The latest snapshot of senior recruitment activity in the Irish nonprofit sector shows a significant slowdown in the number of roles advertised, indicating that the backlog from the pandemic has been cleared. 

Q2 2023 nonprofit 2into3 recruitment trend monitor

There was a total of 219 senior roles identified by 2into3’s analysis of the market for Q2 of 2023, down from 270 from the same period last year, a 19% drop. These roles were advertised by 168 nonprofit organisations, down from 186 in 2022, a drop of 10%. 


Nonprofit Talent Trends Q2 2023  


Social Services organisations, at 30%, represented the largest subsector in terms of activity, followed by Health (17%) and Local Development & Housing (16%). The remaining 37% of the roles were between 9 other subsectors.

Roles by Subsector

There were some significant shifts recorded in the number of roles advertised in the different subsectors, with Social Services, Local Development & Housing, and Health all showing significant fall-off. Large percentage increases were recorded in a number of areas, but these were mostly coming from a very low base, although International and Advocacy, Law & Politics roles did see a good upward movement.

It is interesting to note the reduction in Local Development & Housing roles, after a sustained period of growth and with such demand for their services. The same could also be said for the Health subsector, although that could possibly be explained as a post-COVID settling down.

Nonprofit Talent Trends q2 2023

Nonprofit Talent Trends q2 2023

Income Breakdown

As is often the case when we gather this data, there was a fairly even split in terms of the size of organisations recruiting senior roles. Where income data was available, 25% of organisations had income of over €10M per annum, while 26% had income below the €1M level.

Role Functions

When looking at the types of roles being advertised, there was a certain level of consistency versus Q2 2022 in percentage terms, with a few exceptions.

Q2 2023 Nonprofit Talent Trends

Summary / Observations

So, what does April, May and June tell us about nonprofit recruitment in 2023? As mentioned above, it does look like pandemic-related activity has finally worked its way through the data and activity is returning to the levels seen before mid-2020.

We are still seeing a lot of the market activity being driven by a small number of subsectors, but this is relatively normal and to be expected. What does look interesting and will be worth tracking in the second half of the year is whether the downward movement for large subsectors such as housing and health is maintained, or if other areas show any significant movement.

For more information on our previous Nonprofit Talent Trends, visit here, or contact our Director of Talent Management, Fergal O’Sullivan.

Fundraising strategy 2into3

Why your organisation should complete a fundraising strategy

While it is not a legal requirement to have a fundraising strategy, it is extremely useful to formulate one. A well-written fundraising strategy enables an organisation to meet their goals, whilst ensuring that everyone – staff, fundraisers, board members and potential donors – are focused and on-track to hit their goals throughout the year.

Having a fundraising strategy in place provides staff with the opportunity to be on the same wavelength and avoid losing sight of priorities throughout the year. A well-written fundraising strategy should give your organisation and staff a clear idea of what is expected of them, as well as the anticipated results.

Without a clear strategy, your organisation’s fundraising is at risk of being both misguided and inefficient. The vast majority of organisations are aware of this in theory; however, many fail to map out their fundraising strategy in a proper manner. Nonprofits who incorporate fundraising strategies are the organisations that tend to be successful.


Here are some reasons why a fundraising strategy is important:


1. Clear goals and direction

A well-developed fundraising strategy can help define your goals, identify your target audience, and create a clear plan of action. This can help you stay focused and aligned towards achieving your fundraising objectives.

2. Efficient use of resources

With a fundraising strategy, you can prioritise your fundraising activities based on their potential return on investment. This can help use your resources more efficiently, avoid wasting time on ineffective strategies, and focus your efforts where they are most likely to yield results.

3. Better engagement with donors

A fundraising strategy can help build stronger relationships with your donors by identifying their needs and interests. This can enable you to tailor your messaging and fundraising appeals to their preferences and encourage them to become more engaged and invested in your cause.

4. Improved sustainability

A well-executed fundraising strategy can help you establish a more sustainable funding model for your organisation or project. By diversifying your sources of funding and building a strong donor base, you can reduce reliance on any one source of funding and ensure that your fundraising efforts are more resilient in the face of external challenges.


Overall, a fundraising strategy is an essential tool for any organisation or individual seeking to raise funds effectively and sustainably. It can help you set clear goals, prioritise your resources, engage your donors, and build a more resilient funding model over time.


Get in Touch

2into3’s Irish Giving Index provides subscribing organisations with peer benchmarking data to better inform and increase fundraising success. Are you interested in the 2into3 Irish Giving Index and the contribution it could to your organisations decisions around fundraising investment levels and fundraising methods? If so, contact Rob Foley on 021 2379882.