2into3 attended The Wheel’s 2022 Summit on Wednesday 1st June. We caught up with colleagues in the nonprofit sector, learned from their insights and listened to informative discussion panels. This was a fantastic networking opportunity for Irish nonprofits to share information and learn from each other. Our CEO, Dennis O’Connor spoke about ‘Reflections on Leadership Challenges Facing the Sector: Can Managers Cope?’ Our Head of Practice Areas, Rob Foley, Head of Fundraising and Patricia Keenan, Head of Grants Advisory Practice, spoke during ‘Future Funding: The Opportunities and Challenges Ahead’. Hereafter, Luna Atkins, Head of Strategy Advisory Practice, attended the panel during ‘Boards Behaving Badly and Domineering CEOs’. An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, attended the event to address all of the nonprofits organisations during the event.
Dennis O’Connor, CEO, ‘Reflections on Leadership Challenges Facing the Sector: Can Managers Cope?’
Dennis reflected on the changes in the workplace throughout the years. Organisations in the private sector are required to adapt to external changes regularly, but oftentimes, the nonprofit sector are slower to adapt. At 2into3, we aim to connect strategies from the private sector into the nonprofit sector. Furthermore, Dennis discussed the shift in the role of managers today. There has been a shift in managerial power, from a hierarchical structure, to a team focused one. There has been a shift in skills, from task overseer to performance coach. Finally, there has been a shift to a more fluid workplace, with the implementation of working from home since 2020.
With these changes, it is extremely important for CEO’s to consider how they are supporting their managers by asking the following questions.
- What is your workplace like? Does it suit today’s way of working, or was it designed for a different era?
- How much are you investing in retraining your managers?
- How many of your managers are coaches?
- Have your systems caught up with today’s world?
- Are your structures a fit for your strategy?
Reflecting on these questions are crucial for CEO’s to consider. The workplace has changed drastically in the past two years, and it is important to support our managers throughout these changes.
Panel Discussions: ‘Future Funding: The Opportunities and Challenges Ahead’
In the afternoon, panel discussions took place with our Head of Grants Advisory Practice, Patricia Keenan and Head of Fundraising, Rob Foley. They shared their insights during ‘Future Funding: The Opportunities and Challenges Ahead’.
This panel discussion focused on the future funding landscape and how you might best orient your efforts. They highlighted how organisations can capitalise on future opportunities and navigate the pitfalls that might lie ahead, discussing where that future funding may be found.
Patricia outlined the availability of funds for Irish nonprofits. There are grants available for a range of organisations and it is in the best interest of nonprofits to find out which ones are suitable to their needs. Therefore, nonprofits can base their fundraising plans off these grants. Rob discussed how the average cost of fundraising has decreased in recent years, with 2into3’s fundraising tracker, the Irish Giving Index.
Panel Discussions: ‘Boards Behaving Badly’
Our final contribution was from Head of Strategic Planning, Luna Atkins, during the ‘Boards Behaving Badly’ panel discussion. This session was part of an ongoing series that discussed what happens when Boards behave badly and CEOs are domineering. Luna, alongside her panellists, explored and discussed the impact this can have on organisations. There is a delicate balancing act of ‘power’ between boards and the CEO and how to proceed when things so wrong. Luna, alongside her panellists, have many years’ experience dealing with these difficult situations. They have seen real trauma resulting from what can only be called an abuse of power. This can happen on both sides of the board/CEO boundary. The panellists discussed ways to manage this through clarity and the mutual understanding of roles, authorities and the availability and regular use of channels for both communications and feedback. This helps to build trust and constructive relationships.
Address from An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin
An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, delivered a special address to the nonprofit attendees. He discussed the impact the nonprofit sector has on Irish society, particularly over the past two years. He celebrated the sector’s impact by thanking everyone for their contributions in providing ongoing support to Irish citizens throughout these tough times.
Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel
In the final plenary, the panel reflected on what they’re learnt over the past two years and launched their five year plan. Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel, closed the final session with a congratulations to everyone in the sector and positive plans for the future.