Patricia Keenan 2into3 consultant thumbnail

2into3 Partnership with NI Sports Forum

Senior consultant, Patricia Keenan, met with our partners, NI Sports Forum, to discuss how sports clubs can benefit from 2into3’s services. We work with schools, community groups, voluntary groups, and National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to help maximise their potential. Additionally, 2into3 also advise clubs on how to develop their strategies, fundraising, sponsorships and communications.

The Northern Ireland Sports Forum was originally established in 1955 as the Northern Ireland Council of Physical Recreation, and in 1997, was renamed the Northern Ireland Sports Forum. They exist to promote amateur sport and physical recreation, which results in improved physical and mental health.

Our partnership with NI Sports Forum is crucial, as we deliver webinars in conjunction with their organisation, focusing on inclusivity, gender, mental health, and much more. As the NI Sports Forum act as the, “Independent Voice of Voluntary Sport in Northern Ireland”, 2into3 also acknowledge a variety of sports and aim to assist voluntary sporting organisations to reach their full potential.

Patricia outlines how several clubs operate on an annual basis, but do not have a strategic plan for their long-term goals. Patricia discusses how having a long-term view is crucial for club development. At 2into3, we advise that each committee should be continuously proactive in every aspect of their sporting organisation. Clubs and sports organisations are communities of people, and are encouraged to actively seek development in all aspects of their club.



As Patricia describes during the video, we recently worked with a National Governing Body (NGB). Initially, they wanted to achieve additional equipment and we aimed to provide advice on equipment grants. Instead, we evaluated their overall organisation, to gain a better sense of their long-term goals. On evaluation, it was evident that their national centre was no longer fit for purpose. Their initial equipment grants developed into seeking large-scale funding. Now, they’re in the process of developing a plan for a €2 million national training centre. 2into3 has transformed this nonprofit to reach their full potential. What may have started as a small goal for an NGB, has now turned into a huge development project and asset to their organisation.

For more information, visit here, or contact Patricia Keenan.

How effective is your fundraising webinar 2into3 irish giving index

Thanks for attending our ‘How effective was your Fundraising Performance in Q4 2020?’ webinar

Thanks to everyone who attended our webinar -‘How effective was your Fundraising Performance in Q4 2020? Insights from Irish Giving Index Q4 2020 report’ on Wednesday this week. At the webinar we announced all Charities Institute Ireland (CII) members can now avail of a 10% discount on subscription to this service. 

The Irish Giving Index is the only Irish nonprofit sector tool which tracks and analyses the fundraising landscape. This enables organisations to benchmark fundraising performance against relevant subsectors. 

Rebecca Droop, from 2into3, explained the increase in fundraised income and the insights within each subsector- including health, social services and international. Furthermore, Rebecca outlined the predicted outcome of fundraised income in 2020 and how it exceeded initial predictions. ‘Selling something’ was the only method of fundraising that decreased from 2019 to 2020. 

Charlie Lamson, Head of Fundraising at Irish Red Cross, joined the webinar to explain how he uses insights from the Irish Giving Index for nonprofit fundraising. Charlie noted how the index can be particularly useful when making fundraising decisions at the base level, to pass onto the management team. 

Charlie added, “We use the index within the team on a regular basis. Sometimes, we can get caught up on everyday tasks, but these numbers are extremely useful to see how we are doing in respect to other nonprofits.” 

Scott Kelly, Chief Operating Officer at Charities Institute Ireland (CII) also joined the webinar. Similarly, he also noted the use the index to improve knowledge within the sector and the benefits the Index can bring to the fundraising decision-making process. 

If you would like to find out more about the Irish Giving Index, or if you would like to subscribe, contact Dennis O’Connor directly. 

Thank you for attending ‘Planning your LEADER project’ webinar

Thank you for attending our ‘Planning your LEADER project’ webinar on Tuesday 8th June, in conjugation with The Wheel. There were 74 attendees who participated in our Q&A section and interactive polls. Our consultant, Patricia Keenan, recapped on the first webinar, ‘Introduction to LEADER funding’, and provided the next steps in applying for LEADER funding.

The aim of the Transitional LEADER Programme is to allow locally-led rural development projects to continue to be delivered using the current LEADER model until the new EU programme commences in 2023. The Transitional LEADER Programme came into effect on 1st April 2021. This focuses on Economic Development, Enterprise Development, Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Rural Environment.


There are 7 key principles of the LEADER programme:

LEADER programme 7 key aspects 2into3

Patricia outlined the eligibility requirements, what is included and excluded. LEADER funding is available to rural communities outside the boundaries of Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Cork and Limerick. The beneficiary of the project can be a private business or community based group responsible for initiating and implementing the LEADER project. LEADER funding is only granted to projects that can be successfully implemented and will positively impact the community.

Patricia then discussed the application process. The first stage- ‘expression of interest’ and the second stage- ‘full application’. Patricia detailed the process around each of these stages.

This webinar was the second in our three- part series. Our next LEADER funding webinar is on 22nd June from 10:30am to 12:00pm, register here if you would like to attend our free webinar. It will be an interactive session highlighting follow-up supports for project applications. It will also feature a panel discussion with organisations with experience in LEADER funding application and implementation.

If you missed this webinar, you can watch the recording here. If you would like to find out more about LEADER funding, contact Patricia Keenan.

leader funding 2into3 the wheel webinar

Thank you for attending our ‘Introduction to LEADER funding’ webinar

Thank you for attending our ‘Introduction to LEADER funding’ webinar on Tuesday 25th May, in conjugation with The Wheel. There were 105 attendees from organisations across Ireland and we received exceptionally high feedback. Our consultant, Patricia Keenan, outlined what LEADER is and the steps required to avail of this funding for rural organisations.

The LEADER programme is an EU initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level in order to revitalize them, whilst supporting economic development, social inclusion and rural environment. LEADER supports job creation, entrepreneurship, projects that tackle current issues and encourages rural communities to build on their strengths & assets.

Since 1991, LEADER became widely recognized as having been a successful pilot instrument to mobilise local actors in a bottom-up, territorial and integrated approach to pursue local development in rural areas.


There are 7 key principles to achieving LEADER funding:

  1. Area based local development strategies
  2. Bottom up elaboration and implementation of strategies
  3. Local public-private partnerships
  4. Integrated and multisectoral actions
  5. Innovation
  6. Cooperation
  7. Networking

A key focus of the webinar was providing information to communities who have not received funding before, and plan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patricia outlined how important it is for rural organisations to use innovative strategies to combat issues risen throughout the past year.

During the webinar, the 105 attendees interacted in our polls, giving an insight into how many people have received LEADER funding previously. At the end of the presentation, there was a Q&A, where Patricia answered over 20 questions from organisations across Ireland.

Our next Leader Funding webinar is on 8th June at 2.30pm, register here if you would like to attend. This webinar will focus on how to plan your leader project, outlining the steps required in your application.

If you would like to find out more about LEADER funding, contact Patricia Keenan.

Thanks for attending strategic planning webinar 2into3 the wheel 2021

Thanks For Attending Our Strategic Planning: Learn The Basics Webinar 

Thank you to our 180 attendees at our ‘Strategic Planning: Learn the Basics’ webinar last Friday. During the webinar held in conjugation with The Wheel, our consultant, Niamh Carruthers, explained the benefits of having a strategic plan. The attendees engaged consistently in our polls and Q&A box, which were answered in detail by our consultants. 

Niamh explained how a strategic plan is as much about the process as the end result itself. It allows everyone in the organisation to engage with the company’s mission, vision and values to outline the organisation’s goals. It is important that your strategic plan is aspirational, but that it is also based on fixed values within the company. This also allows your organisation to grow in a focused way, remaining on-track and unified.  

Niamh discussed how Teach Tearmainn used 2into3’s strategic planning services. They outlined their ‘Mission, Vision & Values’, with 2into3’s consultants guiding them through the strategic plan process. This allowed Teach Termainn to evaluate where they currently are, and where they want to grow in the future, without deviating from their original values.  

During the webinar, there were detailed steps on how to make your strategic plan work for you. It is important to take an all-company approach to your strategic plan. This ensures consistent communication, which will unify your company and can connect your organisation towards achievable goals. 

If you would like to develop a strategic plan for your organisation, contact today. Or, read more information on strategic planning.

how effective is your fundraising irish giving index webinar

Thank you to Sinead Price from Pieta House for participating in our Irish Giving Index Webinar

A massive thank you to Sinead Price, Co-Director of Fundraising at Pieta House, for joining our Irish Giving Index webinar on Tuesday 27th April. Sinead discussed how Pieta House use the Irish Giving Index to make strategic fundraising decisions and identify fundraising opportunities. They also use it as a tool to monitor their performance against the sector and then their own subsector. 

Pieta provides professional support to those who are having suicidal thoughts, with extended support to friends and family who have lost someone due to suicide. They provide a free 24/7 helpline, with accredited therapists to help anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts.  

Sinead explained how beneficial the Irish Giving Index is at identifying where opportunities currently are and using the data to build a case for securing board level sign-off of plans. 

During the Irish Giving Index webinar, 2into3 explained the breakdown of fundraising by subsector, organisational size and fundraised income for Q3 2020. The cost to raise €1 in Q3 2020 had fallen to an average of €0.19, with costs per each method of fundraising detailed. 

If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording. If you would like more information on the Irish Giving Index, please contact Dennis O’Connor.  

Sports Capital Grant applications 2021 analysis 2into3

Sports Capital Grant Applications 2021

Sports Capital Grant applications 2021 analysis 2into3

A year of lockdown has not dampened Sports Clubs’ Ambition

In December 2020, the eagerly awaited Sports Capital and Equipment Grant programme opened for applications with an estimated budget of €40million. This also coincided with increased restrictions and the cancellation of all organised sport. Speaking at the launch of the programme, The Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Jack Chambers, stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised how important sport is to our society…critical for our physical and mental wellbeing. The new programme will again prioritise applications from disadvantaged areas…which will increase participation, including female participation and disabled users and those which share facilities with other users.”


What was the impact of COVID-19 to grant applications? How did clubs and the wider community respond to the uncertainty?

The Sports Capital and Equipment Grant programme received a total of 3,106 applications which were split across local applications (2,976 to a value of €177,438,655) and regional applications (130 to a value of €22,793,727). The total amount sought in this round is €200,232,382, which represents a 32.5% increase (or approximately €38.4 million) on the 2018 applications, indicating a strong demand locally and regionally.  

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, T.D, states, “It has been a tough year for many sports clubs, but the level of interest shows that clubs are determined to have improved facilities for their members when we emerge from the current Covid crisis.”

This optimism is evident through the level of interest in the Grants programme webinars offered by National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and the Local Sports Partnerships, to assist in explaining the application process, some of which attracted attendance of over 300 clubs in one session. 

2into3- Sports Capital Grant Applications 2021

Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 2into3 analysis 

However, although there are an increase in the number of application and the amount sought, what was the overall picture when we look at the amount sought per capita, per county?

2into3- Sports Capital Grant Applications per capita 2018- 2020

If we look at Dublin, there is a 23% increase in number of grants submitted however they amount sought per capita has dropped by 7%, whereas in Cork, the number of applicants increased by 20% and this was matched by 20% increase in amount per capita sought.

In Louth, the number of applicants more than doubled (63% increase) however the increase per capita sought increased by only 23%. These figures would suggest that there were smaller amounts being sought by a larger group of applicants and there is a greater diversity in the applicant base.  

 As the programme is designed to increase participation in sport, it is important for us to look at what sports are applying for grants in 2021? There were 63 different sport type organisations who applied for funding and the top ten sports remain similar from 2018, however their ranking in the top 10 has altered slightly.   

2into3- Sports Capital Grant Applications Top 10 Sports by Application

 Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 2into3 analysis 

However, its important to look beyond the Top 10 and see what the breakdown of sporting interests are across the country and who is seeking to develop their facilities. A total of €19,735,089 was sought by the remaining 53 sport types, with the highest of those being equestrian sports which is seeking €2,008,229 but the range of amounts sought goes down to 7,253.82. The full range of applicants is testament to the sporting life of the country and how it continues to grow despite challenges.  

 Other Sports by % of total grants sought

2into3- Total Grants Sought Sports Grant Application

Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 2into3 analysis 


Applicant type 

This diversity in sport is reflected in the groups who are applying to the programme for finance. The type of applicant tells us about the involvement of the wider community in submitting applications and not just as a licensee but as a community wide initiative to increase participation in sport. Nationally 75.3% of applications received were from Sports Clubs and the remainder from a cross section of the nonprofit sector.  

2into3- Applicant Type by Subsector Sports Capital Grant Application

Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 2into3 analysis 


In conclusion 

There is no decline in the ambition of sports clubs to continue to grow and develop their facilities and they are looking to the future as to how they can meet the current and future needs of their members. The Department are currently processing both local and regional applications and there is yet no indication as to when the allocations will be announced. However, given the level of interest in the programme and club engagement there is a will for sports clubs to survive through these challenges and continue to grow post lockdown.  


Patricia Keenan - 2into3 Belfast office

Patricia Keenan is a Senior Consultant with 2into3 and leads Grant Services on behalf of the company. She has delivered numerous webinars assisting clubs in the Sports Capital Application process, as well as managing individual Capital Grant Applications for regional and local funding on behalf of clubs and NGBs.

For more information, contact Patricia.

Quarterly Recruitment Monitor Q1 2021 2into3

Advertised Senior Roles in Nonprofit Sector Rise 55% in Q1 2021

2into3’s Quarterly Recruitment Monitor for the first quarter of 2021 shows the number of senior roles advertised within the nonprofit sector continues to increase, year on year. 

Our snapshot of data shows that in Q1 2021, a total of 226 senior roles were advertised, up almost 55% on the same quarter last year (146 roles). The number of organisations recruiting increased by 45%, from 110 to 159. 

While the pandemic would only have impacted the last 4 weeks of Q1 2020, it has made a comparison between 2020 and 2021 somewhat difficult. It is unlikely that demand for senior nonprofit professionals has increased by this amount when comparing these time periods; a more likely explanation would be a concentration of demand for staff in the last three monthscarried-over from mid to late 2020, when recruitment may have been put on hold. 

Quarterly Recruitment Monitor Q1 2021 2into3

By Sub-Sector 

Social Services organisations continue to advertise the greatest share of the roles (34%), followed by Health (19%), Local Development & Housing (14%) and Philanthropy & Voluntarism (8%). These four sub-sectors alone account for over three-quarters of all roles recorded by 2into3 in Q1 2021. 

The big change here is in the Philanthropy & Voluntarism sub-sector, which previously accounted for just 2.7% of roles in Q1 2020 is now 8%. Declines were seen in roles within the International (6%, down from 11%) and Education and Research (3%, down from 12%) sub-sectors. 

By Role type 

CEO level roles, as a share of all senior positions advertised, fell from 15% in Q1 2020 to 8% in Q1 2021. There was also a reduction in the number of roles advertised in Administration, Strategy & Governance (down 54%) and HR (down 29%). 

While senior Fundraising roles rose in number (42 up to 48) their share within all roles fell from 29% to 21%. Service, Delivery & Operations roles jumped a massive 185%, from 40 to 114 roles, and accounted for just over half of all senior roles recorded. This may be a reflection of activity in the sector, as organisations scale up to meet the extra demands COVID-19 has placed on their services. 

Advertised Communications & Marketing roles doubled (from 7 to 14) and Finance roles decreased in their overall share, but in absolute terms increased by one-third, year-on-year. 

What does this mean? 

What does this snapshot of activity tell us about the Irish nonprofit sector as we continue our return to normality? It shows that there is still a demand for senior talent within the sector, although the skills and experience that are in demand would appear to be shifting. 

Whether these trends continue or whether they are a short-term response to the pandemic remains to be seen. We present this data with the full knowledge that year-on-year comparisons in the middle of a once in a century event are to be taken with a health warning. 

If our own experience in 2into3 is to be factored-in, the strong, active demand for talent is being balanced against a more passive supply side where candidates appear to be less active in searching for a career move, but are often interested, if they are approached and made aware of what is on offer. The candidates are out there – they just might be a bit harder to find right now.  


Our Track Record in Nonprofit Recruitment 

how effective is your fundraising irish giving index webinar

Irish Giving Index Webinar

2into3 are hosting an Irish Giving Index webinar on Tuesday 27th April 2021 at 11am. Sinead Price, Director of Fundraising from Pieta House, will be joining us. Sinead will explain how the fundraising team in Pieta House use insights from the Irish Giving Index to enhance their fundraising strategies.

The content of the webinar is based on validated research from our Irish Giving Index, which will include a Q&A and a copy of the webinar recording.

Did you know:

  • Fundraised Income from the ROI increased by 16% in Q3 2020 when compared with Q3 2019.
  • Average cost to raise €1 was €0.19, 10c less than Q3 2019.

(source: Irish Giving Index Q3 2020)

Current subscribers include: Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, BelonG To Youth Services, Brighter Communities Worldwide, Concern Worldwide, Cork Simon Community, Focus Ireland, GOAL, Self Help Africa, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Merchant’s Quay Ireland, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, NCBI, Oxfam Ireland, Pieta House, Rehab Group, Sightsavers, Society of the Little Flower, Special Olympics Ireland, St. John of God’s Foundation and Trócaire.

Register for our webinar to get an insight into the latest findings and how you can use the Index to invest in the future of your organisation. We will explore more of these findings, including fundraising by subsector and organizational size.

Rachel Stevenson Cork Simon Community Irish Giving Index Fundraising Webinar 2into3 March 2021

Thank you – Rachel from Cork Simon

Thank you to Rachel Stevenson, Head of Fundraising from Cork Simon Community, who joined our Irish Giving Index webinar this week, as our guest speaker.

The topic was “How effective is your Fundraising?” and during the webinar, we shared some topline fundraising insights from the latest Irish Giving Index quarterly report.

Fundraising costs experienced a significant drop, from an average of €0.32 in Q2 2019 to €0.16 in Q2, 2020, cost to raise €1 (when comparing costs by quarter). *

The Q2 report also shows a 28% year-to-date increase in total fundraised income from 2019. This increase was seen across the International, Social Services and Health subsectors and remains consistent with findings of monthly year-on-year increases.


Irish Giving Index Fundraised income increase Q1 2020 2into3

Irish Giving Index Fundraised Income


Rachel explained how she used the Irish Giving Index in her day-to-day role:

  • Planning – It gives context to Irish fundraising landscape, how Cork Simon is performing when compared to other nonprofits of similar size and type. It identifies growth opportunities – what are others doing well and what can we learn from them. Targets can be set and measured accurately and without bias.
  • Case making – When the evidence indicates a change in direction is required, or in fact no change in strategic direction should be made, the Irish Giving Index, gives the facts to support the case being made. The senior management team can be confident knowing the facts presented, are well thought out and are evidence based, from an independent source. Are extra resources needed to achieve the achieve the growth potential and close the gap? The Index provides the evidence needed to support your case.
  • Operational – Benchmark our activities against other organisations. What activities have the best return on Investment? Which fundraising methods deliver.


Rachel Stevenson Cork Simon Community Irish Giving Index Fundraising Webinar 2into3 March 2021

Rachel Stevenson, Cork Simon


Subscribers fundraising data is confidential and is only shared at a cumulative level with other subscribers, so all individual organisations’ data is private and not shared with others. The service is not available to anyone outside of the sector and only fundraising Irish nonprofits can subscribe.


Thanks also to everyone who attended our webinar. If you missed it, here is the webinar recording.

More on Irish Giving Index

If you would like to speak to Dennis O’Connor  please call 086 8162278.

*Source: Q2 2020 Report, Irish Giving Index