Impact of Covid-19 on Recruitment Q2 2020

For the last few years, 2into3 has tracked the level of senior recruitment activity in Ireland. The quarterly snapshot allows us to see any mini-trends as they are happening, and to understand who is recruiting, and for what roles.

It will come as no surprise that the data we captured during the second quarter of 2020 show a significant decline in recruitment activity versus the previous year, before COVID-19 took hold. But looking a bit closer at the numbers does show a few interesting variations on an all too common theme.

The total number of management level roles advertised in this period from April to June was 95, a 45% drop from the 173 recorded in 2019. The data also showed a 42% drop in the number of organisations recruiting at a senior level, dropping from 128 in 2019 to 74 in 2020.

Breaking this down further, we can see that only 2 sub-sectors saw an increase in the level of senior recruitment (Local Development & Housing and Religion). Every other sector had reduced activity, some significantly so (e.g. Health and Social Services).

Management Roles Advertised by Sub Sector
Q2 2019 Q2 2020 Diff.
Advocacy, Law & Politics​​ 11 6.36% 6 6.32% -5
Arts, Culture & Media ​​ 4 2.31% 1 1.05% -3
Education & Research​​ 18 10.40% 11 11.58% -7
Environment​​ 1 0.58% 1 1.05% 0
Health​​ 32 18.50% 17 17.89% -15
International​​ 11 6.36% 2 2.11% -9
Local Development & Housing​​ 17 9.83% 23 24.21% 6
Philanthropy & Voluntarism ​​ 2 1.16% 2 2.11% 0
Professional & Vocational​​ 1 0.58% 1 1.05% 0
Recreation & Sport​​ 6 3.47% 3 3.16% -3
Religion​​ 1 0.58% 3 3.16% 2
Social Services​​ 65 37.57% 24 25.26% -41
N/A​​ 4 2.31% 1 1.05% -3
173 95 -78


Of those organisations who were recruiting and where financial information was available (59 out of 77), 39% had an annual income of over €10M, while 22% were under €1M.

Every one of the main types of roles that we track saw a reduction in recruitment levels, but again with variation across the range.

Management Roles Advertised by Role Type
Q2 2019 Q2 2020 Diff.
Administration, Strategy & Governance​ 20 11.6% 3 3.2% -17
CEO/Executive Director​ 18 10.4% 14 14.7% -4
Communications & Marketing​ 13 7.5% 2 2.1% -11
Finance ​ 9 5.2% 8 8.4% -1
Fundraising & Business Development​ 40 23.1% 10 10.5% -30
HR​ 11 6.4% 3 3.2% -8
Service Delivery & Operational Management​ 62 35.8% 55 57.9% -7
173 95 -78


CEO recruitment dipped slightly, from 18 roles in 2019 to 14 in 2020 (down 22%), while Fundraising and Business Development roles experienced a dramatic 75% decline from 40 in Q2 2019 to 10 in Q2 2020.

Others were relatively unscathed, with Finance roles dropping from just 9 to 8 in the comparable periods, and while there were 7 fewer Service Delivery & Operational Management​ roles, this represented a drop of just 11% (62, down to 55).

In terms of what this data tells us, the most obvious learning is that COVID-19 has had a significant effect on recruitment at a senior level in the not-for-profit sector, but then, we really didn’t need to conduct a detailed analysis to know this.

It does show however that there is a variation in how the pandemic is affecting different sub-sectors, with some pulling back on recruitment more than others. This may well reflect the inescapable need for certain organisations to maintain their staffing levels and the option that others may have to postpone recruiting new staff members, or even replacing departing colleagues.

Anecdotally, 2into3 has had one of its busiest quarters in recent years in terms of our senior recruitment, with 17 roles being managed by us between mid-March and August, so there is still a significant level of activity in the sector. Whether this continues, and whether it continues to impact different areas in different ways will only become evident as we make our way back to the “new normal” in the second half of this exceptional year.


Patricia Keenan - 2into3 Belfast office

Belfast office now open – Lead by Patricia Keenan

Patricia Keenan - 2into3 Belfast office

We are delighted to announce the opening of our Belfast office, headed up by Patricia Keenan, Management Consultant. Patricia has been a consultant for over a decade after a career in the public and voluntary sector across the island of Ireland and in London. She worked for local authorities, government departments and social enterprises at a senior level before embarking on a career in consulting in 2005, for a diverse range of public and private sector clients. Patricia will lead the business in Northern Ireland and the border counties.

Patricia is an experienced project manager and has led on a number million pound EU funded projects. She has extensive experience in the rural development sector and LEADER funding across Northern Ireland, having previously sat on the Board of the regional LEADER company. She also oversaw the completion of an all Island diversity training programme within the public sector, a first of its kind. With Patricia on-board we are looking forward to offering a full Island of Ireland service to our clients and working more closely with not-for-profits in Northern Ireland and Northwest region.

In March 2020 we opened our Cork office, led by Rob Foley and now 5 months on we are delighted to continue our expansion northwards. Since starting in 2006, we have expanded our service offering to include Fundraising Strategy, Strategic Planning, Organisational Reviews, Recruitment and Research. We have a wealth of knowledge from working across the diverse range of not-for-profit sub-sectors from Social Services and Health to Education and Sport.

Education Webinar

Education Fundraising – Webinar

Join our Webinar “What’s next for Education Fundraising?” as Ireland and UK exits lock-down.

This webinar forms part of a series of deep dive webinars into fundraising in selected sectors of the Not-for-Profit landscape.
Education is our final webinar in this series.
Register here

Contributing to the 2into3 panel will be:

Deirdre Tracey, Director of Campaigns, Trinity College Dublin
Jonathan Snicker, Head of Philanthropy, University of Exeter
Date: Thurs 2nd July 3pm.

Watch previous sub-sector webinar recordings here

2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland announce their collaboration on “Giving Ireland” Report

Giving Ireland Logo

2into3 and Philanthropy Ireland today announced their collaboration on the creation and publishing of Giving Ireland Report 2020, a report on giving in the Irish Not-for-Profit sector.

Previously the performance of Irish fundraising was tracked by 2into3’s Irish Not-for-Profit Sector: Fundraising Performance Report’, and now in its 10th year has evolved into Giving Ireland. The aim of the Giving Ireland report is to provide insights into giving for the Not-for-Profit sector in Ireland, thereby informing decision making within the sector and supporting development of giving. Year on year comparisons with in-depth analysis, international comparisons around giving in Ireland make the publication a round year tool for the sector as well as an annual snapshot of the sector.

The report will indicate total income raised from philanthropic and other sources, provide analysis of fundraising performance year on year and the cost of raising funds by method. Using these insights, Not-for-Profit organisations, donors and policy makers will have evidence to inform their decisions in support of more strategic approaches to development of giving in Ireland. Giving Ireland promotes transparency and reform that will allow the sector to gain from better giving infrastructure.

Dennis O’Connor, 2into3 Director said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Philanthropy Ireland to produce Giving Ireland. Giving Ireland will provide objective information that will provide a platform for organisations to come together to debate and discuss solutions that will elevate the sector as a whole”.

Éilis Murray, Chief Executive Officer Philanthropy Ireland said “Data on giving is so important for the sector. Insights on giving patterns can provide real value for the growth and development of giving in Ireland, including philanthropic giving. We welcome this initiative to develop Giving Ireland and to be a part of it”.

What is Next for International Development Subsector as we exit lockdown? Webinar invite

As Ireland & UK exits lockdown, how should International Development organisations approach fundraising in the months ahead? Over a short number of weeks, we have seen significant changes in the sector. These changes have impacted the fundraising approach of International Development organisations. When it comes to donor priorities, where do International Organisations rank in this new world? What choices will have to be made to survive and thrive in the future?

We are hosting a Webinar to discuss Fundraising in the International Development subsector and what’s next as we exit lockdown. Speakers include:

Peter Reynolds – Director of Fundraising – Concern Worldwide (UK),

Declan White, Fundraising Manager, Sightsavers,

Suzanne Keatinge, Director, Dochas.


Some of the topics covered:

  • International Development Subsector – Fundraised Income (total and per capita)
  • Ireland v UK comparison
  • Impact of Covid-19 – looking at number of elements including Donor Priorities
  • Insights from Expert panel
  • Q&A session (if you have any questions you would like me to answer during the session please email them in advance)

Details: Thursday 18th June at 3pm (Duration 1 hour)

Register for this webinar here


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining this webinar.

If you are unable to attend the webinar, you can still sign up as we will be distributing a copy of the webinar to all registrants.


About 2into3 Webinar Series

View previous 2into3 fundraising webinars here



2into3 fundraising Webinar series

Social Services Fundraising – What’s next as we exit lock-down

In the months ahead, how should Social Services organisations approach their fundraising? The recent changes we have seen in the sector will have significant implications in the months ahead. Join our Social Services webinar on Thursday 4th June at 3pm, where we will be discussing Fundraising in the Social Services Sector and what’s next as we exit lockdown. Rachel Stevenson from Cork Simon Community will share some of her own insights.

Some of the topics covered:

  • Social Services Subsector – Fundraised Income (total and per capita)
  • Ireland v UK comparison
  • Impact of Covid-19 – looking at number of elements including Donor Priorities
  • Insights from Expert panel
  • Q&A session

Details: Thursday 4th June at 3pm (Duration 1 hour)

Register for this webinar here.

Webinar: “Legacies – How to manage the impact of Covid-19 on Fundraised Income”

Our next webinar will focus on ‘Legacies’, taking place this Thursday 21st May at 3pm.

Joining our expert panel will be Siobhan O’Connor, Legacy Manager at Concern Worldwide and Ellie O’Donnell, Development Consultant & Manager at MyLegacy.

If you are interesting in joining this webinar please register here.

All recordings of our previous webinars are posted on our website

Trusts and Foundations

Trusts and Foundations Webinar – Thank you Eilis and Karen

Thank you to our expert panel Éilis Murray, CEO with Philanthropy Ireland and Karen Leigh, CEO with Sensational Kids, who joined yesterday’s ‘Trusts and Foundations’ webinar – part 4 in our series ‘Actions to manage impact of Covid-19 on Fundraised Income’. View this webinar and any of our previous webinars here

‘Trusts and Foundations’ – this week’s webinar topic

Join our webinar Trusts and Foundations’ part 4 in our series ‘Actions to manage impact of Covid-19 on Fundraised Income’. It’s taking place on Thursday 14th May at 3pm. Joining our expert panel will be Éilis Murray, CEO with Philanthropy Ireland and Karen Leigh, CEO with Sensational Kids.

Register here.

Past recordings can be viewed here.  Follow the link and enter your email address to unlock the recordings.

2into3 Quarterly Recruitment Monitor – Q1 2020 Review and Initial Thoughts on Covid-19


Q1 Review

Like everything else right now, the 2into3 Quarterly Recruitment Monitor for the first three months of the year has a somewhat different feel to it than usual. Under normal circumstances, we would be looking at January to March this year versus last year and seeing how this might tell us about the trend for the year ahead.


However, as the country took a turn for home in the last few weeks of March, these figures are now to be seen as a historical record rather than a guide to the future. Having said that, we still feel it is important to track what has happened and to see what else we have learned in the month since, so we have decided to publish the Q1 2020 statistics as normal, but with some additional, interim analysis on April alongside it.


The big number to take away from the first quarter of 2020 was the 35% increase in the number of senior roles in the not-for-profit sector that were advertised, up from 108 to 146. This covered a range of different sub-sectors, with Social Services accounting for the highest number (26%), followed by Local Development and Housing (18%). Health (16%) and Education & Research (12%) were also well-represented.


It was also interesting to note that the number of organisations advertising also rose in this period, up from 85 to 110, or 29%. Of this 110, Social Services (25.5%), Local Development & Housing (21%) and Health (18.2%) were the most active areas. Further analysis showed that one-third of those recruiting had an annual income of over €10 million, while just under one-fifth were working with an income under €1 million per annum.


In terms of the roles that we identified, there were twice as many at CEO/Executive Director level (22, up from 10) and a 30% increase in the number of Service Delivery roles. Most of the other roles remained at similar levels, with the notable exception of Finance, which jumped from 2 to 15 year-on-year. Fundraising (29%) and Service Delivery (27%) accounted for the biggest share of roles advertised.



April 2020 v 2019

Moving away from the pre-Covid-19 world, we have also been tracking recruitment activity in April versus 2019 and, unsurprisingly, our data shows a drop in the headline numbers, with 40% fewer senior-level roles advertised during April 2020 (37) than in April 2019 (62).


This reduction was experienced across almost all functions, with just CEO (8 versus 7) and Finance roles (3 versus 1) bucking the trend and increasing year-on-year.


Almost every sub-sector experienced a drop in recruitment, with a few (local development and housing, philanthropy and voluntarism and religion) remaining static. The biggest drops were recorded in social services and education and research.


While the number of smaller organisations (<€1m income) that were advertising fell significantly, from 11 to 5, the reduction in larger organisations (>€1m) was slightly less pronounced: 23, down from 27.


We recognise that such a snapshot does not in any way represent a detailed an empirical analysis of the current situation. Indeed, our own experience in 2into3 has been quite different, with 4 new senior recruitment assignments commenced since the lockdown began. One of these was for a CEO role, while the other three were all fundraising and development positions.


With that in mind, we remain hopeful and quietly confident that there is cause for optimism in the sector. Now, more than ever, not-for-profit organisations need to have the best possible people leading them and driving their missions forward. Gaps in this leadership can offer a short-term respite in terms of cost savings, but it is a false economy if these gaps lead to longer-terms issues once we come thought the other side of these challenging times.