Mary has over 15 years’ experience of fundraising for and consulting to the not-for-profit sector.
She began her career in the charity sector in Honduras with Trocáire, the Irish Overseas Development Agency. In 1999, Mary moved to work with the DCU Educational Trust, holding specific responsibility for major gift fundraising.
Mary was the founding chair of Fundraising Ireland, the professional network for fundraisers in Ireland (now reconstituted as Charities Institute Ireland). She is a past chair of EU Consult, the European Association of Consultants to and about the not-for-profit sector and is also Ireland’s Ambassador for the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) run by Resource Alliance.
In 2013 she was presented with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fundraising and she was also short-listed for an IMAGE Business Women of the Year Award.
In early 2014, Mary along with business partner Bruce Tait, launched a new specialised Executive Search and Recruitment company for the not-for-profit sector Charity Careers Ireland.
Bruce Tait has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years and has recently been named as a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising. Following roles as Director of Fundraising and Chief Executive at several national charities, Bruce set up Bruce Tait Associates in 2007 to help charities find and recruit great staff.
Having recruited extensively throughout the UK and Ireland, including for Glasgow Science Centre, V&A at Dundee, National Museums of Scotland, and The Burrell Collection, Bruce joined with Mary O’Kennedy in 2014 to set up Charity Careers Ireland.
Bruce is a former Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland and a Trustee of Developing World Health, Scottish Outdoor Education Centres and Falkirk Football Community Foundation.
Laura joined Charity Careers Ireland in 2015 after returning home from working overseas in Spain and South Korea. She previously gained significant experience in dealing with clients and customers in a variety of roles across the commercial sector. Laura is involved in all aspects of the services that Charity Careers Ireland offers including social media management, client and candidate support, job descriptions and information pack development, sourcing, screening and shortlisting candidates, and coordinating interviews.
Since joining Charity Careers Ireland Laura has successfully led recruitment campaigns for several Irish charities including Irish Heart, Irish Cancer Society, ISPCA, Jigsaw, The Mater Foundation and Glasnevin Trust.