Mary has 20 years’ experience of fundraising for and consulting to the not-for-profit sector.
In 1998, she started her career in the sector, working for Trocáire in Honduras and subsequently at their Dublin office. In late 1999, Mary moved to work with the DCU Educational Trust, holding specific responsibility for major donor engagement. In 2002, she established O’Kennedy Consulting, now recognised as one of the leading consultancy firms in the sector.
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 was also Ireland’s Ambassador for the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) run by Resource Alliance until 2017.
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. In 2017 Bruce and Mary acquired Creative Careers, specialising in recruitment for the arts and cultural sector.
Bruce Tait has worked in the voluntary sector for over 28 years and is a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising. Following roles as Director of Fundraising and Chief Executive at several national charities, Bruce become a consultant working with non-profit organisations in Canada, the USA, Sweden, the UK and Holland. He set up Bruce Tait Associates in 2007 which provides consultancy and is also Scotland’s largest charity recruitment agency.
Bruce joined with Mary O’Kennedy in 2014 to set up Charity Careers Ireland and has worked with the team to deliver top quality Recruitment and Executive Search campaigns for dozens of Irish non-profits. Bruce is a former Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland and has served as a Chair and a Trustee on the Board of numerous charities in the UK and Canada.
Head of Recruitment
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.
As Head of Recruitment, Laura is involved in all aspects of the services that Charity Careers Ireland offers including social media management, job description and information pack development, and coordinating interviews, however, her main focus is on account management, client engagement, and sourcing, screening and shortlisting candidates.
Since joining Charity Careers Ireland Laura has successfully recruited staff for a variety of positions within the not-for-profit sector including CEOs, Heads of Development, Heads of Fundraising & Communications, Communications Managers, Community Fundraisers, Marketing Officers, Corporate Services Managers and Advocacy Managers. She has led successful recruitment campaigns for several Irish charities including the Asthma Society of Ireland, Age Action, Glasnevin Trust, Irish Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Ireland, SVP, and Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
Tuyen joined Charity Careers Ireland in 2018. She began working in the recruitment sector after completing her studies in DIT and Birmingham University. She has previously recruited for multinational and Irish companies, where she was involved in sourcing and screening candidates, client relations and coordination tasks. She also has experience working in the not-for-profit, arts and charitable sectors around Ireland and UK.
Currently supporting the Head of Recruitment as Recruitment Officer, Tuyen is involved in business development, client relations and database management as well as the day-to-day management of the jobs board and social media.
Catherine Griffin has worked for the not-for-profit Sector in Ireland for over 7 years and started working with Charity Careers in early 2019 as Recruitment Manager. As an experienced Operations & Administration professional in the not-for-profit sector, she has supported the requirements of various key organisational functions including corporate engagement, fundraising, communications and advocacy. In her previous roles, Catherine was responsible for managing, leading and supporting large, dynamic teams and as a result she has a strong ability to spot talent and develop potential.
Now supporting the CCI Head of Recruitment, Catherine is involved in candidate sourcing and screening, business development and client relations.