Mary O’Kennedy


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 CCI. In 2017 Bruce and Mary acquired Creative Careers, specialising in recruitment for the arts and cultural sector.

Bruce Tait


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 CCI 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.

Laura Patten

Head of Recruitment

Laura joined CCI 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 CCI Laura has successfully recruited staff for a variety of positions within the NON-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 and non-profits including the Asthma Society of Ireland, Age Action, Glasnevin Trust, the Irish Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Ireland, SVP, and Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.

Lucy Murphy

Recruitment Administrator

Lucy joined CCI in 2019. Lucy is new to recruitment but has extensive experience coaching communication and presentation skills at both a professional level and as part of the not-for-profit sector, having worked across Ireland and the UK with educational charities, public speaking organisations and language schools. In her most recent roles she has been responsible for client satisfaction and event management, working closely with private clients and universities.

Currently supporting the Head of Recruitment as Recruitment Administrator, Lucy 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.