Mary has almost 20 years’ experience of fundraising for and consulting to the not-for-profit sector. She is Director of O’Kennedy Consulting, which provides strategic fundraising and philanthropy services to organisations across the not-for-profit sector. She began her career in the charity sector with Trocáire, the Irish Overseas Development Agency, with roles within the Programmes & Fundraising Departments. In 1999, Mary moved on to work with the DCU Educational Trust with responsibility for major gift fundraising. In 2001 she left DCU to work for an international fundraising consultancy firm and in late 2002, set up O’Kennedy Consulting.

Mary was the founding chair of Fundraising Ireland, the professional network for fundraisers in Ireland (now reconstituted as Charities Institute Ireland). In 2013, she was presented with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fundraising and was also short-listed for Business Women of the Year Award.

Mary is passionate about transforming the fundraising and philanthropy landscape in Ireland by providing fundraising solutions to charities and by advising individual and corporate donors on effective philanthropy and CSR.

Mary is a member of the Dublin YLS Steering Committee and a former chair and current member of EU Consult.

In 2014, she co-founded Charity Careers Ireland, a recruitment company focused on sourcing the best candidates for the Irish not-for-profit sector. In early 2017, Mary in partnership with Bruce Tait, launched a new recruitment initiative Creative Careers, which aims to recruit the best professionals for roles across the Arts, Heritage, Culture, Media and Marketing sectors.

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