Round-table: Impact of digital marketing communications

This week’s round-table session was facilitated by Craig Dwyer, Digital Campaigns & Strategic Communications Consultant and Founder of ‘ForaChange’.

The topic of this For Purpose round-table session was the role of digital marketing in communication campaigns. During the session, Craig demonstrated the impact digital marketing had on the ‘Yes Equality’ campaign in Ireland.

Craig was a key figure in the ‘Yes Equality’ campaign of 2015 in his role as Director of Social Media. Craig developed, designed and implemented the digital strategy, monitored over 40 social media accounts and managed all online advertising for the campaign.


Interested in Becoming a For Purpose Fundraising Mentor?


For Purpose is Ireland’s not-for-profit graduate programme. We attract, mentor and develop the future leaders of the sector. For Purpose connects not-for-profit organisations with talented graduates who are searching ‘for purpose’ in their careers and the chance to make an impact on civil society.


• Graduates apply to the For Purpose programme and undergo a screening and interview process managed by the For Purpose team.
• Following on from screening, candidates are shortlisted to attend a panel interview with the partner organisation.
• Graduate trainees on the programme are selected from this process. Trainees are employed directly by the partner organisation.
• Graduates receive one-to-one mentoring and attend roundtable sessions throughout their traineeship.


Are you interested in helping to support and develop the future leaders of the sector? We are seeking an additional Fundraising Mentor to provide one-to-one mentoring to For Purpose trainees. The mentor will operate on a self-employed basis and is paid a fixed fee per mentoring session.


Mentors meet with their assigned graduate trainees once a month for an hourly mentoring session. The role of the mentor is to help foster the development of trainees over the course of their traineeships by offering impartial guidance and support. Mentors work with trainees to help them proactively identify their learning and development needs and comprise trainee-led solutions to address them.


• Experience as a fundraiser at senior management level
• Extensive knowledge of a range of fundraising methods
• Ability to actively listen and strong communication skills
• Interest in supporting the development of graduate trainees working as fundraisers across the sector


If you are interested in becoming a For Purpose mentor please email a copy of your CV to For Purpose Manager Adrian McCarthy at

For informal queries please email Adrian or call direct on 01-234-3135.

Closing date for expressions of interest is Tuesday 6th August.

For Purpose Attends the gradireland Summer Fair

The For Purpose team was kept busy yesterday at the gradireland careers fair in the RDS, where we were joined by over 3,000 graduates and 40 exhibitors at the fair. There was a substantial level of interest at our stand throughout the day, signifying a strong appetite from third-level graduates for a career in the not-for-profit sector.

We were delighted to promote graduate opportunities with our partner organisations on the programme, ranging from traineeships in fundraising & communications to property surveying. The grad fair provides direct access to some of Ireland’s brightest graduate talent.

Graduates from a variety of different academic backgrounds including communications, business studies, maths, social science and further areas expressed an interest in the programme and sought advice on how to apply their degrees in the sector.

For Purpose Manager, Adrian McCarthy was also delighted to take part in a panel discussion on ‘Interview Tips for Graduates’, chaired by gradireland’s Employer Marketing Consultant Louise Keegan. On the panel he was also joined by Nessa McCarthy, Senior Manager in the ION Group, and Marie Skinner, HR Manager in General Motors. The session was very well attended and focused on how graduates can prepare for an interview and how they can stand out from the crowd.

We will now set our sights towards gradireland’s careers fair in October, which will have over 7,500 attendees and is the biggest annual careers exhibition aimed at third-level students and graduates. In the meantime, we will be offering a range of graduate traineeships on the programme with our partner organisations throughout the summer.

Adrian McCarthy Discusses the Topic of Future Leaders in the Sector

On Thursday 23rd of May, the For Purpose team were in Croke Park for The Wheel’s Annual Summit. The event, which coincided with The Wheel’s 20th anniversary, focused on how we can promote innovation in the community, voluntary and charity sector to unlock a brighter future for all.

A number of seminars took place throughout the day, with For Purpose Manager Adrian McCarthy joining a discussion panel on ‘Nurturing our Future Leaders’ that aimed to explore how organisations can create a working environment that attracts and retains the brightest talents to take on the next set of challenges facing the sector.

The session, which was chaired by Derek McKay, Managing Director of Adare Human Resource Management, also featured Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce and Sharon Hughes, CEO of TU Dublin Students’ Union.

During the discussion, Adrian spoke about the recent HEA survey which found that 90% of graduates are seeking employment in Ireland. Given this high percentage, Adrian stated that ‘there is no reason why the not-for-profit sector cannot tap into the best pool of graduate talent available in Ireland today’.

Adrian also touched on findings from 2into3’s latest Quarterly Recruitment Monitor. The report for Q1 2019 stated that there were 108 management level roles advertised in the sector during this period, which represented a 30% increase from the Q1 2018 report. Adrian highlighted that for the sector to meet this demand for leadership there must be a sufficient pipeline of leaders in place and that this can be achieved by attracting and developing graduate level talent in the sector.

Following the discussion, attendees raised some interesting points on prominent issues in the sector relating to early stage talent development and attraction including:

  • How can small not-for-profit organisations attract high performing graduate talent?
  • How can the sector compete with larger graduate employers?
  • What can organisations do to develop their staff?
  • How can the sector retain high performing staff?

In closing the session, Adrian surmised that ‘graduates want purpose in their careers, they want to make a difference and as a result they are seeking a career in the sector’.

Six months in – a graduate’s experience of For Purpose




Julianne Flynn: I studied Sociology and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin, with a year abroad at the University of Melbourne.

This course is essentially a mixture of social theory, economics, politics, and social research methods. It’s the systematic study of society and how policy shapes our lives.


JF: There wasn’t a lightbulb moment per se, but rather a deep belief in equality and justice. Having spent four years analysing the various ways in which gender, race and class systematically produce and reproduce inequalities, the not-for-profit sector appealed to me as it presents a productive way to challenge these forces.

In a world of rising populism, income inequality, and climate change – the not-for-profit sector and civil society are essential gatekeepers for democracy. Having campaigned for the Marriage Equality in 2015 and then ‘Together for Yes’ in 2018, I saw how civil society led the way in demanding governments to act – and I knew I wanted to be part of it.


JF: I heard about For Purpose through It came at a time where I was beginning to question why I followed my passion (instead of studying something with a concrete ‘career path’), so I was really excited to finally find a graduate opportunity that suited me.


JF: There is so much information available right at your fingertips. ActionAid has all their strategies and publications online and I remember spending hours reading through them – out of pure interest as much as anything else. I think this really stood to me during the interview process. I also monitored ActionAid’s social media pages, so I was up to date with campaigns and events.

For the interview, I was asked to give a presentation on how to develop ActionAid’s ‘tax-back’ campaign. I spent a great deal of time familiarising myself with the scheme and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of ActionAid’s campaign and comparing it to what others in the sector were doing.


JF: I started in December – a notoriously busy time in the not-for-profit sector. ActionAid had just sent out an appeal for donations and board reports were looming.

It was a steep learning curve, but I was given loads of training and immediately felt welcome and supported.


JF: Today, I spent the first half of the day writing a newsletter to be sent to ActionAid supporters and after lunch, I managed the recruitment for a vacant position at ActionAid.

Given the multifaceted nature of my role, no two days are the same. This has proved useful as I now have experience in a wide range of areas, from campaign management to copywriting.

I go to work each day feeling like I’m making a tangible difference to ActionAid Ireland – and that is tremendously rewarding.


JF: Fantastic! I love being surrounded by inspiring people who are eager to make a difference. I’ve also been impressed with the way the sector works together in sharing ideas.


JF: I feel really lucky to be part of the For Purpose programme. The monthly mentoring sessions have proved really useful for general tips and advice. The roundtable discussions also provide great insight into various aspects of the sector.


JF: Just go for it! It may feel daunting and you may feel inexperienced, but you’d be amazed by how much you can learn when you’re thrown into the deep end. I think this programme would suit anyone who is passionate about social issues and eager to make a difference.

For Purpose Shortlisted for Graduate Recruitment Award

For Purpose is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2019 in the category of best graduate recruitment website! The For Purpose team will be attending the awards night taking place on the 25th of April in the Mansion House.

This nomination is a huge achievement for us and is a milestone for the progress we have made following on from the launch of For Purpose in October 2018. We have partnered with some brilliant organisations to provide graduate opportunities across the not-for-profit sector in fundraising, communications, marketing, housing management and property surveying.

We are very excited for the awards night and look forward to representing Ireland’s not-for-profit graduate programme at the awards!

For Purpose Recruitment Campaign is Now Live!

For Purpose is delighted to announce the launch of our first recruitment campaign for multiple roles in property surveying!

We have partnered with three of Ireland’s largest Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), Clúid Housing, Túath Housing and Co-operative Housing Ireland to recruit and train 3 graduate surveyors as part of the For Purpose programme.

AHB organisations provide and manage social rented housing to tenants who are in need of housing but are unable to provide their own. AHBs work closely with local authorities, providing alternative housing to people who are typically on the local authority waiting list for housing.

The programme will offer comprehensive learning and develop opportunities including a pathway to receiving accreditation from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), one-to-one mentoring, monthly training on professional skills and social housing knowledge, roundtable sessions as well as peer-led learning sessions. The programme offers graduate trainees the chance to make a real impact on addressing Ireland’s social housing needs.

If you’re interested in applying to be a graduate surveyor on the For Purpose programme take a look here for more information.

If your organisation would like further information about how to become a part of the For Purpose programme please contact For Purpose Manager Adrian McCarthy at or on 01-234-3135.

For Purpose Attends GradIreland Live!

On Thursday 07th February the For Purpose team attended the GradIreland Live! fair in the RDS where we were joined by over 50 exhibitors and over 4,000 students and graduates. The fair marked a fantastic opportunity for the team to shed light on the potential for graduates to pursue a career in the not-for-profit sector.

The day began with a very informative panel discussion on ‘Careers with Purpose – Graduate Opportunities in the Not-for-Profit Sector’ which was chaired by For Purpose Manager, Adrian McCarthy. The discussion panel featured Elizabeth Bolger, Director of Programmes with The Wheel, Orla Gilroy, CEO of Cappagh Hospital Foundation and Esmay Murray, a current For Purpose trainee with Sightsavers Ireland. The session proved to be an informative one for attendees on the range of opportunities for graduates in the sector and how to begin their career in it.

At the For Purpose stand, we spoke to a large number of students and graduates who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in the sector. Students from a broad range of degrees and third-level institutions came to speak to us on the day about the programme and how they could apply their skills and knowledge in the sector.

For Purpose expects to have a significant number of graduate opportunities available this year with our various partner organisations across areas ranging from fundraising & communications, social housing, social care, finance and more.

We hope to see some of the students and graduates we spoke to at the fair joining the For Purpose programme in the future!

That’s a wrap for this year!

It has been an eventful year at For Purpose. We are gearing up for the launch of the For Purpose campaign in January 2019, with graduate trainee roles across a range of areas and organisations. 2018 was a significant year for the programme, defined by a number of key moments.

In October, the brand of For Purpose was born. Originating from the 2into3 Not-For-Profit Graduate Programme, For Purpose was established to provide a graduate programme addressing the needs of not-for-profit organisations both large and small and in areas ranging from fundraising to social housing and more. An equal key aim of For Purpose was to offer an entry point for graduates who are seeking purpose into the sector and to provide them with the support and training necessary as this key stage in their careers.

Many graduates often acquire a spark for the sector by taking part in voluntary events while in college, whether that is through joining a charitable society or taking part in a fundraising event. However, what happens after they graduate? With this in mind, For Purpose was launched at the Grad Ireland Careers Fair to communicate to graduates that there is a career path open to them in the sector and there is a place to apply their sense  of purpose. After receiving very positive feedback from organisations, graduates and students we are excited about what’s to come in 2019.

In addition to the launch of the For Purpose brand this year, we also hosted a series of roundtable sessions for graduate trainees on the programme over the year, covering a broad range of topics from governance to social entrepreneurship and philanthropy in Ireland. The sessions offered an opportunity for graduate trainees to learn about topical issues which have a direct impact on their organisations as well as the chance to connect with other trainees on the programme. We have already begun scheduling our series for 2019 and we will be announcing this early in the New Year.

In 2018, we had a total of 8 graduates joining the sector in organisations such as Focus Ireland, Ag Eisteacht, Diabetes Ireland, Action Aid Ireland and Epilepsy Ireland and Sightsavers. Many of our graduates are coming to the end of their traineeships and are greatly looking forward to the next stage of their careers in their organisations.

2019 is shaping up to be an even busier year at For Purpose, with more graduate traineeships on offer spanning across the sector. We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to meeting more graduates and organisations in the new year.

For Purpose Visits DkIT

Yesterday, The For Purpose team attended the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) Careers Fair. We joined over 50 companies at the fair talking to DkIT students about their future career prospects. The For Purpose stand garnered a lot of attention with students eager to learn more about beginning a career in the not-for-profit sector.

The For Purpose programme was well received by all, with students demonstrating that there is still uncertainty around a clear entry point into the sector for graduates. In particular, we observed that there was a strong interest in the For Purpose programme from DkIT’s social care students, with the mentoring opportunities the programme provides proving to be a particularly attractive point for students in addition to the diversity of the For Purpose partner organisations.

There was also significant interest in For Purpose from students from a variety of disciplines such as business studies, marketing & communications, digital media, IT, engineering and more. The interest in For Purpose from students of all backgrounds highlights that a ‘career with purpose’ is attractive to graduates of all disciplines. Due to the diverse nature of the not-for-profit sector and the many different services For Purpose partner organisations offer, it is important that the programme attracts a diverse pool of graduates to meet their needs. We believe that by doing this, For Purpose will begin to shape the future of the sector by bringing in its future leaders.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to speak to the students of DkIT and we look forward to seeing many of their faces again in the future when the For Purpose campaign launches in January 2019. If you would like any further information about the programme please contact the For Purpose Manager, Adrian McCarthy at or on 01-234-3135.