Monday, January 20, 2014

Watch some of the CH2 highlights

Charity Hack 2 is done and dusted. It was AWESOME.

I'll write a review in the next few days when the words have come back into my tired head.

But fir those of you who weren't able to make Charity Hack +Laura Ryder and James Keating interviewed Charities and Hackers to capture their experience of the day.

Soon we will have each of the charities individual story from Charity Hack online but for now.

Meet the Charities and learn some Tips from the Hackers

Monday, January 13, 2014

Is this the best fundraising team ever assembled in Ireland?

So here's the complete list of hackers for Charity Hack 2.

Gerard Tiernan @tiernangerard
Delighted to be part of charity hack once again and looking forward to meeting incredible people. He brings experience of working with various charities on running a wide range of fundraising events with limited budgets and resources which in these challenging times is vital. He is ready to give his full engery for 12 hours to the 5 amazing charities. 

Jessica Ryan @ryan_jessica
Twenty-something year old communications professional, currently working with Irish Aid, Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Jessica graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from DCU in 2009 and an MSc in Environment and Development from Trinity in 2010. Before joining Irish Aid, Jessica worked as an account manager for a digital agency specialising in mobile. 
Jennifer McConnell @WorldJen
Inquisitive nature, interested in bringing outside the box thinking to help solve a problem, a fan of fun and trying new things (although this is my second Charity Hack, it will no doubt be a whole new experience!) A career spanning 15 years Jennifer has experience in PR, account management, business development and HR. Deciding on a career break at the end of 2009 she is in a period of academia, graduating with a BA in Anthropology and Geography in 2013 and currently undertaking a Masters in Anthropology and Development.
She is currently carrying out research for a few Irish charities and is also on the Board of Management for a policy and programme organisation, Health Food for All.
Aisling O'Connor @A_o_connor
Positive, energetic and adaptable campaign planning from inception to end and beyond. 

Natalie Livingstone
Experienced digital marketer with 6+ years experience in online display advertising with Yahoo!. Currently working at Facebook helping clients and advertising agencies get more from their social media strategy and paid Facebook advertising campaigns. 2 years NGO volunteer experience, including fundraising, in Central America working on indigenous education projects. 

Mike McGuire @mikemcguire_m
Former MD of a Property Management Company, working for UNICEF as Fundraising Manager for 3 years, one of the first in Ireland to achieve the Fundraising Ireland Diploma in Fundraising. His skills are in business development, marketing and organisational management.
Johann Fox @johannfox
Seven years of experience from the nfp sector across all areas of fundraising with a particular focus on corporate fundraising in the last 18 months. Motivation, enthusiasm and outside the box thinking guaranteed!

Clare O'Donoghue
​Clare has worked in digital marketing - Google and Facebook - for almost 6 years, and have managed advertising campaigns for clients ranging from major global corporations (P&G, Samsung, O2) to NGOs and small local charities. She established the Google Grants programme for EMEA and now works with the Facebook for Social Good initiative. She has also worked on the other side of the corporate/non-profit divide, having spent two years with a human rights organisation in Kosovo, and another two volunteering with grass-roots charities in Peru, Thailand, Greece, Kosovo and Ireland (from where I supported volunteer activities in Haiti and the Philippines).
Joanne Ryan @joryanjo
​Currently Fundraising Coordinator with Dublin YMCA Joanne has been working in the charity sector for 5 years, formerly with Focus Ireland where she worked on large events such as the Four Peaks Challenge, Dublin Tunnel Run and Key to a Home Flag Day. Event management and recruiting and managing large numbers of volunteers are skills she will share at Charity Hack 2.

Nicola Burgess
Senior Designer and Art Director at Zahra Media Group, currently also studying Human Computer Interaction at IADT. Design for print, digital, consumer, custom and corporate.

Brian Walsh @bdubdb
With over five years’ experience in the charity sector, Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to the Hackers table. Brian is Head of Administration for the leading service provider for not-for-profits in Ireland, Total Fundraising. In this role he co-ordinates over 90 staff throughout the island of Ireland to maximise donor accusations and manages business relationships. He is currently studying a postgraduate diploma in Organisational Behaviour in the Irish Management Institute.
Outside of work he is a passionate volunteer and fundraiser for Habitat and ISPCC, among others. In the last 18 months he has successfully raised over €6,000 for charities and volunteered overseas in South America and Africa to build much needed homes.
In his spare time he can be found playing guitar in his bands, planning his next travel adventure, organising music gigs, studying and training for marathons.
To get the inside track on Brian’s various opinions, checkout him out on Twitter @bdubdb

John Healy @kindcitizen
18 year digital marketing and product manager. CNN's former Digital Brand Manager. Marketing lecturer and entrepreneur.

Maria Martin @mariamartindub
A wise friend once said ‘Things can either be as simple or as complicated as you make them’.
In the non-profit sector when you have - people who are so passionate about their work; lack of funding; huge administrative tasks and most importantly service users’ needs - things can get complicated pretty fast.
Maria loves being part of Charity Hack. It’s like a magic 12-hour remedy to ensure charities can get to the next level where they can realise their full potential. Consistently focussing on simple, creative fundraising solutions and keeping in line with the charity's resources and goals.
Having brought Look Good Feel Better cancer support service through various challenges and changes; she comes to the table with Volunteer Management, Event Management, Recruitment and Training experience. She's pretty handy with a make-up brush too!
Other previous experience includes liaising with over 60 cancer support charities nationwide through working with Irish Cancer Society’s Affiliation Programme.
Maria feels it’s an honour be amongst such a great bunch of people with such a big melting-pot of skills and she just can’t wait to get started on the 18th!

Niamh Clowry @neevy101
Programme Manager at IAPC. With over 5 years working in the charity sector Niamh is looking forward to sharing her expertise at Charity Hack 2. Her skills are in membership, comittee and governance, and event management. She is also an avid baker and promises to bring some delicious baked goods to share at the Charity Hack table.  

Tracey Mullin 
Tracey has studied Psychology with Sociology & Politics at NUI Galway. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion, as well as a Masters degree in Public Advocacy and Activism both from NUI Galway. She has experience in working at different levels with many different charities, her main focus being advocacy and health promotion campaigns - empowering individuals and groups to make a positive impact on society through removing stigma and increasing awareness.  

Matt Lewis @Mattewis 
With 5 years experience as a community fundraiser, Matt's experience comes from recruiting and working with volunteers to achieve goals, projects and fundraising. He has also earned a crust in eco-tourism, sports coaching and English teaching. He hopes to bring these skills plus plenty of banter.   

Rachel Duke @RachelDuke2 
Currently Membership & Sustainability Officer in the Children's Rights Alliance, Rachel manages a membership of over 100 organisations, as well as being responsible for sustainability and fundraising for the Alliance. As the Alliance's fundraising campaigns are just begining and developing, her job is an exciting mix of exploring new possibilities, from crowd-funding to donor events.
She previously spent 3 years in the Irish Cancer Society fundraising team, working on major fundraising campaigns like Daffodil Day and Shave or Dye, building and developing relationships with donors and volunteers. 

Breifne Earley @breifneearley 
As well as being involved in Charity Hack 1, Breifne has been responsible for managing numerous sports projects including Ireland's participation at 3 World University Games, 27 World University Championships. He established the Student Sport Ireland League Finals, a multi sport event which took place in a single venue over one day.
He also established and as well as managing that project, he achieved extensive media exposure with a budget of €0.
Breifne has worked for a number of start-up organisations, mostly with no budget available so has had to be resourceful in terms of completing most projects. In most cases there have been minimal other staff so time management has also been very important.

Heidi Jermyn @heidipj 
Website design, WordPress wrangler. (Good at social media stuff too).

Lara Walsh 
Experienced online marketing and advertising specialist with an entrepreneurial background. Advanced Facebook advertising experience as well as SEO, PPC advertising and some User Interface design experience.
Ideas, problem solving and working with people to achieve goals are what motivate her. Lara's strengths are her communication, organisation and presentation skills. 

Jean O'Brien  
Jean has over 12 years experience in web and multimedia, and 8 years experience doing web and multimedia for charities. Her specialities are design, content and strategy.  

Ed Hurrell  
For the past four years, Ed has been working to help Ireland's fundraisers raise more money in his role as Business Development Manager at Fundraising Ireland. Ed brings to the hack a broad mix of skills including: income generation, membership development, sponsorship, business strategy, sales, marketing, event management and rebranding. He knows a thing or two about fundraising also, having organised three National Fundraising Conferences and countless other fundraising seminars and courses.

John Nolan @Hallainzil  
Almost 5 years experience as database developer with the Irish Cancer Society, implementing the organisation's central IS solutions. Currently a senior software engineer with Irish Life Investment Managers, creating scalable systems that manage over €40bn in assets. Skills include problem solving, business analysis, IT and data analysis.

Laura Bohan @lauraandjake  
Laura is passionate about fundraising, campaigning and social media. She currently does all three for a fantastic charity call ADAPT Services in Limerck.
She studied Psychology and PR which comes in very useful. She adores how charities are embracing social media as it has opened up so many possibilities to engage with people. While she is only 2 years in the fundraising game she is a creative gal and relishs the opportunity to apply what she's learned, team up
and help some deserving causes. 

Declan Arthur @DeclanArthur  
A marketing professional with over 25 years of commercial and NFP experience. Recently completed a Masters thesis on Cause Related Marketing and Social Media. Solutions focused.

Kevin Dempsey @KevinDempsey4  
Kevin has two years experience working with Gorta as a Fundraising and Communications Executive. The role was heavily focused around direct mail and donor management along with planning and implementing public facing campaigns. Since November 2013 he has been working with the Irish Cancer Society as a Community Fundraiser.

Diarmaid O'Sullivan @diarmaidy  
Diarmaid's background is research and policy but, for 4 years for Older & Bolder and more recently with Oxfam he has been designing and running national online and offline advocacy campaigns. This involves widespread consultation, building an evidence base and coherent rationale, interrogation of campaign goals, identifying clear asks, assessment of levers to move asks forward and basically building and managing effective social justice campaigns. Key to success is building enthusiasm and commitment among as many people as possible to work together to a common goal. He loves his work. 

Bronagh Walsh @bronaghwalsh 
Background is PR and Communications. She knows how to tell an impactful story. An impactful story helps charities to connect with their audience and motivate them to give to the charity. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Looking back - Glancing forward

So this is the post I've been meaning to write for the last few weeks.

Part reflection on the year passed and part optimistic forward glance.

Today we are 9 days out from our second Charity Hack event. We have selected 5 amazing charities and almost 30 volunteer hackers are donating their time and talents in order to create new fundraising campaigns over the course of 12 hours next Saturday.

I'm feeling

Proud - that we've gotten to our second hack and that people are so willing to get involved

Excited - that we've only got 9 days left and about the amazing teams of hackers we've been able to put together for this hack, these charities are lucky

Scared - well because we're 9 days out, we've got lots to do, these charities deserve great help and we have to deliver and because we still need to get lunch, dinner and a few other items sponsored/donated

Proud, excited and scared


very happy

2013 despite some people's Triskaidekaphobia 2013 was, for me at least, awesome.

If you know me you'll know why but in case you don't here's a list of highlights (in no particular order):

  • Charity Hack was founded -
  • I was a guest speaker at the Norwegian National Conference Fundraising in September
  • I was at the Ireland v New Zealand rugby test - heartbreak
  • Saw an incredible Roy Liechtenstein exhibition in the Pompidou Centre
  • I got to see a Nobel Peace Prize exhibition featuring my personal hero
  • Two of my closest friends got engaged
  • I was elected to the board of Fundraising Ireland
  • and this little guy arrived 

So in short 2013 rocked for me and I'm extremely grateful

but that's all in the past now (except the little fella - he's still around)

What about the future?

Well I'm absolutely never, ever going to talk about New Year, Moving Forward, Resolutions and all that rubbish.

Regardless of the date on the calendar we live our lives day by day, make thousands of individual decisions and hope that they all work out. Obviously some of these decisions are wrong but we suck them up and move on.

So what's for 2014?

Well I'm only going to talk about Charity Hack for now to hoping:

  • This year will see 5 Hacks with at least one or two of those outside Ireland. (If you're interested in helping us Hack anywhere in the world send me an email
  • To develop CH so we can continually expand and improve the experience for hackers and hackees.
  • To introduce our newly created CH Leadership group - expect to hear a lot more about them.
  • To build partnerships with other people who are trying to do their best to help increase capacity in the charity sectors.
  • To host more CH workshops and lectures - the video of the pre Christmas one will be up soon
  • To create a CH internship programme
and who knows what else

Will we achieve all these? 


Maybe not

But being over ambitious can't hurt can't it?

Shoot for the stars and you might just catch a rainbow.

So we're 9 days out from CH2. 

There are excited charities lined up to meet excited hackers

At worst we're putting together groups of great people who just want to do good for others.

At best we just might make a difference.

It's going to be a great year :-)

If you know of anybody that would like to help CH2 by sponsoring or donating anything from our wish list 

If you want to be kept up to date with all Charity Hack News subscribe here


Sunday, January 05, 2014

Charity Hack 2 Needs Your Help

If you've been following Charity Hack over the last few months you'll know that we're doing our best to help charities to raise more money to continue to do their amazing work.

In order to do this we need help. Charity Hack is 100% voluntary, no charities are charged to take part and all of the awesome hackers donate their time for 12 hours just because they're good people. We have no income but we do have things we need to either pay for or get donated. For the first Charity Hack people were incredibly generous and we managed to get everything sponsored or donated which helped make the day a huge success.

So here we go again:

If you or somebody you know could help by either sponsoring or donating any of the below items we would love to hear from you. Just email

We will scratch out each item as somebody agrees to sponsor it. Thank you for your help

Items we need help with

Venue                        - donated by O'Connell House
Printing of materials  - sponsored by Fundraising Ireland
Markers                     - (a couple of boxes of sharpies)
Countdown clock      - this was a long shot last time but +Colin Whittaker worked some magic so we                                          figure it's worth another shot)
Coffee / tea                - The Charity Hack ship sails on caffeine
Breakfast                    - Thanks to Cafe Sol Dublin
Lunch (food & sodas) - Thanks to Apache Pizza
Dinner (food & sodas) - Thanks to +Damian O'Broin at Ask Direct
Beer/ non alcoholic     - For post hack celebration
Wristbands/ID cards    - some type of branded merchandise to match the awesome t-shirts we had last                                         time
Mugs / papercups / plastic cups  - thanks to +John Nolan