Value of Graduate Talent in the Nonprofit Sector Ireland Graduates For Purpose Graduate Programme

Value of Graduate Talent in Nonprofit Sector

The nonprofit sector has experienced many changes in the past two years. With the impact of the pandemic and the current situation in Ukraine, our nonprofit sector has been placed under pressure. Considering these external factors, it may not seem like the right time to invest in graduate talent. However, with the sector currently under such strain, we need to ensure the future of the sector is in the hands of capable graduates who can cope with any future changes.

Value of Graduate Talent

Graduates bring a range of skills to organisations. They offer a fresh mindset, enthusiasm, flexibility, provide technical skills and are social media savvy. Both the public and private sector adopt graduate programmes as a means to build their talent pipeline. Therefore, it is crucial for the nonprofit sector to invest in them. As many nonprofits are expanding, the sector requires future leaders to grow with their organisation. Therefore, For Purpose aims to recruit graduates who are:

  1. Values driven

We look for graduates who are applying for the right reason. We recruit grads with a genuine interest in the nonprofit sector who can demonstrate this during their interview. Many have been active in their communities, volunteering or fundraising, or involved in advocacy and mentoring activities in college.

  1. Future-focused

At For Purpose, the majority of our graduates stay with their organisation upon completion of their graduate contract. This is extremely beneficial and a priority for many nonprofits, particularly at the moment with the current strain on many organisations’ services.

  1. Talented

We seek graduates who stand out in their application, and during their interview. It’s important for our graduates to embody both hard and soft skills, to be well equipped to enter the dynamics of a busy organisation. These transferable skills are particularly crucial in the nonprofit sector, where employees are often wearing multiple hats.


Consider a strategic approach to recruitment

Many organisations invest in graduate talent by attending careers fairs, university talks and more. These organisations invest a considerable amount into their recruitment drive. Oftentimes, graduates progress to senior management positions within these firms. This improves the company’s brand as leading in graduate training and recruitment.

We want the same for the nonprofit sector. For Purpose is continually targeting graduates on social media, partnering with gradireland and adding new aspects to our programme every year. Our aim is to retain talent within the nonprofit sector, just as other organisations are currently doing in the private sector.

If you are interested in investing in graduate talent for your organisation, and the wider nonprofit sector, click here for more information on our programme. Or, contact Rhonda Wynne, Head of For Purpose.

For Purpose Graduate Programme LinkedIn Group

For Purpose LinkedIn Group Launch

On 12th April, we welcomed our graduates to the first For Purpose Tuesdays in-person event. Our event took place in our head office, Huckletree on Pearse Street. Eilís, our Brand & Content Manager, and Shannon, Recruitment Coordinator, launched our new For Purpose LinkedIn group. We had a fantastic morning mingling with our graduates, learning about their roles, networking and participating in peer-learning.

LinkedIn Group Launch

For Purpose LinkedIn Group Launch

Our morning began with a presentation explaining the benefits of using LinkedIn for professional development. Many of our graduates currently have a LinkedIn profile, but do not use the platform to its full extent. Eilís outlined reasons we should continually use LinkedIn for networking, learning and career inspiration. She also shared some nonprofits who are currently active on LinkedIn and encouraged our graduates to follow them.

Shannon described what a great LinkedIn profile looks like from a recruitment perspective. She highlighted areas to focus on to improve your own personal branding and the importance of useful LinkedIn connections.

The presentation finished with the launch of our new For Purpose LinkedIn group. We were thrilled to share our LinkedIn group with our For Purpose graduates.

This group will facilitate:

  • Shared resources
  • Learning from peers
  • Assisting professional development
  • Tight knit community
  • Relevant discussions
  • Connections with past and present graduates

We shared the link to join our For Purpose LinkedIn group amongst our graduates, with an interactive poll to kickstart our discussion. We hope to share articles, webinars, courses, podcasts, videos and more content within our LinkedIn group.


For Purpose LinkedIn Group 2022 for purpose graduate programme

Peer Learning and Networking

Hereafter, the Management Team from 2into3 joined our session. This gave the graduates a chance to network with professionals, having 20-30 years’ experience working within the nonprofit sector. Networking is a crucial element of our in-person events.

We are delighted to commence in- person events with our graduates. It was a fantastic chance for our graduates to network, join our new LinkedIn group, share their own projects and converse with each other. We look forward to our next session!

More information on For Purpose Tuesdays, or contact Rhonda Wynne directly.

For Purpose Tuesdays Karena Walshe For Purpose Graduate Programme 2022 graduate seminar

For Purpose Tuesday with Karena Walshe

At our For Purpose Tuesday session, we were delighted to welcome our previous For Purpose Graduate, Karena Walshe. Karena presented to our graduates about her career development from consulting in the nonprofit sector to her current role in the tech industry.

Karena studied Classics and French at Trinity College Dublin. Upon graduating, she spent some years navigating through an extremely difficult market. Karena gained her first professional full-time experience through the For Purpose Graduate Programme as a Management Consultant with 2into3. When she finished her graduate contract with 2into3, Karena began her career with Web Summit as an Account Executive. Karena was soon promoted to Team Lead and is now the Director of Global Partnerships. Web Summit brings together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry. Web Summit holds events across the world: Web Summit in Lisbon, Collision in Toronto, and RISE in Hong Kong.

Tech in the Nonprofit Sector

Karena asked our graduates, “How can we strategically use the tech industry to impact our mission?” As our graduates all work in a range of nonprofits, it’s important to consider how we can use tech in our individual roles. The way we use technology has changed significantly and will continue to do so. Since 2020, we’ve switched to working from home, and have leveraged several technological systems to improve communication and productivity whilst doing so. Our graduates discussed how we could better use tech in our own roles, in fundraising, housing and marketing.

About For Purpose Tuesdays

We introduced For Purpose Tuesdays in September 2021 as a way of connecting our graduates from different nonprofit organisations together once per month. Our sessions have been extremely beneficial, thus far. Our graduates have learnt a variety of topics from fundraising, to the tech industry. We aim to provide our gradates with a varied knowledge of the nonprofit sector and beyond. More information on For Purpose Tuesdays.

More information on For Purpose Graduate Programme

If you would like to find out more about our programme, contact Rhonda Wynne or visit here.

Thanks for attending gradireland with for purpose graduate programme

For Purpose attends gradireland Live

On Wednesday 23rd February, the For Purpose team attended gradireland live. Gradireland is the perfect opportunity for students across Ireland to meet with prospective employers, discuss graduate programmes and consider career options.

For Purpose gradireland live 2022

Our Head of For Purpose, Rhonda and our Recruitment Coordinator, Shannon, met with students and explained different aspects of our programme. Several students had similar queries, some of which are listed below.


When can I apply to For Purpose?

Firstly, many students had queries surrounding when you can apply to For Purpose and if our roles were degree-specific. Our Graduate Programme is different to others in that there are job opportunities on a rolling basis throughout the year. Furthermore, most of our roles are not degree specific (unless specified). We consider relevant degree modules, work experience, personality and most importantly, your passion for the nonprofit sector.

Our team also provided advice to our students. It is important to read the desired skills of each role we advertise and how it matches to your skills and experience. Our team encourages students to wait until you are almost finished your degree, as we have graduate jobs available on a rolling basis. Most of our roles commence immediately!


What skills are required to work in the nonprofit sector?

Empathy, social understanding, interest in social justice. If you’re working for a nonprofit, you are working with a team to solve a social issues and you may work with individual who are vulnerable, requiring patience and understanding.

It is extremely important to have a genuine interest in the position you apply for, as this passion will drive you to succeed in your role.


Thanks to everyone who attended gradireland Live on Wednesday. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all and hope to see your applications for positions in 2022! More information on our programme here or contact Rhonda Wynne.

For Purpose Tuesdays 2022 peer learning session

For Purpose Tuesday 2022

Our first For Purpose Tuesday of 2022 took place yesterday, on 11th January. We were joined by two new graduates who have recently joined the For Purpose Graduate Programme, who are starting their  roles at 2into3 and Foróige. 

About For Purpose Tuesdays

For Purpose Tuesdays is the latest addition to the For Purpose Graduate Programme. The second Tuesday of each month is dedicated to professional career development for our grads. Each For Purpose Tuesday session alternates between Presentations and Workshops with sector leaders and Peer Led Learning, allowing graduates within different organisations to share their experiences and discuss ideas.

For Purpose Tuesdays was launched in September 2021 and a range of experienced nonprofit professionals joined our sessions. We are looking forward to welcoming more fantastic speakers to join our Presentations and Workshops in 2022.

Learning Seminar for our Graduates

We kicked off our first session with a peer-led seminar. This gave our graduates the chance to discuss how their roles have developed thus far, and what they would like to get out of the programme in 2022. Our graduates engaged in development plans for our 2022 seminars. Within the breakout rooms, graduates discussed seminar ideas, our new Linkedin group and aspects they’d like to learn more about during For Purpose Tuesdays.

At For Purpose, we believe it is crucial that graduates are heard and supported throughout their role. During our learning seminars, we aim to provide a safe space where graduates can discuss any difficulties they’re facing and share ideas on how to overcome them. The range of graduate involvement in our peer-led learning seminars allows more experienced graduates to share their learnings with our newer recruits.

Thanks to our graduates for participating in our first learning seminar of 2022.

More information on for purpose

For more information on For Purpose Tuesdays, visit here. If you’re interested in finding out more about For Purpose, contact Rhonda Wynne at

Why Your Nonprofit Should Consider a Graduate For Purpose Graduate Programme 2022

Why Your Nonprofit Should Consider a Graduate

Investing in a Graduate with For Purpose

The Irish nonprofit sector provides crucial work to our social system. Since the pandemic, the sector faces many challenges and added stresses. Therefore, in order to respond to these challenges, building further capacity within the sector is necessary. Considering recruiting a graduate may be of particular benefit to your organisation and the future of the nonprofit sector.

Recruiting graduate students could have a transformative impact on the nonprofit sector, enhancing innovation through new ideas, energies, and perspectives, and building strategic capacity and insight through specialist skills.

Many private companies have developed graduate programmes. However, certain nonprofit organisations do not have the resources to recruit, train and support their own graduates. We wanted to provide a solution to this problem. The For Purpose Graduate Programme was then established in 2012.

About For Purpose

For Purpose is Ireland’s Nonprofit Graduate Programme. For Purpose provides nonprofit organisations with access to a pool of ambitious graduates, striving to make an impact on society. The For Purpose programme is unique, as our graduates gain access to peer- to- peer networking, learning seminars and support throughout the programme. We develop our graduates’ potential and aid career development, helping them to become the best employee for your organisation.

For Purpose has three strands. We offer paid placement for your graduate, a monthly external mentor and professional development and learning. We assist your organisation with all three aspects and support your graduate throughout their placement.


Why should my organisation consider a graduate?

Graduates provide a unique benefit to your organisation through their skills, ways of working and perspectives. For Purpose asked a sample of their employer partners about the value of recruiting graduates and what they can bring to an organisation.

Some particular benefits noted was the access to:

  • Specialised and relevant skills
  • Current information and education
  • New or cutting-edge knowledge
  • Relevant disciplinary expertise
  • Academic knowledge which translates to work skills
  • Research capability: recent experience of doing research, analysis, data management, report writing
  • IT skills and social media savvy
  • New ideas and perspectives
  • Openness in ways of working – no hangs up or preconceived ideas about set ways or systems for doing things
  • Diverse ways of thinking
  • Approach to work: scientific method and good organisational skills
  • Social skills working with graduates
  • Communication and presentation skills which are valuable and necessary when out front representing organisations
  • Values and commitment to social justice matters

By investing in a current graduate with these specific skills, you will not only provide value to your current team, but also provide a greater impact on the future of the nonprofit sector.

Why partner with For Purpose?

For Purpose assists nonprofits in attracting graduate talent in numerous ways. We liaise with our partner organisations to learn what works with the programme. We ask our partners how the balance of work will suit the employer and the graduate.

For Purpose asked employers about the value of collaborating with For Purpose. Employers noted how the support For Purpose provided with the recruitment process saved time, as For Purpose screened the candidates and selected on the basis of skillsets and interests. Our partners were pleased with the calibre of candidate recruited, and the contribution the graduates made to their teams.

Employers particularly valued the external mentor and access to support, guidance and expertise, which is not available within their own organisation. A key dimension of the programme is the ongoing professional development provided through learning seminars, with access to peers in other organisations.

Previous employees describe For Purpose Graduate Programme

Colette Nolan, CEO, Peer Advocacy in Mental Health (formerly known as Irish Advocacy Network):

“We are a small organisation, all about providing a quality service. Funding has been static, so we needed to take a more active role in fundraising and looking at our presence in the media. It is necessary to create an awareness of who you are for people to trust you with their money. We didn’t have much knowledge or experience of this area.

We went to a graduate fair in the RDS and realised that people make professions out of these areas, and it would be possible to recruit a graduate to work with us. For Purpose provided a one stop shop helping to develop the role and job description, advertise, and interview. An organisation like ours couldn’t provide anything like the mentoring support that they support the graduate and the organisation. Therefore, this was of value to a small organisation, particularly bringing a completely new role into the organisation.”


Stephen Lowry, Fundraising and Development Manager, Epilepsy Ireland:

“We recently engaged the For Purpose team to run and manage a recruitment campaign to fill a newly available graduate position within our team. From our very first meeting with the team at For Purpose, they made the process incredibly easy. Having simply given them a broad overview of the role itself and the general competencies we were seeking from prospective candidates, from there the For Purpose team took complete responsibility for every stage of the process including drafting the job specification, advertising the role, screening applications as well as preparing us for the final stage interviews.

At the interviews themselves, the real value of For Purpose became apparent as each of the shortlisted candidates they had invited for interview were nothing short of exceptional. While this made the decision around which candidate to select an extremely tough choice for us (which perhaps was the only hard part of the whole experience) this was not a bad complaint to have. We were delighted with the entire process and could not recommend the services of For Purpose more highly.”

Support Your Graduate Investment

We have developed a support document to justify the investment to your board, if you’re interested in investing in a graduate and want to make a business case. For details, contact Rhonda Wynne or for more information on our services, visit our website.

For Purpose Tuesdays image

For Purpose Tuesdays- Final 2021 Session

For Purpose Tuesdays with Rebecca Droop

Our last 2021 session of For Purpose Tuesdays took place yesterday, on Tuesday 14th December, with Rebecca Droop, Analyst, from 2into3. Rebecca spoke to our graduates about Data Driven Decision- making in the Irish nonprofit sector, highlighting the nonprofit sector challenges and suggesting ideas to overcome these problems.


Rebecca Droop is a previous Assistant Analyst on the For Purpose Graduate Programme. She was recently promoted to Analyst in 2into3, conducting research for the Irish Giving Index and Giving Ireland in 2021. She also presents her fundraising findings at open webinars. We were thrilled to have one of our previous graduates speak to our current For Purpose grads.


Our graduates were then placed into breakout rooms. Rebecca asked the grads to consider the challenges their individual organisation’s face in the nonprofit sector. Some graduates discussed the lack of data available in the nonprofit sector to gain insight into their field. Other graduates mentioned how limited resources including staff, budget and time etc., reduced the organisations’ capacity to build and achieve their goals.


It is extremely beneficial for our graduates to discuss the challenges they face in their organisations. Through discussion and idea sharing we attempt to provide solutions in an open but confidential space. Rebecca interacted with our graduates furthermore through a Q&A session. Our graduates discussed other topics including working from home, data challenges in their field and more.


Thank you to our 2021 Panelists

For Purpose Tuesdays was our newest addition to the For Purpose Graduate Programme. Our four sessions have been extremely successful and we would like to thank John Evoy, Eabha Harper McKeever, Rob Foley, Rebecca Droop for speaking during each session.

For Purpose Tuesdays has been an excellent opportunity for our graduates to build a rapport with their peers, whilst gaining knowledge from sector experts and leaders.

For more information on For Purpose Tuesdays, visit our recent news item, or contact Rhonda Wynne at

For Purpose Tuesdays Rob Foley For Purpose Graduate Programme

Thanks for attending For Purpose Tuesdays with Rob Foley

On Tuesday 9th November, For Purpose kicked off their third session of For Purpose Tuesdays. A huge thank you to Rob Foley, Senior Consultant at 2into3, who spoke to our graduates about the Fundraising Landscape in Ireland. Much of Rob’s work centres on relationship-based fundraising campaigns, wider strategy development and board engagement. Rob presented his strategic fundraising process, and asked our graduates about the future of fundraising in their respective nonprofit organisations.

2into3 work with mission-driven organisations to build capacity, so that they can have a transformative impact on society in Ireland and the world. 2into3 help in early stage strategy implementation and guide clients through early prospect identification and fundraising.

Rob Foley works with nonprofits to transform their fundraising strategy, supporting organisations through the fundraising journey from assessing the level of funding required, to developing the optimal fundraising mix. We were delighted that Rob attended our For Purpose Tuesdays session to chat to our graduates about fundraising in their nonprofit organisations.


For Purpose- Fundraising Session

During yesterday’s session, the graduates were placed into breakout rooms to brainstorm ideas for future fundraised income. The graduates proposed fantastic ideas from increasing fundraised income in communities, to developing greater brand awareness for each nonprofit sector. Placing our graduates into breakout rooms introduced an incentive to discuss fundraising knowledge and develop ideas for the future of the nonprofit sector.

For Purpose Tuesdays has been an excellent opportunity for our graduates to build a rapport with their peers, whilst gaining knowledge from sector leaders. Our final session of 2021 will take place next month, on the second Tuesday of December. Thanks a million to all of our graduates for participating, and to Rob for hosting this session.

For more information on For Purpose Tuesdays, visit our recent news item, or contact Rhonda Wynne at

For Purpose Tuesdays

Thanks to Éabha Harper McKeever – For Purpose Tuesdays

For Purpose Tuesdays

A massive thank you to our previous For Purpose Graduate, Éabha Harper-McKeever, for speaking at our For Purpose Tuesdays session. Éabha began her career with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland as a Programmes Assistant in 2020. Éabha is now the Programmes Executive and plays an integral role within Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

This was our first peer-learning section of our monthly seminar. Éabha introduced peer-to-peer conversations between the graduates with ice breakers. Afterwards, she detailed her role at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and described the transition to her current position. This was an excellent learning experience for our graduates who are also aiming to secure positions upon completion of the For Purpose Graduate Programme.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland find people with solutions to social problems and support them on every step of their journey. Over the past 15 years, they have supported 314 social entrepreneurs through their support programmes. Furthermore, they walk with each social entrepreneur from the moment they have an idea through to when they solve the problem.

Moreover, since 2008, there have been several transformative social entrepreneurs who have tackled some extremely pressing social issues in Ireland. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland are currently supporting 3 fantastic organisations: MyMind, Mobility Mojo and jumpAgrade.


For Purpose Graduate Conversations

After the graduates learnt more about Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, groups of 3-4 people were created to discuss systems, apps, and strategies that improve time management and organisation.

This is a crucial aspect of For Purpose Tuesdays. It is important that our graduates learn from each other in a comfortable environment, sharing any tips they have gained throughout their individual placements.


Thank you to our graduates for attending and engaging in our second For Purpose Tuesdays. A warm thank you to Éabha for her fantastic presentation and excellent interpersonal skills throughout the session.

For further information on our programme or any of the information discussed above, visit our website or contact Rhonda Wynne directly.

We look forward to our next session!

For Purpose Graduate Programme Tuesdays Thanks for Attending 2021

Thanks for attending For Purpose Tuesdays

Thanks for attending our first For Purpose Tuesdays session on 14th September. Our first learning seminar was from John Evoy, General Manager of Grow Remote.

Structure of For Purpose Tuesdays

The For Purpose grads were placed into breakout rooms. This gave them a chance to understand each other’s role, responsibilities and to access peer-to-peer conversation.

Afterwards, John Evoy described his career journey to our graduates. From working as a farmer, to his career with ‘Grow remote’, John has many years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. He is the founder and previous CEO of, ‘Irish Men’s Shed Association’. This is a place where men can come together to learn skills and make long-lasting friendships together in their community.

The Men’s Shed has achieved significant success across Ireland, receiving governmental and European recognition of their contribution to Ireland. In 2018, the Association received the European Citizen’s Award after being nominated by Irish MEPs.

Hereafter, John discussed his career with ‘Grow Remote’ in a Q&A format with our graduates.


What is Grow Remote?

Grow remote is a community group who were initially curious about how remote working could help our communities.

Grow Remote’s aim is to develop the entire ecosystem for remote working. John believes there is unlimited potential for remote working in Ireland, as we can reduce traffic, create more co-working spaces, with less fossil fuels burned from travelling to work. More remote working could result in greater spending in local communities, having a transformative impact on smaller villages and towns in Ireland.

There are 50,000 remote jobs available in Ireland currently, including many startups which are now fully remote. The benefit of continuing to work this way is having the freedom over your own time and personal priorities.

John’s learning seminar was extremely beneficial for our graduates, because it opened the possibility of remaining remote after the pandemic is well and truly over.


Our first learning seminar of our For Purpose Tuesdays was extremely successful. We would like to extend a warm thank you to John for sharing his knowledge with our graduates. We look forward to joining our graduates next month at For Purpose Tuesdays!

For more information, contact Rhonda Wynne or visit our website.