“A day in the life of” Emma Hennessy, Grants Manager for The Ireland Funds


Emma Hennessy is the Grants Manager for The Ireland Funds. The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network with chapters in 12 countries. The Ireland Funds has raised over $600 million for deserving causes in Ireland and beyond, benefiting more than 3,200 different organisations.

With a background in fundraising and international development, Emma previously worked in the charity sector with organisations such as the Irish Heart Foundation and Plan International.

Q 1- How does your normal day begin?

Workday mornings always begin with a very large coffee. I am not a big breakfast person, so this is usually followed up by another coffee! I’m hoping as the mornings get brighter to fit in a cycle before work starts.

Q 2- What are your biggest daily challenges?

There are undeniably challenges to working remotely, you miss those informal catchups in work over a coffee. I think remembering that everyone is facing more challenges than ever before and that flexibility and understanding need to be part of the new working day is really important at the moment.

Q3- What do you love most about your job? 

I love being able to interact with the organisations we support. Charities in Ireland have had a very difficult year but have really risen to the challenge with many pivoting services to online and responding to increased demand. It has been very inspiring to play a small role in that.

Q 4- What do you do to relax? 

We have a wonderful dog, Maggie who makes sure we get out of the house at least once a day. Probably like a lot of people at the moment, I’ve tried my hand at Jigsaws, painting and other new small things to keep myself amused. I’m also a big fan of podcasts.

Q 5-Favourite staycation destination in Ireland and why? 

I have been lucky enough to stay in some beautiful places in Ireland but if I had to choose it would probably be either Kerry or Clare. Killarney National Park or the Burren are stunning places to explore.

Q 6-Favourite holiday destination worldwide? 

Vietnam would be top of the list. Everything from the food, which is delicious, to the people who are so warm and friendly definitely make it one of the best countries I have visited. I cannot wait to be able to start exploring again!

Q 7-Favourite Business motto? 20 words

Every day’s a school day- I think there’s always room to learn more both in life and work.

Q 8. Advice for young business entrepreneurs 

I am a big advocate for having a plan in place. Taking the time to plan a project really ensures a smoother process and helps with the impact you are looking to achieve.