Working life: Irene Timmins, Make-A-Wish

Irene Timmins

Irene Timmins is focused on recruiting volunteers for Wish Day.


Myself, my other half Thomas and our three-year-old daughter enjoy a little family time during the drive to creche and work in the morning. 

We live in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. I drop Thomas to work on my way to the office in Leopardstown.


After scanning through emails, I write up my action list for the day. As head of fundraising, I have various personal targets to reach in relation to grants, legacies and individual giving. 

I also manage a team of three fundraisers. The money we bring in goes towards granting the wishes of children aged three to 17 who battle life-threatening medical conditions. 

They range from meeting a favourite soccer player to travelling to the North Pole to meet Santa, to going on a sun holiday.

Last year we granted 209 wishes, a 17% increase on the previous year.


I meet with the fundraising team for a brainstorming session. We toss around a few ideas. You have to be creative, the charity sector is highly competitive. I’m fortunate to have a really committed team.


At the moment I’m focused on recruiting volunteers for Wish Day on March 31. It’s our national fundraising day and the biggest gig of the year for us. 

We have volunteers selling wristbands on the streets and in shopping centres nationwide.

Anyone can take part by signing up to volunteer just a few hours on the day at 


We have a photoshoot for regional press for Wish Day. We put a lot of effort into personalising press releases so that we are speaking directly to the local community.

We make sure to let people know how many wishes were granted in their county and who benefited from the experience.

This also allows us to let donors know how their money was spent, which is so important.


I spend the last hour crunching numbers in relation to a recent telephone campaign. 

It’s important to understand what motivates people to donate and to ensure that they continue to support Make-A-Wish.

Before heading home, I prepare my to-do list for the following day.


I collect Thomas and my daughter on the way home. We enjoy more family time in the evening. I like to curl up with a book or watch something on Netflix once Shona’s gone to bed.

* Irene Timmins, head of fundraising, Make-A-Wish Ireland


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