gabyMurphy 2015Gaby Murphy

Gaby is one of the most experienced fundraising consultants in Ireland today. Her career to date spans over 20 years in fundraising with many organisations in Ireland and the UK and she has also helped to shape the profession of fundraising through her work with Fundraising Ireland. Gaby was recently invited to join the Advisory Panel of Rogare, the leading international think tank on fundraising, based at the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, University of Plymouth, UK.

Prior to founding Purplegrass, Gaby held a number of senior roles in Ireland, including Managing Director of Kanchi, Director of Development for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camp, Barretstown and corporate fundraising roles in the UK with Action for Children and Tommy’s. Gaby has a wealth of hands-on experience, delivering organisational strategies at senior management level and leading successful fundraising teams to deliver challenging revenue targets.

As a fundraising consultant, her particular areas of expertise are in:

  • development of business and fundraising strategy
  • implementation and delivery of fundraising plans
  • finding and developing fundraising talent
  • new business development
  • leading organisations through change
  • team development and mentoring

Gaby has an MBA from the Smurfit School of Business, UCD and is a Board Director of Arts Disability Ireland and Fundraising Ireland.

mira_partnership_logo-300x59Purplegrass is an associate member of the Mira Partnership, an international network of  leading fundraising consultants. As Mira Partnership members we share expertise and resources with colleagues around the world to ensure we provide the highest level of service to our clients.

For more information on the Mira Partnership go to

Purplegrass Associates

Purplegrass works with a number of associate consultants, providing our clients with a broad range of experience and expertise. We work with two associate consultants – John Kelly and Alana Kirk.

John Kelly

Johnkelly1-293x300John Kelly heads up Mira Kelly Fundraising in the UK – an independent consultancy that is part of the international Mira Partnership.  After a first career in higher education management, culminating in being the first Director of Regent’s College London, John became a fundraising consultant. Over the last 24 years he has advised over 200 universities and colleges in some 30 countries on the introduction of fundraising – essentially taking the strategic American approach incorporating major gifts and capital campaigns, and adapting it to many different cultures. John brings a wide experience of fundraising for education, arts and cultural institutions, including the University of Glasgow (Scotland), the University of Limerick, the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), Piteå School of Music (Sweden), Harvard Law School, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Kingston University (England), Robert Gordon University (Scotland), the University of Minho (Portugal), the Royal College of Music (Sweden), the Royal Northern College of Music (England), the Van Gogh Museum (Netherlands), Groninger Museum (Netherlands) and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Hall (Birmingham, England).  He has also advised the International Labour Organisation in Geneva and the WWF, as well as many charities in different countries.

Alana Kirk

Alana-work1Alana Kirk has worked words for a living for many years. As Deputy Director of UNICEF Ireland for five years, and Director of Fundraising and Communications at Barnardos she wrote words that engaged, empowered, influenced, provoked and inspired in order to raise money and build long-term sustainable income streams.  Transforming stories, demonstrating impact and motivating support and action are the key components of successful fundraising, and Alana fine tuned her skills at the helms of these dynamic organisations.    She took a step back from senior management roles to bring up her young family, and began to work as a freelance consultant. Using her experience in strategic planning and fundraising development, alongside her skills as a communicator and writer, Alana has forged a strong career in supporting charities develop their fundraising capabilities and donor communications. Working with charities large and small, regional and international, those with broad appeal and those with niche target audiences, she has provided support in areas of strategic planning, major gifts, donor recruitment & retention and trusts & foundations. From writing compelling case for support documents, to donor care communications, to appeal copy and fundraising materials, Alana has a proven record in delivering valuable results. Her current and previous clients include The Irish Cancer Society, Educate Together, Turn2Me, Headstrong, MSF, COPE Galway, Mercy Hospital Foundation, The SCOOP Foundation, and  BeLonG To.

Alana also works as a freelance writer and is published regularly in newsprint, consumer and commercial publications. Alana is a member of Fundraising Ireland, and is currently writing her first novel.