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We are seeking candidates for the role of Front Office Administrator to work within our Shared Services Team.

Based in Belfast, this role offers a blend of home and office working opportunities, as-well as supporting a flexible 35 hour working week. This full time position, reports to the Northern Ireland based, Group Finance Director.

We aim to create a world-class community finance system that works tirelessly towards ensuring that positive social impact is felt – not just dreamt.

And we’re getting there.

Today we’re the fastest-growing dedicated social finance provider across Ireland and the UK.

But there’s still more to be done.

Our Front Office Administrator role is a key part of continuing our success and social capital imprint.

If you have proven experience with telephone skills and verbal communication, excellent networking and people skills, excellent organisational and time-management skills, strong written and oral communication skills, a problem-solving attitude with an eye for detail and a proven ability to work on one’s own initiative, then we want to hear from you.

Generous remuneration package commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate. Starting salary £19,000.

How to Apply

  • Submit your CV and covering letter by email to: hello@communityfinanceireland.com .
  • Mark the subject heading with the following: Ref: Front Office Administrator Belfast Office CV Application.
  • Closing date for applications is Friday 21 May 2021 (5pm)
  • Anticipated Interviews to begin 1 June 2021.

Client Relationship Executive Application Pack

We are an equal opportunities employer.

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We are seeking candidates for the role of Client Relationship Executive for the Munster region (Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary).

As a charity and a social enterprise operating across the entire island of Ireland, this role is an exciting business development opportunity, working remotely from home, but with a responsibility for account management across the southern region.

We aim to create a world-class community finance system that works tirelessly towards ensuring that positive social impact is felt – not just dreamt.

And we’re getting there.

Today we’re the fastest-growing dedicated social finance provider across Ireland and the UK.

But there’s still more to be done.

Our Client Relationship Executive role is a key part of continuing our success and social capital imprint.

If you have proven experience in business development, experience in credit skills and loan deals, portfolio management experience, credit paper assembly skills, excellent networking and partnership development, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills, we want to hear from you.

Generous remuneration package commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.

How to Apply

  • Submit a cover letter and detailed CV by email at hello@communityfinanceireland.com referencing subject: Client Relationship Executive (Munster Region) Job Application
  • Our final close off date is 4pm on Friday 7 May 2021
  • Shortlisted candidates will be notified and interviews will take place online via Zoom, on Monday 17 May 2021, with follow up meeting for the successful candidate thereafter.

Client Relationship Executive Application Pack

We are an equal opportunities employer.

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This full time position, reports to the Northern Ireland based, Group Finance Director.

Based in Belfast, this role offers a blend of home and office working opportunities, as-well as supporting a flexible 35 hour working week.

How To Apply:

  • Submit your CV and covering letter by email to: hello@communityfinanceireland.com.
  • Mark the subject heading with the following: Ref: Compliance Officer Role CV Application.
  • Closing date for applications is Monday 3rd May 2021 (5pm).

Click here to download Job Description and Salary Details

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And Community Finance Ireland are on hand to help administer it.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced today (11.03.2021) the release of over £7.5 million of awards to support charities facing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.

Over 300 charities are being offered the funding after successfully applying to Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund. The money is awarded to support unavoidable costs and eliminate deficits accumulated by charities from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021, with individually tailored awards of up to a maximum of £75,000 per charity. 

Minister Hargey said: “This funding is vital for charities who have lost income from fundraising and trading activity as many are still facing unavoidable costs, even if they are not currently operating or have reduced services.

“Along with £8.8m awarded in Phase 1 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund, this will bring the total disbursed by my Department to support charities during 2020/2021 to £16.3million. The Executive allocated my Department with £15.5m in May 2020 and I secured additional funding to ensure that all local charities’ needs could be met in full.

“I want to thank Community Finance Ireland for helping my Department deliver the much needed Covid-19 Charities Fund. I also want to thank NICVA for promoting the Fund and the support they provided to applicants to ensure local charities had help to apply.”

Phase 2 of the Fund is being delivered by Community Finance Ireland, following successful delivery of Phase 1 by The National Lottery Community Fund who disbursed £8.8million to over 500 charities to support them in the period up to 30 September 2020.

Donal Traynor, Group Chief Executive of Community Finance Ireland said:  “We are delighted to help deliver Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund on behalf of the Department for Communities. We delivered £9.25m on behalf of the Department through the Covid Social Enterprise Fund last autumn and are well aware of the importance of this type of support to the sector.

“Our approach to the Fund has been to bring our team’s skills and sectoral knowledge to aid a fair and swift assessment of a charity’s specific needs and make an award which meets those needs in full.

“We encourage all applicants, who receive a letter of offer over the coming weeks, to return their acceptance note as soon as possible so that our team can move to payment stage.”

Ends.

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Emmett O’Hara brings wealth of financial expertise to local communities across Leinster.

Community Finance Ireland, the fastest-growing social finance provider in Ireland and the UK, has today (01.03.21) announced the appointment of Emmett O’Hara as the organisation’s new associate director for the Republic of Ireland. He replaces Dónal Traynor who was appointed as CEO of the organisation last November.

Community Finance Ireland offers finance solutions specifically tailored for the community sector including sports clubs, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises.

Emmett O’Hara will be working in the Leinster region where Community Finance Ireland has funded over 100 projects to the amount of €9,857,000, in the past four years.

Born in Cavan and raised in Dublin, Mr O’Hara (42) comes to Community Finance Ireland from the financial sector, where he has worked across Business Development, Commercial and Credit Analyst management over a 24-year period.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr O’Hara said,

“I’m delighted to join the team at Community Finance Ireland. After such a long tenure in the commercial lending sector where I gained a broad experience of credit analysis, I’m delighted to be able to bring my expertise to a new sector where I can have a direct impact on local communities and support the resilience of volunteers and grassroots organisations as we all look forward.

“Living in Meath with my family I’ve seen first-hand how these organisations can play a pivotal role in local communities. There are incredible things happening in sports clubs, arts organisations and social enterprise centres right across the country and I’m looking forward to getting out there to meet those who are making change happen at a local level here in Leinster.”

Welcoming the appointment, Dónal Traynor, CEO of Community Finance Ireland said

“Emmett brings a wealth of financial expertise to our current clients and potential new clients, we’re delighted to have him on board. Importantly, he shares our passion to invest in social capital and support the greater good. Emmett is a team player and with our small team working across the length and breadth of Ireland, it’s fantastic to have someone on board who can hit the ground running in Leinster.”

ENDS

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Audrey Murray, MBE, who spent her career as a champion for marginalised communities in Northern Ireland has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award for services to the social enterprise sector in Northern Ireland. 

Audrey, who spent over thirty years in the sector, most recently as Business Development and Contract Manager with LEDCOM, retired in 2020.  She continues to serve on a small number of voluntary boards, including Community Finance Ireland (formerly known as UCIT) and Ballyclare High School. 

When Audrey began her career, working in Newtownabbey, Rathcoole and Monkstown just outside Belfast to stimulate private enterprise, the sector didn’t have an official name.  She said:

“I just knew I wanted to help people.  Back then there was a scheme call ACE, aimed at getting the long term unemployed into work, that included a paid work placement.  I asked to meet some of teenagers involved, specifically, a girl who was a hugely talented artist.  I’d been to art college but I knew this girl was so much better than me and had so much potential to make a living from her talent.  But when I asked her what her dreams were, she just wanted a year in the ACE scheme.  She hadn’t been shown how to dream big for herself.”

Audrey struggled with dyslexia as a child and left school unable to read or right properly.  The only career options presented to her and her classmates were, “stitching knickers or slaughtering pigs or moving to England to find work” and none of those options appealed to her. With a diagnosis of the condition in her teens and encouragement from her older sister, she took up a place in art college, which she loved.  While she never formally worked in the arts sector, she used her creativity to develop solutions to business challenges, of which she faced many throughout her career.  

Working with many communities at grass roots level, she sometimes found herself the only female in a room full of ex-prisoners and community representatives.  Never one to be intimidated, Audrey was always focused on what she wanted to achieve.   “I have empathy with people who are being limited.  People need a champion to fight for them and I wanted to be that person, to make a difference.” While it is difficult to pinpoint just one highlight in such a long and diverse career, Audrey notes that in her role at LEDCOM she oversaw the creation of over 600 new social enterprises.  “Social enterprises are a fantastic business sector and the word ‘business’ is a deliberate term, as they make money but they do good.  They meet both social and economic needs, that other private and public organisations sometimes don’t even touch.”

Referring to her award, Audrey quipped:

“They don’t give you a lifetime achievement unless you’re old!  I’m retired now, but it was a wonderful recognition of all the people who I worked with throughout my career and the difference they made.” 

Dónal Traynor, Group Chief Executive at Community Finance Ireland said:

“We’re delighted that Audrey received this award, which is a testament to her tenacious attitude and determination to always make a difference.  We’re lucky to have had Audrey involved with our Board, as she mirrors our own values of Empathy, Integrity and Quality. She brings a direct way of working, attention to detail and a compassionate and forthright approach to doing good for those who need it most in society.”

Colin Jess, Director, Social Enterprise NI said:

“As the foremost support agency for Social Enterprises across Northern Ireland I was very pleased to present Audrey with this award on behalf of our agency. She has had a tremendous impact on the support and visibility of those in our communities who need it”.

Ends

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Dónal Traynor pledges social finance solutions for every community across the island of Ireland.

Community Finance Ireland, the fastest-growing social finance provider in Ireland and the UK, has announced the appointment of Dónal Traynor as the organisation’s new chief executive officer. He replaces Harry McDaid who retired last month after seven years at the helm.

Community Finance Ireland offers finance products specifically tailored for the community sector including sports clubs, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises.

Originally from Cavan, Mr Traynor (44) is the youngest CEO in the organisation’s 25-year history, and the first to come from a non-banking background. He served as Associate Director with Community Finance Ireland since 2014.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Traynor said,  

“My qualifications in economics and business, and my accreditation from the Institute of Bankers could have easily paved the way to a traditional banking career but after 16 years working in social finance, I have seen the incredible impact that it can have on communities, particularly in rural areas where grassroots organisations can be a lifeline for the community.

Since 2004, I have driven the length and breadth of the island to meet the staff and volunteers who are changing their communities for the better.  From local GAA clubs, to mountain rescue teams, and after-school groups, we worked together to develop new projects or start new building works.

At the heart of every single project, we have supported, is the dedication and capacity of the staff and volunteers. They have the commitment and the energy and often they just need the right funding to get an idea off the ground or take the next step. I believe that affordable, innovative and sustainable social finance solutions should be as accessible and common-place as local cooperatives or credit unions.

This year we have seen the incredible things that can happen when communities pull together, whether it’s rising to the challenges of unprecedented times or taking an opportunity to create something new for their community.

For me, local community has always been about sport. I’ve played GAA and soccer since I was a kid and now my own children are involved in our local club in Meath. I know what these organisations – whether it’s a sports club, a faith group or a community farm – mean to their communities and the positive impact that they have. That’s why Community Finance Ireland are here, to provide the practical support and advice that communities need to make a change or a dream come true.”

Donál Traynor Group Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Traynor has worked closely with grassroots organisations on both sides of the border and managed Community Finance Ireland’s first cross-border community business mentoring programme ‘netWORKS’ between 2004 to 2008, the only programme of it’s kind on the island of Ireland.

Welcoming the appointment, Damian McAteer, Chair of Community Finance Ireland said, “2020 marks a new chapter for Community Finance Ireland with our new all-island brand launching earlier this year and a renewed focus for us to operate on an all-island basis. Dónal has led our team in the Republic of Ireland with ambition and vision for the last 16 years, and I welcome the wealth of experience and commitment he will bring to communities from Ballymena, Co. Antrim to Ballyhea Co. Cork.

Ends.

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Tinahely Community Sports Hall, Arklow Gerladine’s Ballymoney GAA Club and Hillside Evangelical Church are just some of the projects that have benefited from Community Finance Ireland’s €30 million investment in communities between 2016 and 2019.

The extent of their investment in communities across Ireland was detailed in the first all-island impact report launched last month. At the launch, Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland spoke about the importance of access to social finance as communities recover from Covid-19.

“With the fallout from the pandemic, we anticipate a reduction in grant funding to the community sector generally, so- in the coming years- social finance will play an increasingly vital role in supporting grassroots community organisations and social enterprises. At the same time, Covid-19 has starkly shown the importance of community solidarity, ‘social capital’ and sustainability within communities.”

Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland

As Ireland’s and the UK’s fastest-growing social finance provider, the organisation works with groups that drive social impact, including sports clubs, social housing organisations, community projects, faith-based groups and social enterprises.

Mr Traynor said:

“We can provide loans ranging from €30,000 up to €500,000 and our finance products are specifically tailored for the community sector. We have waived arrangement fees to make loans as accessible and cost-effective as possible, we have a quick turnaround time for lending decisions, and- given the organisations we lend to are typically run by volunteers- we do not ask for personal guarantees. There has been a default rate of just 0.75% on our loans since 2008, which is low by any standard and particularly when you consider that many of our loans are made available on an unsecured basis. This is in no small part due to the strong relationship which we have developed with communities over time.”

Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland

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Earlier this summer we were accredited as a lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

This initiative, created directly to help those impacted by Covid-19, is welcome news for UK based Social Enterprises and Charities (as well as small and medium sized businesses).

As an accredited lender under the British Business Bank’s CBILS scheme, we are delighted that we can continue to support those amongst us, who are working to make a positive impact on society or the environment but are working through the impact of Covid-19 to their ideas or projects.

If you are re-setting or re-collaborating a CBILS loan could be very attractive and timely:

Reduce your cost of funding.
The scheme promises no interest or fees payable in the first year – these costs will be covered by the Government’s Business Interruption Payment.


No need to provide personal guarantees
For a facility up to £250,000.

Here is a Confidence Checklist:

How much can I borrow? 
The range is between £50k -£500k+.  

Do I have to apply to the British Business Bank?
No. Community Finance Ireland and in particular our Associate Director, Phelim Sharvin are on hand locally to handle every aspect with you.  

I’m an existing client, can I apply for CBILS?  

Of course. The fund is for open to all social enterprises or charities if they meet the loan criteria.

How long does the application take?  

If you are fast – we are fast. There is supporting paperwork you need to pull together but once we have that – it can be all in place in a matter of weeks.

Can I repay my CBILS facility early?  
Yes and without any early repayment fees.
Need to chat further?
We speak finance but we hear people. Associate Director, Phelim Sharvin is ready to listen and has already approved CBILS funding to NI clients. Contact him directly on 07803834124

You are eligible to apply if you answer yes to any of these short criteria:  
Your business has been adversely impacted by Covid -19
 Your CBILS-backed facility will be used primarily to support trading in the UK.  
 You are able to confirm that your business generates more than 50% of its turnover from trading activity e.g. Sports clubs may include some fundraising, event income and gate receipts (registered charities are exempt).  
 You are a UK-based small or medium sized enterprise with an annual turnover of up to £45 million per year.  
 Please note: The following are not eligible under CBILS:
• banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers),
• public sector bodies,
• state funded primary and secondary schools.

The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit british-business-bank.co.uk.

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A makeover for the annual ‘Willie Clancy Festival’ in Clare, an upgrade for Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre, and new equipment for the Dublin Cliffhangers Climbing Club in Finglas are just some of the projects that have benefited from Community Finance Ireland’s €30 million investment in communities between 2016 and 2019.

As Ireland’s and the UK’s fastest-growing social finance provider, the organisation works with groups that drive social impact, including sports clubs, social housing organisations, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises.

The extent of their investment in communities across Ireland was detailed in the first all-island impact report launched today (02.07.2020). Since 2016, Community Finance Ireland has loaned €8.6m to clients in Leinster, €3.5m to clients in Munster, €1.8m to clients in Connacht, and €16.3m to clients in Ulster.

Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland, said:

“We can provide loans ranging from €30,000 up to €500,000, and our finance products are specifically tailored for the community sector. We have waived arrangement fees to make loans as accessible and cost-effective as possible, we have a quick turnaround time for lending decisions, and – given the organisations we lend to are typically run by volunteers – we do not ask for personal guarantees.

There has been a default rate of just 0.75% on our loans since 2008, which is low by any standard and particularly when you consider that many of our loans are made available on an unsecured basis. This is in no small part due to the strong relationship which we have developed with communities over time.”

Donal Traynor, Associate Director Community Finance Ireland

Panel Discussion
Following the launch of their all island Impact Report, Community Finance Ireland hosted an online panel discussion on sustaining communities across the island beyond Covid-19. The panel was chaired by broadcaster and journalist Dil Wickremasinghe. Dil was joined by Tipperary hurler Noel McGrath, CEO of ARC Healthy Centre Julie Irvine, as well as Associate Directors of Community Finance Ireland Dónal Traynor and Phelim Sharvin.

Mr Traynor said:

“Access to social finance will be more important than ever before as communities recover from Covid-19. With the fallout from the pandemic, we anticipate a reduction in grant funding to the community sector generally, so – in the coming years – social finance will play an increasingly vital role in supporting grassroots community organisations and social enterprises.

At the same time, Covid-19 has starkly shown the importance of community solidarity, ‘social capital’ and sustainability within communities.”

Donal Traynor, Associate Director Community Finance Ireland

Official Rebrand
Community Finance Ireland was established in 2007 as part of an expansion into the Republic of Ireland by the Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) Group. UCIT was established in Belfast in 1995 in response to decreasing grant support from government and the difficulties experienced by community organisations in accessing commercial loan facilities.

Under a rebranding initiative announced today (02.07.2020), the social finance group will be known as Community Finance Ireland in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The organisation unveiled a new logo, website, client videos and a new podcast series as part of the rebrand.

Community Finance Ireland Chief Executive Harry McDaid said:

“While the organisation’s trading name is changing in Northern Ireland, our collective purpose remains the same – to support people changing their communities for the better across the island. The response to Covid-19 has highlighted a public desire for greater collaboration and cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This first all-island annual report and our brand reflects a renewed focus for the organisation operating on an all-island basis.”

Harry McDaid, CEO Community Finance Ireland
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