An Interview with CEO Of Make A Wish Ireland Susan O’ Dwyer

by Mark kelly | WIKN Podcasts

About Susan


WIKN Podcasts

Mark kelly & CEO Of Make A Wish Ireland Susan O’ Dwyer

Susan joined Make-A-Wish in October 2006 as Development & Fundraising Manager, after spending 12 years with the Irish Heart Foundation.

She has been in the fundraising sector for over 20 years. She became CEO in October 2009.

Susan is passionate about Make-A-Wish and feels that there can be nothing more important than putting a smile back on a child’s face.

Susan calls her role the near perfect job!

What we talk about in this episode:

  • An overview of Susan’s interesting journey to becoming CEO Of Make A Wish Ireland
  • The challenges faced working without government funding and the impact of recent scandals in the Irish Charity Sector
  • The proactive journey Make-A-Wish has instigated through being one of the first charities to sign up to The Triple Lock Codes to ensure complete transparency to the public.
  • The current Christmas appeal (link can be found here ) and the importance of Make – A -Wish’s Corporate Partnerships
  • Growth for the business
  • How to become a volunteer – (Link to become a volunteer can be found here)
  • The Wish Process (more details can be found here) and Susan’s most memorable granted wishes
  • Business not for profit rather than old traditional view of charity
  • What Keeps Susan Going through challenging times “Go the extra step for the children”
  • The Key aspect of Make-A-Wish is the impact it has on the entire family not just the child.
  • The granted wishes allow a family & child to experience a moment in time where they can forget everything and are left with memories of a lifetime
  • The addictive nature of granting wishes and the positive lift the wishes give the child and family
  • The importance of understanding your strengths and surrounding yourself with a team who have complementary skills
  • What Susan’s Knows Now “Trust your gut”
  • Make a mistake and applying the learns – “It is old advice, but you need to make mistakes to learn from them” Susan O’ Dwyer
  • The challenge to go back to complete a Masters and not underestimating the importance of Personal Development
  • The reason Susan would speak with her 80-year-old self instead of 18 year old self
  • The importance of family, friends & people who give Susan energy such as Nora Casey, Imelda May & Margot Slattery Country President of Sodexo.
  • Finally we speak about upcoming events such as the volunteer conference the first weekend in February and the prestigious “Ball” which will be held in May at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road Dublin 4 (for tickets contact Susan directly

Our wishes turn fantasy in to reality. A wish provides a positive, often once in a lifetime experience for the child, their family and often the wider community enabling wonderful memories to be created that will last a lifetime

Susan O’Dwyer

CEO , Make A Wish Ireland

Mentioned in this episode:

WIKN Podcasts

Hope you enjoy the show as much as I have. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback about the show in the comments box below. Let me know what action you are going to take after listening to the talk?

Talk soon,


Mark kelly

WIKN Podcasts

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on iTunes

Question of the Day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from the episode?

Please let me know in the comments. Click here to comment.

Share This