askdirect

Our job is to inspire people to take action – as many people as possible. In ways that make sense to them. For the causes they believe in.

For a better world.

At the core of everything we do is your supporter. We develop insight and create ideas that are unique to your supporters and your organisation. And then we help you bring it all together in campaigns that engage, mobilise – and raise more money.

You don’t just have to take our word for it:

Thanks to all of you at Ask Direct for your dedication to the work of DBC, for your professionalism, and for being an all round group of good human beings with big hearts who are great fun to work with. We've been on a long journey together and I'm incredibly proud of the work we have done, the donor support we have developed and the stories we've told. 
- Kevin Delaney, Head of Fundraising 2014-2021, Don Bosco Care

 

Get in touch today and let’s talk about how we can help you raise more to do more: click here to email us or subscribe to our emails below:

askclients

askpeople

At Ask Direct we are passionate about what we do. Over the years we assembled an incredible team of creative, determined and insightful people. Everyone on our team is committed to producing the best work possible for the causes we love. Meet the team and find out how you can get in touch below.

 

  • Emma Burtnyak
    Production Executive

    Hi there, I’m Emma,

    I completed my bachelors degree in Business Studies and Marketing in DCU and I have always had a great interest in fundraising and agency life. Ask Direct has definitely not disappointed! 

    I was born and raised in Ireland but I have Ukrainian parents. When I’m not at my desk, I enjoy baking, going on adventures and watching the latest popular series.

    I'm passionate about making a difference and dedicated to helping organisations achieve their fundraising goals to create lasting positive change in the world.

    You can email me on emmaburtnyak@askdirect.ie

  • Ioanna Thomadaki
    Account Director

    I joined the Ask Direct team in 2024, bringing with me over a decade of experience in client services – managing and growing clients and working on accounts that cover: brand, strategy, creative, advertising, digital and print marketing, TV, e-commerce and digital growth, media and communications.

    I have experience in the charity, education and membership sectors, especially on integrated, multi-channel campaigns, with a focus on fundraising and legacy/in-memory acquisition and retention.

    If you're interested in how I can help you with your fundraising, drop me an email, Ioanna@AskDirect.ie

  • Georgina Ryan
    Account Director

    I started my fundraising career back in 2012 in the Irish Cancer Society. Since then, I have worked in Ask Direct, Bluefrog in London, Merchants Quay Ireland…and back to Ask Direct!

    I have always strived to try to make a positive difference to the world and am passionate about social justice. As Account Director I’m lucky I get to work with amazing causes, surrounded by some of the best fundraisers out there. 

    A regular feature in the background of my Zoom calls is my cat, Beans. However outside of work, it’s downward dogs in yoga, and I always have a book on the go. 

  • Donna O'Brien
    Account Manager

    Hey, I'm Donna! With over 20 years experience in the print industry - backed up with a design degree - and a lifelong obsession with rescuing every stray cat or kitten that crosses my path, agency life seemed like the perfect way to combine everything I love. 

    My aim every day is to combine my compassion and empathy with my practical, logical side to create campaigns that our clients love, and that get the results they need. I'm passionate about the environment and will tell anyone who will listen how to live a more sustainable life.

    While I love the idea of being outside, you're more likely to find me curled up with a cup of tea and a book - and probably a cat or two.

    You can get in touch at donna@askdirect.ie

  • Damian O' Broin
    Managing Director

    Hi there, I’m Damian,

    I started Ask Direct back in 2006. Back then it was just a laptop, a phone and desk in our spare bedroom. It's a bit bigger now.

    I set up Ask Direct to help causes I care about raise more money and recruit more supporters. So that they can do more of their great work. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to do that over the last decade and a bit.

    My job is to keep this show on the road, and enable the amazing team I work with to do their brilliant work. I spend a lot of time planning fundraising strategies and tactics. I ensure our creative work is the best. And I curate our annual Fundraising Summer School.

    If you'd like to know more, or if you're interested in how we can help you with your fundraising, drop me an email Damian@askdirect.ie

     

  • Jan Rane
    Account Director

    15 years ago I took my first steps into the world of PR and marketing, and I haven't looked back since. Having worked in some of the most exciting fundraising agencies in the UK, including Consider Creative, DTV, Arthur London and Open Fundraising, I packed my bags and headed to sunnier climates in South Africa, (my team are very jealous on Zoom calls!) But once that fundrasing bug bites it's hard to shake off, and I landed a hybrid role with Ask Direct in 2023 where I have the best of both worlds.

    I love helping to manage and grow my clients' fundraising programmes, working on accounts that cover: brand, strategy, creative, advertising, digital and print marketing, TV, e-commerce and digital growth, media and communications.

    Let's talk about I can help you grow your fundraising programme, Jan@AskDirect.ie

  • Barath Rajasekaran
    Production Executive

    Hey there! I'm Barath Rajasekaran, and I'm all about project management and making things happen. I've got an MBA degree, specialising in operations and marketing, which has equipped me with the skills to tackle challenges.
    Over the past ten years, I've had the opportunity to dive into the world of project management, particularly in the publishing field. I've handled a bunch of projects from start to finish, ensuring they're a roaring success and delivered on time. It's been an exhilarating journey, filled with learning, growth, and some incredible achievements.
    When I'm not busy managing projects, you can catch me hunched over a chessboard. I absolutely love playing chess! There's something so captivating about the strategic nature of the game. It keeps my mind sharp and always gives me a thrill. I'm always up for new adventures and challenges, and I believe in constantly pushing myself to be the best version of me!

  • Sarah Horder
    Junior Account Manager

    Following a bachelors in Anthropology I moved to Ireland in order to complete a master’s in Public History and Cultural Heritage at Trinity College Dublin. With a focus on communication and storytelling, I examined community and knowledge-creation within independent bookstores in the Pacific Northwest in my undergraduate research and legacy issues in the TCD Skull Passage Collection in my M.Phil. dissertation. 

    I am passionate about fostering meaningful connections and communication, especially within the charitable sector. I love working in with the AskDirect team and relish the opportunity to share in the process, ideas, excitement, and effort involved to help bring fundraising campaigns to life.

    Outside of work I am on a hopefully never-ending mission to find the best pastries around (first Dublin, next the world!). I also enjoy knitting, painting, gardening, and reading sci-fi novels - good and bad! 

    You can email me at sarah@askdirect.ie

     

  • Inga Byrne
    Chief Operating Officer

    Where to start...

    ...I began working life in the arts sector, putting my skills to use for organisations with small budgets and big hearts. While in the arts the fundraising bug bit, and in 2015 I moved to Ask Direct.

    Starting out as an Account Executive I undertook the IoF Diploma in Fundraising to gain the grounding and knowledge required to work in Ireland's leading individual giving agency. Like with fundraising, you've got to get your foundations right and the rest will grow. Working in an agency life is fast moving and I’ve never looked back.

    In my current role as COO I want to continue to ensure that growth. For Ask Direct. For my clients. And for the not-for-profit sector as a whole.

    If you'd like to have a conversation about how myself and the team can work with you to grow and change your corner of the world you can get me at Inga@askdirect.ie or give me a call on 087 457 7098.

  • Edwina Newcombe
    Head of Research

    Hi I’m Edwina,

    As a Strategy Director, I’m responsible for the overall planning, leadership and direction of client accounts. It’s my job to apply the strategic thinking that creates outstanding campaigns.

    Before joining Ask Direct in 2008 I worked at both Barnardos and Amnesty International. I’m passionate about creating a more just and caring society for everyone and have a Masters in Equality Studies from UCD.

    You can get in touch with me by emailing Edwina@askdirect.ie

     

  • Shweta Sahu
    Account Manager

    As the most recent recruit on the Ask Direct team I am taking a step away from in-house charity work, where I worked as Marketing Officer at Concern Worldwide, and I am putting my fundraising and client servicing skills to good use helping a variety of Ireland's most exciting not-for-profit organisations, including, Critical, Dogs Trust, Friends of the Earth and Galway Simon.

    I'm always open to a coffee and a chat, just drop me a line, Shweta@AskDirect.ie

     

  • Ashley Paget
    Production Manager

    Hi there!

    I'm an American girl who fell in love with an Irishman (and his accent!) and I've spent the last decade traveling the globe with him. I began my career in the nonprofit sector while working for a private education institution on the Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i. 

    I've always been passionate about education, animal welfare, and conservation. I love getting to connect with like-minded professionals who are also passionate cultivators of positive change. Together, we are making the world a better place. 

    When I'm not caught up in the fast pace of agency life, I can be found rambling around the Wicklow Mountains, exploring nature and practicing photography. 

    You can reach me at ashley@askdirect.ie

  • Caoileann Appleby
    Strategy Director

    Hey, Caoileann here,

    I’m a Strategy Director. I originally worked in Ask Direct as an Account Executive before moving to the U.K for five years. There I worked at On Agency and Bluefrog with clients like UN Refugee Agency, Save the Children, Plan UK, University of Leeds, and Greenpeace.

     I'm experienced with donor development, multi-channel recruitment, legacy, and alumni fundraising, and I'm passionate about bringing the best evidence in fundraising to life for your long-term strategic goals (I have an Masters in Cognitive Science from UCD to help with that).

    You may have seen me speak about the amazing power of small charities, digital fundraising, and other topics at the Institute of Fundraising Convention, our Summer School, and other conferences in the UK and Ireland. 

    As well as lifting response rates, I also enjoy powerlifting.  And I’ll choose tea over coffee every time.  

    You can email me on Caoileann@askdirect.ie

     

  • Annetta Murphy
    Head of Creative

    Hi there,

    My fundraising life began in Stephen Thomas in Toronto, Canada. There I worked with some of Canada’s largest and most innovative charities.

    I moved to Dublin in 2005 and landed a DM role in CMRF Crumlin. I returned to agency life when I joined Ask Direct. For years, I worked as an Account Manager before finding my true love, copywriting.

     I love helping you take the great stories you have and craft them into appeals that tug at the heartstrings and raise loads of money.

    You can contact me by emailing Annetta@askdirect.ie