Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Communications

First Advisor

Emmett Coffey


This study aims to analysis the use of public relations in two of Ireland’s nonprofit organisations and their national fundraising campaigns. The two charities chosen were The Mater Foundation and its national fundraising campaign called The Heart Appeal and the second charity is The Irish Heart Foundation and its national campaign called Happy Heart Weekend. The questions that the author will be looking to find are the importance of having PR as part of a nonprofit nationwide fundraising campaign, what PR tactics do these charities use to publicise their national fundraising campaigns in question and does communication play a strategic role in these organisations fundraising campaigns. A qualitative research approach was taken for this particular thesis and the primary method used to gather the information were semi-structured interviews as the author felt that it would be the best approach to take for the research objectives of this thesis. The semi-structured interviews were with Chief Executives, Head of Fundraising and Communications Specialists. All interviews were chosen due to their experience in fundraising, communications and PR. The research findings show that nonprofit organisations use PR to promote their campaigns and this is what helps in publicising the campaign to its publics. Pr is used in nonprofit organisations as it maintains its image. PR reinforces and builds on the messages that the organisation gives to supporters and in challenging times, such as the sector is facing now, the relationship between the two is even more important. The nonprofits analysed in this thesis use PR tactics to promote their national campaigns and further on these will be discussed. The final point found through this study is that communications plays a strategic role in nonprofits campaigns. In conclusion, PR is widely used in not just profit organisations but is strongly used in nonprofit organisations and it is the key for their campaigns to be successful.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Cork Institute of Technology For the degree of: Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Public Relations with New Media.

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