Brendan McDonnell, CENI Director

Brendan has worked in the third sector for over 35 years.  He has been Director of CENI since 1995 and has overseen CENI’s growth as the leading support body on impact practice for the sector and its funders. Given his extensive experience, Brendan has a unique insight into the key issues and practical realities of impact practice within the context of a complex and changing policy and funding environment.

‘In a climate of austerity and increasing social need, there is an imperative on funders to show the impact of their investments.  At the same time, funded projects are required to deliver high-quality services and to evidence the difference they are making.’ 

Nicola McIldoon, Deputy Director

Nicola has a long experience in evaluation consultancy, training, and research.  During this time, she has supported third sector organisations, statutory agencies and funders working across a whole range of themes and target groups.  Her role in CENI includes planning, designing and managing evaluations, making sure that work is delivered on time, within budget and to a high-quality standard.

‘Evaluation doesn’t need to be complex or messy – although it can be that too!  A big part of our job is to make it work for people, irrespective of the purpose, size or scale of their organisation, and to help them use it to strengthen what they do’.

Brenda Kent, Evaluation Consultant & Learning Facilitator

Brenda has worked and volunteered in a variety of roles in the third sector; these include research, project development, management, fund-raising, marketing, lobbying and policy formulation. At CENI, she facilitates groups and individuals to identify and understand their impact and to generate evidence to show the difference they make.

‘Passion comes from knowing that what you do makes someone’s life better.  Pinning down a clear picture of that difference – for yourself – your team – your funders – is what ensures that strategies, plans, and reports have meaning and momentum’.

Pamela Walker, Finance & Administrative Officer

Pamela has worked in the third sector for over 20 years and has been employed as CENI’s Finance and Administrative Officer since 2005.  She and has a breadth of experience in all aspects of financial control, working with and reporting to funders, as well as maintaining systems to support administration and governance across the organisation.

‘Financial transparency and accountability are demanded of any organisation. At CENI we have to be able to demonstrate our ability to control and manage our resources effectively by maintaining robust financial and HR systems’.

Ani Kanakaki, Communications Officer

Ani has a long career in media, PR and event management both in the private and the third sector, in Northern Ireland and abroad. She has been CENI’s Communications Officer since 2017 and in this post, she is responsible for designing and implementing the organisation’s communications strategy.

‘Inspiring communications should be recognised across the sector as an integral part of the effectiveness of charities. It’s getting more important than ever, projects not only deliver high-quality services but to evidence and be able to communicate the difference they are making’