Australia’s Best in Fundraising Recognised
24 February 2015 at 9:28 am
Winners of the Fundraising Institute Australia’s 2015 National Awards for Excellence have been announced at the organisation’s annual conference in Brisbane, with “enduring leader” and prominent Not for Profit sector figure, Lesley Ray, taking the top prize.
Queenslander Lesley Ray was awarded the prestigious Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year which recognises a fundraiser who has made an outstanding contribution to fundraising in Australia.
“Lesley is one of Australia’s most outstanding fundraising professionals and is truly committed to her vocation,” the FIA said. “She is highly regarded by all who know and work with her, making her an enduring leader in the field.”
Ray has 25 years experience in the fundraising field, beginning in 1989 as a Regional Coordinator with the Endeavour Foundation. Ray is currently Executive Director – Fundraising at the Mater Foundation, and also served on the FIA Board of Directors from 2008 to 2010.
She was recognised as a Fellow of FIA in 2009 and also holds a Master of Business (Research) and a Graduate Certificate in Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies. Her research work led to the creation of Queensland’s first women’s giving circle, of which Ray is a founding member.
Make-A-Wish Australia’s Head of Individual Giving, Alexandra Struthers of Queensland, was crowned the 2015 Young Fundraiser of the Year, for fundraisers aged 35 years or younger. Struthers has worked in the Not for Profit sector for over 12 years in both Australia and the UK and is a member of the FIA Queensland Committee.
“[Alex] has been instrumental in lifting our regular giving income, allowing us to grant more wishes to seriously ill children, spreading hope, strength and joy,” Make-A-Wish Australia CEO Gerard Menses said.
“In the space of three years, Alex and her team increased Make-A-Wish’s annual regular giving income by over 400 per cent – an incredible achievement, of which we are all very proud. We’re very lucky to have someone of Alex’s calibre in our organisation.”
Volunteer of the Year is Chris McPherson of Victoria, who organised the “Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch” in his hometown of Shepparton in 2009, raising $96,000 for Prostate Cancer and drawing an audience of around 400 men.
The event has since been run annually, growing to include multiple events throughout regional Victoria and interstate and raising over $1.506 million in total.
Most Outstanding Fundraising Project went to the Mater Foundation for the RACQ Insurance International Women’s Day Fun Run 2014, while the winner for Most Effective Creative Campaign was Act for Peace for their pilot event, The Act for Peace Ration Challenge, which was “conceived and delivered entirely in-house in just six months and on a shoestring budget,” the FIA said.
There were approximately 50 submitting organisations for the awards, with judging undertaken by a pool of 36 experts from around Australia.
The FIA said the Awards were a key part of their bid to promote the ethics and standards of the fundraising profession, including more successful promotion of the sector’s collective good work and impact.
“These Awards are a fantastic opportunity to showcase original campaigns, to promote outstanding fundraising results and to increase the profile of exceptional individual fundraisers and volunteers,” the organisation said.
“All submitting organisations should be regarded as leaders in our profession. They represent the passion for the causes supported by each organisation and show their commitment to ethical, transparent and accountable fundraising.”
2015 Award Categories:
Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year
Young Fundraiser of the Year
Alexandra Struthers | Make-A-Wish Australia
Volunteer of the Year
Chris McPherson | Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Most Effective Creative Campaign
Act for Peace | The Act for Peace Ration Challenge
Most Outstanding Fundraising Project
Mater Foundation | RACQ Insurance International Women’s Day Fun Run 2014
Organisational Awards (winners for over $5 million revenue (L) and under $5 million revenue (S)
Donor Acquisition Award
Bush Heritage Australia, VIC
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Central Operations, SA
Donor Renewal Award
Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section), QLD
Bequests/Gifts in Wills Award
Bush Heritage Australia, VIC
Assistance Dogs Australia, NSW
Special Events Award
Mater Foundation, QLD
Act for Peace, NSW
Emergency Relief Appeals Award
Unicef Australia, NSW