CEO Update

The festive season is well and truly upon us, and it’s time to say thanks to all of you for your support of FIA in 2019. It was incredible to meet so many members this year and to hear about the valuable work you enable your organisations to do through your fundraising initiatives.

This year, we significantly increased the number of organisational members and made inroads with new member acquisition, renewals and reactivations. I’m pleased to welcome several new members to the FIA community this quarter, and have highlighted a few of them below:

Lifeline Australia is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. The organisation is committed to empowering Australians to be suicide-safe through connection, compassion and hope.

Cat Haven is Western Australia’s largest cat welfare shelter, taking in 8000+ unwanted, stray, neglected, injured or sick cats, and rehoming over 7000+ annually.

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses. The business is dedicated to keeping the platform safe and uses industry-leading technology and expertise to ensure that happens.

Loreto Normanhurst is a leading Sydney independent, Catholic day and boarding school for girls from years 5-12. Established in 1897, the school is part of a worldwide network of Loreto schools under the care of the Loreto Sisters (IBVM) and is one of seven Loreto schools in Australia. 

Amaze is the peak body for autistic people and their supporters in Victoria. It builds autism understanding in the community, influences policy change for autistic people and their families/supporters, and provides information and resources to individuals, families, professionals, government and the wider community.

We warmly welcome all new members to FIA and encourage everyone to get involved in their state events to take advantage of the sector’s best networking and professional development. Please check the Your Local FIA section of our website in early 2020 to see what’s coming up in your area. And whatever you do, don’t forget the FIA Conference 26-28 February in Brisbane!

2019 regulatory highlights

On the regulatory front, the highlight of the year was the Sydney and Canberra fundraising roundtables in September at which more than 30 FIA members so eloquently detailed the issues facing our sector to new Charities Minister Senator Zed Seselja, and that momentum for fundraising regulatory harmonisation and reform is gathering pace. I have also been keenly aware of this sense of change in the air at individual meetings in Canberra and across the states and territories.

Early next year, we expect two key developments to take place:

First, the amendments to the NSW Charitable Fundraising Regulations will mark the final and most important phase of the reform agenda as NSW joins South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT in stripping away much of the most onerous fundraising red tape.

Second, the Commonwealth Government will announce its response to the Senate Committee Report on Fundraising in the 21st Century and the ACNC review report. This will hopefully confirm Canberra’s commitment to taking a leading role in fundraising reform issues.

These are the big-ticket items, but there are also smaller but significant developments underway. Victoria is changing its legislation to exempt ACNC-registered entities from needing a separate annual licence to fundraise, and we have reason to hope Queensland and Western Australia too are moving in the right direction.

Digital fundraising and privacy regulation have occupied our attention during the latter half of the year and will be a major focus in 2020. We are closely monitoring developments with the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry report, especially proposed changes to privacy laws that could hurt fundraising. FIA has a place at the table where matters affecting our members’ interests are being considered, and I’m increasingly finding our views and input are welcomed.

In other news, CFRE International recently announced its most recent class of Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFREs) and there were six FIA members among the 204 fundraisers awarded this distinction worldwide. Congratulations go to:

  • Mahza Ahadiwand MFIA CFRE
  • Nichole Alfreds EMFIA CFRE
  • Victoria Andrews MFIA CFRE
  • Paul Benjamin MFIA CFRE
  • Frances Cinelli EMFIA CFRE
  • Julie Mullen MFIA CFRE.

These six fundraisers join over 6,900 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. They have demonstrated fundraising achievement at work, passed a rigorous written exam testing the knowledge, skills and abilities required for a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and The Donor Bill of Rights. Well done all!

In closing, I want to wish you and those close to you a happy holiday season, and all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2020.

Katherine Raskob
Chief Executive Officer