2016 Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year: Peter Dalton

Peter Dalton FFIA CFRE – Director, Fundraising Futures

Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year 2016

What does it mean to you to be the winner of the 2016 Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year Award?
Recognition by your peers and by your profession’s national peak body, for doing what you love is very special, and at so many levels.

My mother was a medical practitioner who worked well into her eighties. I sincerely hope I can emulate mum and fundraise into my eighties! In my early days as an uncertain fundraiser, mum said to me “family first then a career … but a career you love”. Then she added, “because if you love them intuitively they’ll love you back”. Thanks mum, you were right.

How has winning this award impacted on your fundraising career, or how do you think it will in the future?
What I’ve noticed most since receiving the Award is the reaction of people outside of FIA and the fundraising profession. I’ve noticed they pick up on the ‘of the Year’ part first. It’s apparent they’re thinking of other Australian ‘of the year’ awards and recipients. That seems to have also been the reaction to my Award even from members of my family and close friends.

It excites me now when I see this curious type of reaction to my Award because it provides me with an opportunity to engage in a bit of good old civil discourse. I start out by asking a few questions. Questions like ‘what do you think professional fundraisers do?’ ‘Do you think fundraising really is a profession?’ and ‘To what extent do you think the fundraising profession contributes to Australia’s civil society?’

Receiving the Award at this stage of my career is more than a personal acknowledgment, I see it as means of indicating to fundraisers early in their careers, that fundraising offers a career pathway at an executive level, enabling you to positively impact social change.

I’m grateful that being awarded the 2016 Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year is much more about promoting a better understanding of the profession of fundraising, than about a single fundraising career.

Would you encourage people to nominate someone for an award? Why?
As you can imagine, it’s a wonderful, humbling feeling when a respected peer nominates you for a fundraising leadership award, named in honour of Arthur Venn.