Today is the start of National Volunteer Week (18-24 May). It’s the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of Australia’s 3.3 million volunteers. At this uncertain time, it’s even more essential than ever to recognise and thank our volunteers.
This year’s campaign features the theme “Changing Communities, Changing Lives” which I think is particularly profound. There’s no doubt that the volunteers who give their time, energy and creativity to our member charities and non-profit organisations make a difference when it comes to program delivery to beneficiaries.
At FIA, we’re blessed to count more than 200 volunteers who are dedicated to best-practice fundraising and our members and the broader sector. Their commitment to FIA’s objectives and our community of more than 1,250 members is at the heart of our success. Volunteers have helped the Institute grow into a vibrant and robust community, helping us to achieve our aims, and we could not do what we do without their help.
I want to recognise the members of the FIA Board of Directors and the FIA Code Authority who generously give their time and expertise to help the institute run smoothly and to promote ethical fundraising. These are busy people who believe in our mission, and I’m grateful for their support.
We also have several constitutional and directors’ committees who help the board in ensuring a sustainable future for FIA. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who sits on the membership, professional development and identity, Fellows nominations, FIA Foundation and finance, risk and audit committees.
I also want to acknowledge the seven state and territory committees who organise regular events and networking opportunities for our members. We couldn’t create and develop the variety of activities we hold annually around Australia without their help. Lately, I’ve been impressed at how some committees have smartly pivoted their in-person events to free online forums so that members don’t miss out during the COVID-19 pandemic!
I thank the Include a Charity Advisory Committee volunteers who guide the annual social change campaign to encourage more Australians to consider gifts in wills. Your advice is invaluable and is helping to make a difference.
I also thank all the presenters, tutors and mentors who volunteer in our professional development program. You all do so much towards educating fundraisers to be the best they can be. And a shout-out to our 30+ Awards judges who give up their free time to review submissions and debate their merits.
And last but not least, a heartful thanks to the volunteers who help us organise our annual conference program and the enthusiastic people who front our conference every year to ensure fundraisers are warmly welcomed and have a great experience.
While this message of appreciation comes at the start of National Volunteer Week, please note I think it should apply every day of the year. Thank you, everyone, for your contribution to FIA and fundraising.
Good news: F2F is resuming
Unrelated but also positive is the 1 June start of the first phase of a face-to-face restart program by the PFRA. To begin, PFRA members will fundraise exclusively on private sites, a considered and well-planned approach to resuming this vital fundraising activity in the current environment. PFRA will conduct regular reviews of face-to-face fundraising and will roll out further stages of the restart program as the pandemic recedes. I know this will bring some relief and a bit of optimism to fundraisers who depend on this critical fundraising channel, and I’m delighted to see it happen.