CEO Update

End of June is housekeeping time for many organisations. In FIA’s case, I’d like to remind everyone that it’s membership renewal time. 

FIA continues to strengthen its position as the peak body promoting ethical best practice in professional fundraising across Australia, growing the community and developing a professional identity for fundraisers. But we need your continued support and active involvement to carry on our work and provide you with programs and services.

In the last year, we have provided, among other things:

  • tireless advocacy to federal and state governments on behalf of members 
  • hugely successful conference programming for the 2020 FIA Conference in Brisbane
  • events and forums at the state level to provide networking and professional development opportunities to members
  • free FIA Essential Member Updates (via Zoom for 2020)
  • a revamped mentoring program
  • continued quality and e-learning improvements to our professional development courses.
  • regular member updates, research, white papers, tools and templates.

We know it’s tough right now with the pandemic impacting many budgets and that some members are facing financial hardship. If you’re concerned about your ability to pay membership renewal fees, please contact Helen Merrick or me directly, and we will work to help you continue to access membership. 

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our membership offering, I would be happy to take your thoughts back to the team. In the meantime, please click here to renew.

Start thinking about your entries for the FIA Awards

In other news, the 2021 FIA National Awards for Excellence in Fundraising will launch later this week. Now in their 21st year, the awards celebrate and reward the most effective and creative work of fundraisers, charities, suppliers and volunteers from around Australia.

Importantly, the awards promote the role of fundraising in improving society and celebrate things like best practice, innovation, impact and individual accomplishment. Whether you work for a big organisation or small one, there’s a category for you and any FIA member can enter. Another bit of good news: entry will be free again thanks to our generous sponsors Precision Fundraising and MonDial Telephone Fundraising. And Blackbaud has just signed on to support our Young Fundraiser of the Year Award again. A warm thank you to our sponsors.

Vale Dr Christopher Baker

On a more sobering note, the fundraising community lost another much-loved colleague and friend this month: Dr Christopher Baker. Christopher was an accomplished research fellow at the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne. He produced several illuminating studies on charitable giving and bequest giving. 

He was considered by many to be a loyal friend and someone deeply committed to creating a more just and sustainable world through philanthropy. 

In addition, Christopher was a long-time member of FIA, an active participant of the Include a Charity campaign (serving on the advisory committee for the last few years) and a regular speaker and presenter at our conference and other events. 

Our thoughts are with his family, colleagues and friends, and we know he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

A heartfelt thanks

Finally, Peter Sekuless, who has been our lobbyist in Canberra since 2011, finishes his work with us this week and takes up a well-earned retirement. Peter paved the way for us in the nation’s capital and helped us to forge excellent relationships with politicians and senior government officials. He also wrote many submissions and articles for us during his time with FIA. His grasp of the issues facing our sector, as well as related industries such as marketing, has been incredible. 

A graduate of both the Columbia School of Journalism in New York and Australian National University, Peter worked at The Canberra Times and later founded the government relations firm Canberra Liaison in 1978. He was also a consultant for the Australian film industry. He has also written several well-received books, including The Lobbyists: Using Them in Canberra and Lobbying Canberra in the Nineties: The Government Relations Game. We’re so grateful to Peter for his service to FIA and the fundraising community.

Katherine Raskob
Chief Executive