CEO Update

2020 has been a dismal year, and I must confess I’m suffering from negative news fatigue, as are many others. So, when the chance came to partner with Blackbaud and Fundraising Institute of New Zealand on a good news initiative for fundraisers, I was happy to get on board!

Called the Spirit of Fundraising, this is a good news competition where we called for fundraisers to tell us their stories of innovation, adaptability and creativity during the year’s environmental disasters and COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to know how they reworked their fundraising campaigns and appeals or adapted their community events for online and the positives that resulted.

Many stories rolled in, and I must say I enjoyed being knee-deep in submissions last week as a competition judge. I think my fellow judges Kevin Sher, president and general manager, Blackbaud-Pacific; Stephen Mally, director, FundraisingForce, and Michelle Berriman, executive director, FINZ, would agree that there are some compelling good news stories out there about fundraisers and their resilience during this period

Thanks to Blackbaud’s generosity, the winning submission will get a $2,000 donation, and two runner ups will get a donation of $1,000 each. We’ll let you know who the winners are this week! If you want to be uplifted, you can grab a cuppa and read all of the inspiring submissions on Blackbaud’s good news hub.

Last week, we held our bi-monthly brains trust meeting via Zoom with about 25 senior fundraisers from FIA member organisations. We discussed the regulatory and policy issues FIA will focus on in the coming months as well as our upcoming review of the FIA Code.

In other news, thank you to everyone who completed the FIA/PFRA survey on data management and for providing your view on the requirements to improve data management practices in your organisation. The survey results have given us clear direction on the areas to tackle in the coming months. We are currently establishing a small reference group to assist us with this task. It will likely be one of several groups we will form, and we will seek broader sector input to help us achieve best practice in data management and use in charitable fundraising. 

We will regularly update you on this work in the coming months.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at

New look for Include a Charity

I’m excited to announce that we’ve undertaken a creative refresh of Include a Charity, our social change campaign to encourage more Australians to consider and leave gifts in Wills.

The new look, which we launched last Wednesday for Include a Charity supporters, marks a significant milestone in the campaign’s 12-year journey and provides an opportunity to reflect on what the brand has stood for and where we aspire to take it next. It’s inspired by our mission to encourage more Australians to consider their legacy and favourite causes and to help those charities long after they’re gone.

Since launching in 2011, the number of Australians leaving charitable gifts has been slowly rising. It is now 11 per cent of Australians over the age of 55 (who have a Will), according to research undertaken in 2019 by More Impact on behalf of the Include a Charity group. This is encouraging news. But, as always, there is more work to be done to break down barriers, address myths around gifts in Wills giving and build awareness of how they can help a charity continue their work long into the future. 

Include a Charity’s new logo featuring a heart and thumbprint incorporates the tagline “Make your Mark.” It’s fresh, contemporary and, with its midnight blue and emerald green colour scheme, works harmoniously with the FIA logo. We also think it aligns beautifully with our supporters’ logos. I hope you like it, and we look forward to your feedback. 

For all charities who have yet to sign up as supporters of this year’s campaign, I urge you to do so. Evidence suggests individual charities are unlikely to achieve progress on gifts in Wills compared to what a collaborative effort can do. Click here for more information.