CEO Update

Only two more sleeps until FIA Conference 2021 starts! There’s still time to register, but if you can’t make the live virtual event, you can always go online later and watch all the content you’re interested in for six months afterwards. Please keep this in mind as your ongoing professional development is essential to you and the mission you serve.

I’m excited about the state hubs we’ve organised for this Friday, the conference’s final day. I’ll be going to Doltone House in Sydney to meet with around 200 conference delegates whom I haven’t seen in person since February 2020. In our COVID-safe hubs across Australia, we’ll get to network, enjoy a light lunch, participate in a workshop and watch insightful plenary sessions with Roger Lawson and Richard Spencer from About Loyalty UK and Australian athlete and author, Turia Pitt. We’ll also celebrate the FIA Awards for Excellence as the crown of the day. I’m really excited about the day, and it’ll be great fun.

Last week, we held our inaugural conference with the US-based Association for Healthcare Philanthropy to offer something special for fundraisers working in the healthcare fundraising space. It was a resounding success. International and Australian experts spoke about everything from grateful patient programs and storytelling to stakeholder relations and clinician engagement. I’m keen to offer this one-day conference again next year, but hopefully as a face-to-face event.

And when FIA Conference is over, rest assured we don’t stop on the events front. Many of our state-based networking and educational events will then start up in earnest next month. All our fabulous state committees are hard at work planning some terrific activities for the rest of the year. The great thing is we can do them in person again, with limited numbers and COVID-safe practices in place. Check your local FIA page for the latest events news and always keep an eye out for your monthly state e-bulletin from FIA.

Speaking of events, another one is fast approaching – our annual general meeting on 9 March. It starts at noon AEDT and is via Zoom. The AGM is open to all individual and organisational members, and I warmly invite you to attend, so you discover more about what’s happening at Australia’s peak body for fundraisers.

At the meeting, we’ll discuss the financial reports and our accomplishments in 2020. We’ll also elect fellows of the institute and new board members and discuss other business that members bring forward.

In other news, I was recently interviewed by ABC Radio Canberra’s Georgia Stynes on how charities had adapted their fundraising during the pandemic. It was a very positive interview, and I highlighted how some of our members had successfully risen to the challenge. You can listen to it here,16 minutes from the start of the program.

Include a Charity, our social change campaign, has a new chair for its advisory committee: Jasmine Hooper, gifts in Wills and in-memory manager at Cancer Council NSW. Jasmine has worked at CCNSW for over seven years, with four and half years focused on extremely successful charitable gifts fundraising for her organisation. We look forward to benefiting from her insights and expertise as we undertake the 2021 campaign to encourage more Australians to consider gifts in Wills. Welcome, Jasmine!

Finally, some recommended reading for you if you’re interested in knowing more about FIA: we’ve just published our 2020 annual report, and it’s available to members on the website. Happy reading!

Katherine Raskob

Chief Executive Officer