Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris


Leadership in fundraising practice is more than just a conversation for Nigel – it has been a career focus that has encompassed his work, education and sector interests.

One of Australia’s earliest career fundraising professionals, Nigel has seen first hand the evolution of fundraising as a profession in Australia over the past three decades and he continues to be an influencer and innovator in the sector.

As Chief Executive Officer of Brisbane-based Mater Foundation, Nigel leads one of Australia’s largest health care foundations. In Nigel’s 20 years at Mater, Mater Foundation has grown annual revenue from $2 million to $70 million, positioning philanthropy as an important component of the broader Mater Institutional strategy.

Mater Foundation has a comprehensive, board-based fundraising program supported by professional, multi-disciplined teams and is part of a larger organisational group working in health care, medical research and health education.

While his responsibilities are primarily organisational management and leadership, Nigel continues to identify himself as a fundraising professional, a vocation that now spans over 30 years. Holding an MBA majoring in fundraising as well as qualifications in Public Relations and Marketing, Nigel is also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). In 2012 he was recognised as the Arthur Venn Fundraising Professional of the Year and has also been honoured through other non-profit management awards.

Nigel is a Fellow of FIA and current Chair of the FIA Board of Directors, a past CFRE International Board member and is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy based at Plymouth University (UK). He is actively involved in non-profit and community organisations, serving as Director of Act for Kids and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Albany Creek for 20 years.

A respected educator and mentor in fundraising practice, management and leadership both locally and internationally, Nigel commits significant time in providing counsel and sharing experiences with non-profit organisations and fundraising practitioners.