James Garland has been appointed as FIA’s new chair, with Nigel Harris stepping down after six years on the board. Andrew Sadauskas reports.

Incoming FIA chair James Garland.

Incoming FIA chair James Garland.

Fundraising Institute Australia has appointed a new chair and five new members to its board of directors, with the changes announced at and annual general meeting held during the organisation’s annual conference in Sydney.

The board appointments come at a time of significant renewal for the peak fundraising industry body, which is currently searching for a new chief executive and recently appointed March One Fundraising to assist with its rebranding efforts.

Incoming FIA chair James Garland is currently a director of Melbourne and Geelong-based consultancy firm Garland Blanchard. He replaces outgoing chair Nigel Harris, CEO of the Mater Foundation, who is stepping down after six years on the board.

Garland brings a strong track record in the nonprofit sector, including four years’ experience as the CEO of Australian Prostate Cancer Research and three-and-a-half years as the general manager of national development at Save the Children Australia.

In addition to appointing a new chair, FIA also added five new directors to its board:

  • Ben Holgate, director marketing and fundraising, Multiple Sclerosis Limited
  • Stephen Mally, director, FundraisingForce
  • Meredith Dwyer, director, Homemade Digital
  • Michelle Folder, business development manager, Hobart City Mission
  • Jim Hungerford, CEO, The Shepherd Centre.

The outgoing board members are:

  • Nigel Harris, CEO, Mater Foundation
  • Zoe Karkas, principal, Why Not This & Associates
  • Andrew Giles, CEO, Garvan Research Foundation
  • Ben Cox, fundraising and communications manager, Brisbane Legacy
  • Sophie Davidson, senior manager philanthropy and development, WWF Australia.

In a statement FIA CEO Rob Edwards thanked the outgoing board members for their dedication and service.

“FIA has always supported our members with advocacy, best practice, education and network opportunities and our board contributes much to these initiatives,” Edwards said.

“Our new chair and board members are some of Australia’s most respected professionals in the fields of fundraising, marketing and communications, management and professional development.

“The board plays a very important role ensuring sector self-regulation and thereby averting further government regulation. We look forward to their contributions and their leadership and advocacy for the sector.”

Incoming FIA chair James Garland added that he is delighted to commence in the role.

“This is a really exciting and transformational time as the organisation is entering a new phase of growth and opportunity,” he said.

“I look forward to working with the new CEO and the board on implementing FIA’s latest strategic plan including repositioning the organisation, not only to represent fundraisers but also the charities themselves.”

With over 1500 members, Fundraising Institute Australia is the largest representative body for the $12.5 billion charitable fundraising sector which is supported by some 14.9 million Australians. FIA members include charities operating domestically and internationally as well as the organisations and professionals that provide services to them. FIA advocates for the interests of the sector, administers a self-regulatory Code, educates fundraising practitioners, promotes research, and creates forums for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

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