Meet the fundraisers nominated as movers and shakers by F&P readers, who are lighting the way at their organisations – and sector wide.

MatchesYou already know that fundraisers face an uphill battle, trying to eke the greatest possible impact out of limited resources. That makes their successes all the more worthy of celebration.

So F&P asked readers in a survey to nominate the fundraisers who are making great things happen at their organisations, breaking new ground with original ideas, achieving change and taking fundraising results to the next level.

We now celebrate some of those whose efforts and talents truly deserve recognition.


Marcus BleaseMarcus Blease – On the money

Not only is he known as one of the nicest blokes in the sector. Marcus Blease, the General Manager of Marketing and Fundraising at Cerebral Palsy Alliance, has helped his organisation more than double its annual fundraising income, introduced a now global fundraising event called Steptember, and taken regular giving income from $35,000 to $1 million a month – to name just a few of his achievements. Read more here.


Susanne Williamson – The quiet achieverPg 7 Susanne Williamson Head Shot

The Head of Fundraising at the Walter and Eliza Hall Insitute of Medical Research was not only put forward by the most people as a sector ‘mover and shaker’. One of the organisation’s donors gave a glowing accolade to the uber-professional operator, who has helped raise $50 million in total towards medical research, youth and arts charities in her 25-year career. And she’s generous herself, sharing her knowledge as a tutor for Fundraising Institute Australia. Read more here.


Gwen Green – The adventurer

Pg 8 Gwen Green Head ShotFormer colleagues describe Gwen Green as a bold leader. While she hasn’t quite followed in the footsteps of Indiana Jones, her childhood hero, her adventurousness and energy have shaped her stellar fundraising career. Currently the Engagement Director at Oxfam New Zealand, a role which took her to the opposite side of the world in 2013, she has led her team to increase net fundraising income by 50%, breaking annual income records for major giving and corporate fundraising. Read more here.


Rebecca Cuthill – Fabulous first-timerPg 8 Rebecca Cuthill head shot - small

Imagine you’re in your first fundraising role managing a tiny team of one and a half people. And in your first three years, your organisation sees an annual rise in donations of a tidy 10-15% – at the same time as you’re learning the ropes. This was what happened at Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal after fundraising newcomer, Rebecca Cuthill, was enlisted as Manager. Read more here.


Rebecca Hazell – Development dynamo

Rebecca Hazell Head ShotA young Rebecca Hazell had five dream jobs in mind – among them, journalist and musician. That changed after she found she was a natural fundraiser, starting in Year 11 when she put a sponsorship proposal to a family member so she could attend a drama camp. Now Head of Alumni, Philanthropy and External Engagement at the University of Newcastle, she has helped lay the foundation of a best-practice development approach – a seismic shift for the university. Read more here.


Andrew Sabatino – Growth generator

Andrew Sabatino -Head ShotAs Executive Manager, Business Development at Guide Dogs SA/NT, “agency land” expat Andrew Sabatino has helped lift fundraising revenue from $1.6 million to $8.6 million. In particular, annual income from the face-to-face program Sabatino launched has risen to $4 million and in the last three years donor delinquency has dropped from 26% to 11% and attrition from the sector average of 49% to 32%. Read more here.


Paige Gibbs – The innovator

Paige Gibbs - Head ShotFrom being an up-and-coming playwright (her work is still on the Australian high school curriculum) then a freelance creative director for event agencies, Paige Gibbs was headhunted by RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman in 2007. Now the charity’s Executive Manager Fundraising and Communications, she has spearheaded new and daring events such as Cupcake Day. In the process annual fundraising income – minus bequests – has gone from $3.5 million to $11.3 last year. Read more here.







Tatiana Isaacs

Fundraising and Communications Director, The Shepherd Centre

Establishing new fundraising streams, best practice and innovation that in the last four years has helped lift fundraising income from $1.9 million to $4.36 million

Kerin Welford

Fundraising Manager, Assistance Dogs Australia

Initiating changes that grew active donors from 6,000 in 2011 to 61,000 in 2014

Leanne Angel, CFRE

Executive Manager Fundraising, Careflight Rescue Queensland

Leading a growing team for 11 years through organisational mergers and internal restructures, advocating for fundraising across all teams and creating a culture of philanthropy

John Burns

Head of Fundraising, Medecins Sans Frontieres

Implementing fundraising best practice, especially in regular giving and face-to-face, helping launch Australia’s new charity-run regulator for face-to-face fundraising, of which he’s now Chair

Nigel Harris

Chief Executive Officer, Mater Hospital Foundation

Helping build annual turnover from $2 million to $70 million in his 19 years leading the organisation

Joel Smith

Director of Development, Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney

Inspiring major donors with big ideas and in five years leading his team to raise over $70 million

Alexandra Struthers

Head of Individual Giving, Make A Wish Australia

Helping move her organisation from deficit to surplus from 2010 to 2013, introducing new fundraising streams and best practice


Main image courtesy of topstep07 at


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