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First published 15 April, 2019

In 2018 the FIA Foundation commissioned a new piece of research to look at the characteristics of truly exceptional fundraising organisations in Australia. The results of this study were launched at the FIA conference in Melbourne in March. For me there were several stand-out issues.


The first was the quality of the leadership. Our great organisations had exceptional leaders who had a steely belief in their ability to achieve significant growth. They were also individuals who were immensely humble about their achievements, typically citing the source of their success as the team they had appointed around them. We also found a high incidence of what is termed servant leadership.

Many of our leaders were focused on the facilitation of their team, attending to their development needs, but also working the organisation to unblock potential barriers to their fundraising success. Indeed, our outstanding leaders were typically spending more time managing their organisation to allow fundraising to be successful than…
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