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Most professions require some sort of formal training to begin work. However, fundraising is currently quite unique in that anyone can become a fundraiser from day one, technically knowing very little about it.


Another element to the uniqueness of the profession - and another main contrasting point to many, if not most other professions - is that many people never made a conscious decision to become fundraisers, and that they have ultimately picked up the skills and competencies needed to be successful. Instead, they’ll tell you they fell into fundraising ‘by accident’.


The independent fundraising think tank Rogare shares that these – and other – characteristics of the occupation of fundraising (one might even call them quirks) have many implications. They impact on the types of people who become fundraisers (and just as importantly, those who do not). They affect how fundraises become knowledgeable and competent at what they do. They touch on the respect and esteem in which fundraisers are held by their colleagues, donors and other stakeholders, and how they are treated by those other stakeholders. And also in how fundraisers see themselves and how they identify as members of a profession (or not).


We currently see a two-speed challenge with the fundraising profession, the first is that the demand for fundraisers continues to outstrip supply and this has been the case for a long time. The second is that there is a real need to see further professionalisation of fundraising to ensure that we can continue to achieve new levels of industry excellence and best practice and ensure we have the ability to support and retain our best and brightest fundraising talent.


Australia’s rates of giving are low in comparison to similar societies worldwide, but with a new commitment from the incoming government to double philanthropic giving by 2030, there is a real opportunity to develop a new culture of giving within the country and to develop the infrastructure to ensure this goal is realised.


A critical part of that infrastructure will be frontline fundraisers - those who build cases of support and will need to make these additional ‘asks’ to grow and secure a larger share of funding - but they are often missing from the conversation. That’s why Fundraising Australia was formed, to identify, recruit, develop, mobilise, and advocate for, as many as possible of our nation's most promising fundraisers to help build a diverse and powerful social sector that can raise the resources needed to support and strengthen our society.


In order to take advantage of these opportunities and overcome these challenges, we need inspired and engaged individuals who bring energy, creativity, and new perspectives to the sector.

  • Activate, empower and support the next generation of emerging leaders in fundraising

  • Create a pipeline for diverse talent into the sector

  • Elevate the voices, ideas, and experiences of fundraisers who are in the early stages of their careers

  • Bring innovative ideas to the sector and inspire future focused thinking

  • Track this impact in the development of fundraising and giving in Australia.

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