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New FIA CEO to revolutionise the fundraising sector

FIA has brought in a new CEO to drive new changes that will see fundraising revolutionised for all members

To revolutionise the fundraising sector, the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) will undergo significant changes under new CEO, Katherine Raskob.

Raskob has brought experience from her previous role as Director for the Association for Data-Driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA) and will aim to position FIA as Australia’s leading national peak body for fundraising.

“Member organisations are struggling every day to retain members. What is really critical for me is to meet our members’ needs so that I can continue to increase the value they get from the membership and grow it in time,” Raskob said.

Since Raskob’s appointment, she has interacted with members to understand their needs and ensure that they are met. A new code will also be implemented to guarantee an increase members’ understanding of government regulations and legislations.

“We have a strategic plan in place. Part of the plan is definitely to increase memberships as well as take a look at our professional strategy program and think about ways to enhance it.”

Raskob will aim to create an organisation that works for current and new members and raises the professional capability of fundraisers. A membership model was added which will enable organisations to reap the benefits, not just individuals.

On top of this, FIA has plans to increase its capacity to protect fundraisers from the regulations imposed on them by governments and ensure that all charity groups understand the varying legislation to avoid confusion.

“One of the things we’re working on, and it’s a priority both short term and long term, is for this sector to operate in a more professional way to lift the standards so we can keep regulation and further legislation at bay,” Raskob said.

“To that end, we have revised our code and it’s very succinct in terms of how fundraisers should be operating ethically and professionally in the sector. It has guidance notes too so that it can help in very specific circumstances.”

When someone becomes a member, they sign on to adhere to the code. This includes a module to be signed off by executives. Over 2,000 people have completed the course but there are still ways to improve the organisation further.

“FIA has done so much good work on behalf of its members but we haven’t done a really good job of communicating that. Communication is really about talking to the sector, the government and stakeholders and spread the word about the work that our members are doing and the great work that we are doing on behalf of the sector.”

On top of making sure the organisation benefits its members, Raskob plans to bring fundraising into the public eye as a chosen career path.

“A lot of people work in fundraising, but it’s not necessarily viewed as a career choice. People come into it and they don’t leave because they love it. But there’s this misconception that people go into fundraising because it’s easy.

“However, it’s challenging. But the payback is that you are making a really good impact on Australians and lives all over the world, so I would like to see fundraising be a chosen and revered professional choice for people,” Raskob said.

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