It’s a challenging time to be a fundraiser but Jim Green, Hear and Say’s Senior Fundraising Officer, is known for his innovative and positive outlook. Jim has provided insight into what’s shaped his career and what he is excited for in the future of fundraising.
What lead you to become a fundraiser?
Right now I’m asking myself the same thing! Seriously though, it’s an opportunity to achieve genuine impact by building a community of support around a cause. I believe fundraising is merely an outcome of good community engagement. I worked in special education for many years and saw that when we invited the community to become actively involved, their perception of disability changed from sadness to positivity – to seeing achievement and wanting to be a part of it. That’s an approach I’ve tried to continue at Hear and Say, sharing the many positive stories of achievement of our children which naturally inspire the community to support them on their journey.
What’s one thing about fundraising that would surprise people?
When done well it’s not actually all about money. There are so many outcomes of what we do – advocacy, awareness and family engagement to name a few. Each of these, along with the fundraising income, leads to impact. At Hear and Say that impact is children with a hearing loss learning to listen and speak; they’re given an opportunity to live life to their full potential.
It’s always tough fundraising as a charity, and with the many crises Australians have faced recently, it’s even tougher right now. How is Hear and Say working to mitigate this?
We are in challenging times, as are many others. We have had to pivot on our fundraising activity, with the cancellation of three major events. We need to mitigate the considerable loss of income from these events and ensure we can continue to support the families who need us. To do this we are thinking outside the box and calling on our incredible community who really are the backbone of all we do. For now I can’t give too much away but watch this space…
What is the most innovative fundraising campaign you’ve been involved with?
I think the Loudest Town element of Loud Shirt Day 2019 was a big success and thanks to some amazing Hear and Say families, it became something far greater than we ever imagined. The funds raised for Loud Shirt Day were amazing, but what was even better was the awareness it created for young people with hearing loss, and the sense of community celebration it generated.
What aspects of fundraising are you excited to see evolve in the future?
I think recent events have shown how precarious the environment can be for charities. Supporters making regular gifts to charities helps to provide a regular and predictable income stream which acts as an insurance against more volatile event income. It would be great to inspire more of our supporters to help in this way. I think we also have a way to go in Gifts in Wills fundraising in Australia. It is a wonderful thing to leave a legacy which continues achieving impact even after we’re gone, yet only a minority do. If everyone left just five percent of their will to a charity, the world could be a far better place.