The Irish Fundraising Awards 2012 took place last night in the Aviva Stadium, where Ronan Ryan won the top award of Professional Fundraiser of the Year for his achievements as Head of Fundraising and Communications at the Irish Red Cross. Edel O’Malley, Director of Development at The Children’s Medical and Research Foundation, won the Contribution to Fundraising Lifetime Achievement Award and Kenneth Baker, Fundraising and Communications Officer at Merchants Quay Ireland, won the award for Best Emerging Fundraiser.
The host for the evening was RTÉ’s Mary Kennedy and the key-note speech was delivered by Dragons’ Den star and CEO of Harmonia Publishing, Norah Casey.
Established in 2007, Fundraising Ireland is the association for professional fundraisers in Ireland. The organisation seeks to foster excellence in fundraising and to promote high ethical standards for the fundraising profession in Ireland. It was established by a like-minded group of professional fundraisers who were passionate about creating opportunities for people working in the fundraising industry to share knowledge and experiences and to learn from each other. Fundraising Ireland now has over 250 members and engages with over 2,000 fundraisers working across the not-for-profit sector.
Each year, the fundraising industry in Ireland raises an estimated €500m and the wider non-profit sector employs over 100,000 people - which is equivalent to the numbers employed in the Irish communications and technology sector, the pharmaceutical and the chemicals sectors combined. The sector has an annual turnover of €5.7 billion, generates €3.7bn in wages / salaries and €290m in employers PRSI per annum .
The Irish Fundraising Awards recognises expertise and skills within the industry. A recently published quarterly report from Fundraising Ireland cites a decline in funding from The State as impacting greatly on overall funding performance.
Fundraising Ireland offers direct training and advice and gives fundraisers the opportunity to become part of a large and supportive network, with the security that that brings.
Speaking at the event, Aidan Stacey, Chair of Fundraising Ireland said, “The Irish Fundraising Awards provides our members with the opportunity to celebrate all that is good within fundraising. Times are tough, the public and government are under pressure, so fundraisers must be creative, innovative and work even harder to raise the vital funds needed to make our society a better place.”
Richard Dixon, Chair of the judging panel commented, "Fundraisers play a unique role in the charity sector: they have to be creative and deliver targets in challenging times, but they also get to enjoy the very rewarding experience of linking people’s beliefs and passions to charities that deliver impactful programmes. The judging panel was in the envious position of having to make some very tough choices, which is a great indicator of the professionalism of Irish fundraisers".