Mark Stewart’s marketing analysis background has landed him roles in The Netherlands and UK ‘ and most recently in Australia, as head of development at the Burnet Institute.
Mark Stewart’s marketing analysis background has landed him roles in The Netherlands and UK – and most recently in Australia, as head of development at the Burnet Institute.
Prior to fundraising, trace your career path?
I started out in the banking sector and quickly moved to AXA, moving through various positions in the superannuation, treasury and investment areas. This led on to a similar performance-reporting role in BMW and then onto Ansett Airlines.
The common thread through all these roles was the ability to understand financial data and explain the financial impact in terms of operational variables (unit costs, materials, labour, turnaround time etc).
How did you find yourself in fundraising?
I applied for a role as a marketing analyst with Save the Children. The marketing side of the role really interested me because it incorporated a more diversified perspective of the business and it was assessing the ‘softer’ aspects of fundraising – what people reacted to.
After being at Save the Children for four years, you moved to the international office in London – what was your role there?
It was more about the development of the office as a whole, so not just fundraising but also the governance and program issues. I was responsible for some existing countries as well as looking into new setups. I was also involved in starting some International NGO benchmarking projects.
What was your next move?
I then moved to the international office of Greenpeace (GPI) in The Netherlands where I was responsible for reviewing fundraising reporting worldwide and the consolidated information we gathered between finance and fundraising.
It developed into a more strategic role looking at the growth and direction of fundraising at Greenpeace, benchmarking, fundraising systems and general national office support. I then took over as interim Unit Head of Fundraising.
What will your new role as head of development at the Burnet Institute involve?
Until last year, Burnet relied heavily on event-based activities to grow its supporters. We are now shifting to a relationship-based fundraising model which will target a wider group of supporters. The aim is to build on those initial relationships and grow a network of supporters who truly engage in the research and development work that Burnet does.
How do you approach donor relationships?
I never underestimate a supporter, regardless of age, income or their level of engagement. Many of our supporters are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our cause and should be treated as such.