Most of us are aware that a strong, functional team operating in a supportive environment is imperative to fundraising success – and your organisation’s social impact. Easier said than done!
Let’s meet the dynamic duo who, by playing to their strengths, built a healthier, more effective fundraising team at The Wilderness Society – Ally Murray and Georgina King.
Describe yourself and your approach to life
Ally: I’m a sunny, optimistic and organised person who loves animals, spreadsheets, people in equal measures. I’m happiest when I get to use my strengths on a regular basis and I’m constantly looking for opportunities to do so.
Georgina: A pragmatic optimist, with an open and inquisitive approach to life and work. On first impression I may seem quiet, which soon dissipates as my raucous laugh emerges. Growing up in a Chinese family, love is expressed through cooking and sharing a meal together. It gives me great joy conversing with family and friends over a meal, so much so my Cantonese childhood nick name of “A Nam’ (tummy) has stuck.
How did you get into the not-for-profit sector?
Ally: I very briefly worked for a bank – it helped me to figure out the concept of value alignment and I quickly gravitated towards the sector.
Georgina: Becoming a parent was a catalyst for me to utilise my marketing experience and skills for a role that was meaningful and would make a positive difference in the community. I’m forever grateful for Martin Paul and Simone Wilson in appointing me in my first role in the For Purpose sector, at Cancer Council NSW.
Who or what inspires you?
Ally: Everyone around me inspires me in different ways. My team has really inspired me over the last year – they’ve been so resilient, they’ve adapted to all of the change with such positivity and compassion for each other and our donors. They’re really a joy to work with.
Georgina: I’m constantly being inspired by people’s inherent goodness, adaptability, creativity, imagination and different perspectives. In particular I find my parents inspiring, as they live their values, give unconditional support, and for the sacrifices they’ve made for my brothers and I to have the education and have choices in life they didn’t have.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Ally: Give your team the credit when things go right, and take personal responsibility when things go wrong (Jenny O’Donnell, 2012).
Georgina: Can’t remember who first introduced the Japanese ‘Ikigai’ concept to me but have found this is an incredibly useful holistic way of considering things of where mission, joy, vocation and profession intersect. I’m very lucky to have found my ‘sweet spot’.
We’ve faced unprecedented times of late. How have you got through the pandemic?
Ally: Lots of exercise and knitting. Spending as much time with people as possible. Hugging my dog.
Georgina: Daily walks by the local Cooks River with my partner, check in conversations with family, friends, colleagues and clients, nourishing food, dancing in the lounge room which embarrasses my children, lots of reading and ongoing professional development.
What has been the highlight of your year so far?
Ally: Finding out that I’m going to be an aunty for the second time! And formalising some of the really great flexibility and responsiveness that happened in 2020.
Georgina: Being recognised as a Fellow of FIA.
What strategy or tactic has really been working for your organisation?
Ally: Listening and meeting people where they’re at. The approach works for everything from fundraising to advocacy.
Georgina: Remembering how you show up for yourself is how you show up for others.
What are you hoping audiences will get out of your session at Fundraising Forum?
Ally: I hope people will think about how they can use a strengths approach to grow themselves, build a great culture of fundraising, and build a great culture generally!
Georgina: An understanding of what a strengths-based approach to leadership and development is, and how that can positively impact personal effectiveness, engagement, resilience and fundraising culture. Come away with: a strengths development framework; an understanding of the research behind this evidence-based approach; a case study of strengths approach in action; and suggestions on how you can start exploring this for yourself, your team and your organisation.
Who are Ally Murray and Georgina King?
Ally is the Director – Fundraising & Membership, Wilderness Society. Ally’s top strength/super power is Time Optimiser. Ally has held senior roles at Taronga Conservation Society, WWF-Australia and Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is currently studying for an MBA in Social Impact at UNSW and sits on the board of Maggie’s Rescue.
Georgina is a strengths-based coach and trainer. She founded Raucous Caucus in 2018 to support fundraisers and those who work in the For Purpose sector. Her top strength is Resilience which helped her navigate the uncertainty over the past year. Georgina was previously a senior consultant with More Strategic and held senior fundraising positions at McGrath Foundation, National Heart Foundation Australia, Taronga Conservation Society and Cancer Council NSW. Georgina is a Fellow of Fundraising Institute Australia.
Join Ally and Georgina at the Fundraising Forum to find out how they built a stronger, more effective fundraising team at The Wilderness Society.