bbcon Speakers

We’re thrilled to start to unveil our key speakers for bbcon 2019.  What a line up of talent as we announce our first wave of speakers who will grace our stage at bbcon to showcase their industry expertise, experiences and wonderful real life stories.  Year after year bbcon keeps getting better and this year is no different.  Watch this space as in the upcoming weeks we will reveal the full agenda and keep an eye out as we continue to add more speakers to bbcon.

Katherine Ash bbcon 2019 speaker

Katherine Ash
Fundraising Manager
Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland

Fundraising for the Future – Being Brave with Bequests

Katherine Ash from Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) QLD is currently moving towards a much braver and bolder approach to bequest communications. Rather than carefully dabble around the edges RFDS are taking an approach where bequest fundraising takes centre stage even at the risk of losing some revenue in the short term. The majority of charities are frightened to take this approach even though they know it will provide a better LTV and ROI. This is a sector wide issue and it’s also a by-product of the way charities set their budgets. Bequests budgets are cut or modestly set because the revenue won’t appear in the same budget year/cycle.


Katherine started in NFP after securing a 12 month appointment in the competitive Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation graduate intern program – working across Direct Marketing, Third-Party Fundraising and Corporate Partnerships. Recognising that direct marketing principals underpin all great fundraising, Katherine decided to focus on individual fundraising while working at QIMR Berghofer and then RFDS QLD. She moved agency-side as the Senior Account Manager at Donor Republic, working across a diverse range of charities in appeals, peer-to-peer, digital and bequests before returning to RFDS QLD as the Fundraising Manager.

Katherine is a true generalist fundraiser, committed to best practice and continual improvement. She has a passion for getting the most out of small, dedicated teams while challenging the status quo.

Jemma Balmer bbcon speaker 2019

Jemma Balmer
Fundraising Manager
Ronald McDonald House South Island

When You’re the Youngest in the Room: Being a Millennial in Fundraising

What’s it really like to be young in the not-for-profit workplace? What do you have to offer, at your age? What unique challenges do you face? How can you move through your fear of being wrong? Why is your voice so very important?
From one millennial to another, we’re going to name the unique fears that can paralyse us early in our careers, and we’re going to call out the elephant in the Room – our Imposter. Only then will this give us the courage to move forward, contribute more, and take the leaps forward we dream about.


Working in the not-for-profit and social change world is a special place, full of heart and quirks and fiercely dedicated, passionate, kind people. Jemma is an astute communicator who is as interested in the people working in this field as the people they help. Jemma’s especially interested in young people who are starting their careers in this industry, and what unique challenges they face. She regularly speaks and writes about vulnerability, leadership, Imposter Syndrome and creativity. During the day, Jemma leads the Fundraising team at Ronald McDonald House South Island in Christchurch, New Zealand, and is also an alumni and coach at Seth Godin’s altMBA.

Jeremy Bennett bbcon 2019 speaker

Jeremy Bennett
Owner and Chief Consultant
BigFoot Fundraising

Breaking Down the Silos for Better Supporter Engagement and Fundraising

In this session, Jeremy will discuss how to have better supporter engagment that ultimately leads to better fundraising outcomes. Connecting with supporters today is getting harder and traditional methods are struggling. Discussing real life examples and case studies across the sector, Jeremy will show how being truly supporter centric, having an integrated approach, and maximising digital can help connect your supporters and donors to your cause and boost your fundraising.


Jeremy Bennett is the Owner and Chief Consultant of Bigfoot Fundraising. Bigfoot Fundraising is a boutique fundraising and marketing consultancy that helps not-for-profit organisations make a bigger impact, for a better world. If you’d like your digital fundraising to make a bigger impact, Jeremy would love to hear from you to discuss how he can help.

Sue Birch bbcon speaker 2019

Sue Birch
Senior Consultant & Head of Operations (Australia)
Global Philanthropic

Donor Acquisition – The Role of Predictive Analytics 

The 2018 CASE Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Survey report states that advancement in the higher education sector has begun to build substantial traction in the region in recent years.  As advancement programs continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, with greater focus on data-informed decision-making, we have the opportunity to refine our approach to donor acquisition.  Join this session to learn how you can move beyond descriptive analytics to predictive analytics, and how this form of analytics can be used to drive donor acquisition in your institution!


A recognised leader in advancement services, Sue joined Global Philanthropic in October 2018 as Senior Consultant & Head of Operations (Australia). Having held leadership advancement positions at University of Queensland, RMIT University and University of Sydney, Sue has significant experience maximising infrastructure, services and data to best leverage engagement and philanthropic fundraising.

Co-chair of 2018 CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Services Conference; co-chair of 2018 CASE APAC Deep Dive Session on data analytics; faculty member of 2016 CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Services Conference; and chair of the editorial committee for CASE Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand benchmarking survey in 2017 and 2018, Sue’s expertise and knowledge are widely recognised.

John Bird bbcon speaker 2019

John Bird
Associate Director Business Intelligence
University of Auckland

Predictive Models: The Random Forest of Monte Carlo

We are becoming increasingly aware of big organisations using our data to improve the way they do business with us (Netflix, anyone?) – but what they do, or how they do it, remains a mystery to most. Universities are privileged to sit on large volumes of data that has potential to help Advancement teams operate more efficiently, and allow us to engage with our alumni and supporters in a more targeted and personalised way. In this session, John Bird and Julia Mills will share how they have started to explore this world and the discoveries they have made by modelling their alumni and donor data. Never fear – this is not a geek fest – both John and Julia value the importance of making the complicated accessible for all (and even promise to explain the title of this session)!


John joined the team in Auckland just over two years ago, with the simple brief to support the Development and Alumni Relations team to become data-led.  Having implemented new systems and processes to make the collection of that data easier, the team is now experimenting with using some of the insights from their data models and are seeing positive results already!

Prior to moving to New Zealand, John spent almost 20 years in the UK as a provider of Fundraising CRM solutions – on both the technical and commercial side – working with charities big and small to help them make the most of their data.

Marcus Blease bbcon speaker 2019

Marcus Blease
Donor Republic

Ten Steps to Creating a Brilliant Gift in Wills Marketing Plan

Gift in Wills is one of the big fundraising opportunities (one of the few – if not last). This session will take you across 10 key steps to creating the strongest gift in Wills plan you can create for your organisation.

We’ll cover the internal foundations that ensure a strong program, culture within organisations, proposition, channels to market, data, and importantly – what happens outside the gift in wills area yet drives gifts in wills propensity.

You’ll walk away with practical takeaways to lift the performance of your program and develop deeper and closer relationships with supporters


Marcus worked as the General Manager of Marketing and Fundraising with Cerebral Palsy Alliance for eight years. His role encompassed fundraising, brand development and client service marketing. Over that time fundraising grew from $12m to $31m. Marcus has worked in similar roles for Cancer Councils NSW and QLD for six years, and at the other end of the spectrum a small HIV/AIDS charity in the preceding role.

He founded the current incarnation of the innovative social change campaign, ‘Include a Charity’ funded by 140 Australian charities to increase the number of people who leave a gift in their will. He is currently a Board Member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and is Deputy Chair of the FIA’s Sustainability Task Force.

He’s passionate about fundraising and marketing. 16 years of transforming charities has given Marcus a wealth of experience covering strategic planning through to execution across almost every area of charitable giving. Setting up Donor Republic to share that expertise to assist other causes seemed a natural step in his career.

Liza Boffen bbcon 2019 speaker

Liza Boffen-Yordanov
CDO and Executive Director of the Development Office
Nanyang Technological University

From Anzac to Vesak and all the Days in Between: Donor Stewardship in Asia Pacific

Understanding unique donor stewardship opportunities in the Asia Pacific region leads to meaningful engagement of donors and prospects. Learn what moments you’re missing to show your donors love.

Abby Clemence bbcon speaker 2019

Abby Clemence
Infinity Sponsorship

Unlocking the Secrets of Great Corporate Partnerships

There is no denying the compelling research that highlights the global shift in the ‘social good’ landscape. Consumers want their purchasing decisions to contribute to something bigger than themselves and they want brands to make it easy for them to do so!

Corporate partnerships are fast becoming a #1 priority for many organisations. However there is still concern in the sector around how best practice partnerships should be approached and implemented.

Unlocking the secrets of great corporate partnerships starts with understanding why your charity is a ‘knight in shining armour’ for the right brand, how to position your organisation to make the most of a partnership, and understanding how to proceed in a way that ensures you are building a foundation for long-term sustainability.


Abby Clemence, Founder of Infinity Sponsorship has personally engaged more than $10 million for Australian charities, associations and events since 2011 and has been instrumental in helping generate more than $220 million through her sponsorship coaching and training programs with For-Purpose organisations all over the world.

Her passion is to help For-Purpose organisations navigate the vital shift in mindset from being a charity in need of handouts to their role as a valuable marketing partner to the right company. Her best practice strategies that teach organisations how to plan, find, connect with and keep corporate partners are being used throughout the sector to create strong relationships that foster abundance, sustainability, growth, influence and support of the communities they serve.

Adam Drinan bbcon speaker 2019

Adam Drinan
Synergy Fundraising

Fundraising for the Future – Being Brave with Bequests


Adam left the corporate marketing world in 2005 and like a lot of us, fell into the not-for-profit sector managing one of the largest school fundraising programs in Australia. He then managed fundraising appeals for Northcott and spent time as the Supporter Relations Manager at IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) for the Asia Pacific Region. He then joined Cerebral Palsy Alliance in 2009 and managed a team that increased individual fundraising to over twenty million dollars through a diverse mix of channels.

Adam is a multiple FIA award winner, a former member of the NSW FIA committee and enjoys any opportunity to interact and share ideas with other fundraisers. In 2017 he created Synergy Fundraising, a small but passionate fundraising agency that’s motivated by delivering great fundraising outcomes and delivering exceptional service.

Cameron Glover bbcon speaker 2019

Cameron Glover
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Interplast Australia & New Zealand

In Search of the Perfect Donor

Buried within the depths of our CRM, we knew the perfect donor existed. They had passion for the organisation, they had a willingness to give, and
they had the potential to give so much more. We just didn’t know who they were! Attend this session and discover how a relatively small NGO has been able to transform its donor analytics and insights by making some basic changes to data collection and reporting. You’ll hear what worked, what didn’t and what is still work in progress.


Currently working as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Interplast Australia & New Zealand, Cameron brings extensive experience to bbcon 2019 having held senior positions in a number of not-for-profit organisations, together with a background in consultancy.

His professional experience has included establishing a specialist consultancy business working exclusively with non-profit clients, managing a national social enterprise as their inaugural Chief Executive Officer, leading a dynamic volunteer resource centre and numerous positions in the areas of fundraising and volunteer management. In addition, Cameron has been an active volunteer in the areas of youth, disability and sport with most positions he’s held being related to governance or large-scale program delivery.

Regularly asked to deliver key-note addresses, training workshops or to write for relevant publications, Cameron has developed a reputation for leading innovative non-profit management practices and implementing change processes.

Described as a dynamic leader who has demonstrated experience developing and managing innovative programs, his program concepts have been utilised by many organisations and are considered best-practice in sections of the wider not-for-profit community.

Alcuin Hacker bbcon 2019 speaker

Alcuin Hacker
Founder/Principal Consultant
Engage & Experience

Partnerships: Commitment and Collaboration

Few fundraisers receive training to work effectively with consultants and agencies; and far fewer are trained or experienced in developing a strategic data framework to improve their fundraising. So how are you supposed to bridge that knowledge gap and how do you know you’re getting the best from your chosen partners? Getting this right produces excellent work. CARE Australia, Engage & Experience and MonDial have got it right. We’ll take you through the steps to achieving this, we’ll demonstrate the detail and outcomes an integrated fundraising approach can make to your Regular Giving programme.


Alcuin has been delivering best practice customer and supporter experience systems for over 15 years. He is Principal Consultant at Engage & Experience, a consultancy that works with not for profit organisations to revolutionise individual giving business process, unlocking millions of dollars of revenue that is otherwise lost to poor process and visibility.

Alcuin developed the Regular Giving Lifecycle Model: a fully integrated customer lifecycle model for charity marketing. It is made up of six key lifecycle phases – watertight and practical frameworks for optimised business process and reporting.

Alcuin is also Co-Founder of Recurring Insights; a reporting, dashboard and insights solution for regular giving organisations that offers deep, intuitive and practical insights across the supporter lifecycle with near live data from your CRM.

Kelsey Hake bbcon speaker 2019

Kelsey Hake
Virtual Campaigns Manager
Heart Foundation


Over the past three years at the Heart Foundation Kelsey helped bring in over $7 million in revenue.

Kelsey is currently the Virtual Campaigns Manager at the Heart Foundation, where she is responsible for the Heart Foundation’s mass participant fundraising events and digital fundraising initiatives.

Kelsey has helped launch three new campaigns while at the Heart Foundation, two of which were finalists for the National Awards for Excellence in Fundraising.

While Kelsey has not run a marathon (yet), she will be sharing with us how she has inspired over 20,000 people to run a virtual marathon (42.2km) through the MyMarathon campaign.

Alex Harding bbcon 2019 speaker

Alex Harding
Managing Director, Dataphoria &
Commercial Director – Brabeum

Hunting for Gold in your Prospect and Donor Data – Moving Beyond Analytics Buzz-words

Analytics can be pretty intimidating, when explained with trendy buzz-words, but the concepts behind these terms are quite simple when explained in the right way.

This session aims to make customer and prospect analytics more accessible, by simplifying a range of concepts and explaining them in real world situations.

Learn to differentiate between most common data types, including transactional, behavioural and demographic data and understand when it is appropriate to use them.

Cut through buzz terms including “RFM,” “profiling,” “personas” and “deterministic and probabilistic modelling.”

Gain insights in how to avoid classic analytical misconceptions, by removing statistical bias in data analysis.

With the right methodology, you will learn to leverage data to predict future donor and prospect behaviour.


Alex has been leveraging data-driven techniques to build successful marketing campaigns since 2001. Underpinning each solution is the desire to link human behaviour to target outcomes.

In 2009, Alex launched Dataphoria, a data-driven marketing agency. Using advanced data strategies, Dataphoria assist clients in a range of markets to grow their businesses through campaigns designed to test, measure, optimise and improve over time. Our moto is better leads for better results.

Solutions include direct mail and telemarketing campaign data planning, procurement, processing and provisioning. Within the charity space, online lead generation solutions have been built and improved over time to deliver optimal lead provisioning for conversion to regular giving.

Dataphoria was listed the AFR Fast 100 in consecutive years, based purely on organic growth.

More recently, Brabeum was launched. Brabeum offers clients the ability to understand, profile and predict customer behaviour. A core solution is the provisioning of a dynamic single-customer-view, that places the customer at the centre of all data capture points across a business. Clients enjoy the ability to better ascertain opportunities to cross-sell, upsell and retention of at-risk customers and donors, using a range of profiling and predictive modelling techniques.

Alex and his family live in Sydney and enjoy nothing more than sharing a day at the beach.

Celeste Harrison bbcon speaker 2019

Celeste Harrison
Enterprise Account Manager



Blackbaud’s Enterprise Account Manager Celeste Harrison has worked in the NFP sector more than 12 years. Celeste is a self-confessed “fundraising nerd” who specialises in digital campaign strategy. In her current role Celeste has the privilege of working with a number of Australia biggest and most successful fundraising campaigns including the Mother’s Day Classic, Tour De Cure and Jump Rope For Heart. Whether it be diving deep into data, mapping comprehensive user journeys, building bespoke websites or delivering best practice communications programs, Celeste is obsessed with doing whatever it takes to help the causes she cares about raise more.

Stu Hawkins bbcon speaker 2019

Stu Hawkins
Red Arc

There’s a Tile for That!


Stu is the founder of Red Arc, creators of innovative integration tools for NonProfits. With 10+ years providing solutions to the sector, he’s seen the real world of the technology challenges NonProfits face and is convinced innovation not hard work is the answer. Current focuses are INTEGRATION and AUTOMATION and a growing passion to TRANSFORM fundraising using technology.

Other things that get him emotional are the firm expectation that the England football team will one day have two stars on their shirts, the Portugese Restaurant scene in Love Actually, and pretty much anything his granddaughters do..

bbcon 2019 speaker - George Hawwa

George Hawwa
Growth Director
Attention Experts

Social Media: How to Create ROI for NFPs

In this session we will be exploring: – What is the social media marketing formula for ROI.

  • How does a NFP utilise existing databases to activate their ability to fund raise further through social media.
  • How to create new databases of active donors through social media strategy.
  • What are the three factors for driving engagement with your brand on social media.
  • Creating an overall social media plan and how to map out ROI over 90 day intervals, to understand level of investment from an organisational level.


George, as Growth Director of leading social media agency Attention Experts, is in charge of the overall strategy for client accounts at Attention Experts and ensures that clients are obtaining a suitable return on their marketing investment. He oversees the content, advertising, and strategy of client accounts, as well as the current research division of Attention Experts, which identifies and collects data on the latest digital marketing trends and strategies.

George helped found two multi-million dollar businesses which were built through social media and recently won the 2018 ‘Outstanding Young Entrepreneur’ award at the NSW regional business chamber awards. He is a sought after speaker and presenter for industry groups and in-house training on the subject of social media. George also currently lectures for Sydney University, in the department of Centre for Continual Education on Social Media.

Sean Holland bbcon 2019 speaker

Sean Holland
Senior Consultant

At the Source: Holistically Tracking Monetary and Non-Monetary Engagement


Sean Patrick has over 14 years of experience working with not-for-profit organisations. Prior to joining Blackbaud, he worked as a Database Administrator at Arts and Cultural non-profits in the United States, including successful implementations of multiple Blackbaud products. As DBA, he planned and executed data cleanliness projects, developed organisation policies and procedures, led all staff training, and streamlined daily operations.

During his time as a Senior Educational Consultant for Blackbaud US, Sean Patrick taught remote and in-person classes on Raiser’s Edge, Patron Edge, Altru, Blackbaud NetCommunity, Blackbaud Sphere and Crystal Reports. He led multiple go-lives across several products, and worked closely with functional consulting teams. He acted as Delivery Lead for newly-developed courseware relating to non-profit industry best practices, and led cross-training efforts on Altru and Raiser’s Edge. Sean Patrick’s Data Cleanup Series on Blackbaud Know How blog provided tools and best practices on how to best remedy data cleanliness issues. In 2014 and 2015 he developed and presented sessions at Blackbaud Conference. Sean Patrick is proud to have achieved a Master’s Certification in Raiser’s Edge, the highest-possible certification.

Since joining Blackbaud, Sean Patrick has worked on, and led, multiple CRM implementations, including design workshops, design document creation and review, and database configurations. He has used his broad training experience to completely redesign the team’s educational courseware. Sean Patrick has led innovation efforts, which has resulted in an integration of Power BI, AI chatbots, Facebook Messenger, Machine Learning, and training/onboarding services into CRM.

Claire Hughes bbcon 2019 speaker

Claire Hughes
Community Fundraising Manager
Legacy Brisbane

More People, More Income? How Limiting your Event’s Participation Numbers can Drive Success

In this session, we will explore the common misconceptions of fundraising events, how these can create failure and what strategies your organisation can take to ensure your fundraising events thrive. You’ll hear a practical and candid account of how Legacy Brisbane turned around their failing ‘Defence Charity Ball’ fundraiser. Claire will take you through tools, mechanisms and how making bold decisions such as limiting your event participant numbers can drive success in a small – medium organisation.


With over 7 years’ experience working in the NFP sector in both the UK and Australia, Claire specializes in peer to peer campaigns, signature events, community partnerships and relationship fundraising.

Through her work, Claire is committed and passionate about using her expertise to drive income generation, supporting her chosen causes in achieving their mission.

In her current role at Legacy Brisbane, Claire established and implemented a strategic community fundraising portfolio in order to increase sustainable revenue through campaigns, programs and events, as well as identifying new partnership opportunities.

This new direction has resulted in growth and diversification in Legacy’s supporter network and brought the organisation to a new phase of contemporary fundraising, attracting younger supporters and raising vital funds for the charity. In addition, Claire helped to foster a balanced culture of fundraising at Legacy, which was previously had a service delivery focus.

Tessa Irwin bbcon speaker 2019

Tessa Irwin
Xponential Philanthropy

Major Donor Pipeline Success

Your donor pipeline is a tool to make sure your major donors and prospects get the attention they need. This session will look at practical steps to use the major donor pipeline. Used well, the stages prompt you to think creatively about actions for your donors’ satisfaction and fulfilment in giving. And without effective review and reporting on progress through the pipeline, your major gifts program can stagnate. Some insights from the Australian Major Gift Benchmarking Study provide contemporary Australian evidence about what really works.


Tessa is a Consultant at Xponential Philanthropy, specialising in major gift program start up and management, capital campaigns and feasibility/campaign readiness assessments. She is the co-author of the first Australian Major Gift Benchmarking Study (2018), an annual Study which gives participants data informed insight into managing their major gift programs and which practices that contribute to a successful program.

Tessa is also an active member of FIA and is the current Chair of FIA NSW. She is the co-founder of the Philanthropy [major gifts] Special Interest Group Sydney. Tessa started her career with Opportunity International Australia and is passionate about the NFP sector and the fundraising profession.

Alex Lambermont bbcon speaker 2019

Alex Lambermont
Senior Business Analyst
Australian Conservation Foundation

Upgrading from a Cabin to a Castle!

Come with us on our journey as the Australian Conservation Foundation upgraded from RE to BBCRM. From project initiation and discovery; to planning, design, configuration and testing; and finally go-live. We will share lessons learned around key checkpoints/milestones, resource requirements, budget challenges, business process mapping, and getting back to BAU. You’ll hear how 15 months of hard work and starting the project off with a shared vision between Blackbaud and ACF ensured we built a fabulous castle and stayed friends!


Alex was born and raised in The Netherlands and started his career as a Physical Education Teacher. However, he quickly realised his strengths lay in marketing and business analysis.

In 2010 he migrated to Australia and began work as an Account Director, focussing on innovative marketing initiatives and analysing market trends to maximise customer conversion. This role led him to a Business Analyst role with The Wilderness Society as part of the project team in place to implement their new Blackbaud CRM. He then took on the Business Analyst role at CBM to implement BBCRM there, leading the mapping and redesign of business processes, and overseeing testing and training.

His third BBCRM project was with Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) where he served as the Senior Business Analyst, leading analysis of requirements and processes in support of migration from RE to BBCRM. He also managed two junior BA’s during the duration of the project.

Alex holds a PhysEd teaching degree and a dual master degrees in International Business and Global Finance.

Stephen Mally bbcon 2019 speaker

Stephen Mally

Building a Highly Effective and Efficient Team – Utilising a Supporter Services Review

Your supporter/donor services team is among the most important of the fundraising staff. The manner in which this team does their job impacts whether your non-profit gets a second or third gift, a regular gift, a major gift, or a bequest from donors.

But, supporter services/donor services teams do not always perform at their full strength. In fact, some are burdened with cumbersome business practices and procedures which slow them down and stop the important customer services tasks from being accomplished. Many supporter/donor services teams are unaware of the impact they have on your non-profit and, likewise, see themselves as “back shop” or “back of house” support staff who do not matter.

Let’s change all of this, together.

FundraisingForce has conducted supporter services reviews for a variety of non-profit organisations across Asia-Pacific and Europe and will take you through a case study of an organisation transforming their supporter services team from underperformers to a highly effective and efficient team. Stephen will offer the tools to conduct a supporter services review and offer insight into the case study findings.


FundraisingForce was established in 2014 as a boutique-consulting firm to assist organisations in Asia-Pacific and Europe to transform their fundraising to new heights.

Stephen Mally brings over 30 years of fundraising and non-profit consulting to the project. Having served as a fundraising veteran in the United States for a variety of health care related charities and hospitals, Stephen transitioned to consulting in Asia-Pacific and in Europe in 2008 where he has consulted with over 500 organisations in those regions gaining a vast amount of diverse exposure to diverse organisations, CRM solutions, fundraising programming and fundraising operations.

Stephen acquired his Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2012. Less than 200 fundraisers in Australia and New Zealand hold the CFRE credential, which is the first globally recognised credential for fundraising professionals. CFRE International certifies experienced fundraising professionals aspiring to the highest standards of ethics, competence and service to the philanthropic sector.

Stephen was named a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) in 2017.

Stephen serves on the board of Fundraising Institute Australia. Stephen is also on the examination committee of CFRE International.

Julia Mills bbcon 2019 speaker

Julia Mills
Data Analyst
Western Sydney University

Predictive Models: The Random Forest of Monte Carlo

We are becoming increasingly aware of big organisations using our data to improve the way they do business with us (Netflix, anyone?) – but what they do, or how they do it, remains a mystery to most. Universities are privileged to sit on large volumes of data that has potential to help Advancement teams operate more efficiently, and allow us to engage with our alumni and supporters in a more targeted and personalised way. In this session, John Bird and Julia Mills will share how they have started to explore this world and the discoveries they have made by modelling their alumni and donor data. Never fear – this is not a geek fest – both John and Julia value the importance of making the complicated accessible for all (and even promise to explain the title of this session)!


Julia Mills is Western Sydney University’s Data Analyst for the Advancement and Alumni teams. With over 10 years of not-for-profit experience, Julia came to Western hoping to improve the way the team felt about data. In the last few years, her time has been spent improving Western’s data integrity, attempting to develop integrations with other areas of the University, and building a reporting and analytics platform from the ground up. In this time the team has gone from reporting in data-detail spreadsheets to using interactive web-based visualisations, complex metrics, and statistical underpinnings to drive clear and directive insights.

Outside of work you can find Julia working on her dissertation ‘The Psychopath’s Face’, spending time with her two young children, or “testing” the various algorithms being used in Netflix… for hours…

bbcon 2019 speaker - Holly Palmer

Holly Palmer
Director of Development
St Cuthbert’s College


Holly is the Director of Development at St Cuthbert’s College in New Zealand and is a leading expert on understanding alumni and donors through meaningful research. With her own school’s research study findings ringing in her ears, she’s currently building a team and development operation structured entirely around the needs of St Cuthbert’s donors, volunteers, parents and alumnae.

Holly began her education fundraising career in donor relations at the University of Auckland and later led the University of Nottingham development team’s strategic planning function before starting her own development consulting agency in the UK. As a consultant, Holly has delivered several qualitative and quantitative alumni and supporter research studies for colleges and universities such as Balliol College (the University of Oxford), Birkbeck (University of London), University College Dublin and University College Cork.

Holly’s mission is to challenge conventional thinking in the development sector in response to trends in fundraising performance, technology, public trust, and audience feedback.

Ben Pirrie bbcon 2019 speaker

Ben Pirrie
General Manager

AI, Chatbots & the Intersection Between Fundraising, Support and Automation: Where Does Artificial End and Intelligence Begin? 

There’s a lot of hype about how AI is going to transform every area of life for the better in the media these days. Gartner estimate that by 2020, ~80% of all our digital interactions will be automated and managed by bots. In today’s donor-centric climate, competition for consumers’ attention is escalating and donors’ expectations of personalised engagement and servicing are ever higher. Michael and Brendan will explore the nexus where donor engagement and retention meet and examine how charities can help secure first-mover advantage by restructuring their traditional business models to seamlessly integrate humans and AI Bots into a more streamlined, holistic, donor-centric system that delivers better outcomes for our donors, our direct response fundraising campaigns and for donor support and servicing teams.


Ben is a growth practitioner and General Manager of RunGopher APAC & AUNZ, delivering best of breed advertising, data, and technology solutions for over 14 years. He’s consulted on many enterprise global brands such a Procter & Gamble, Amex, Cathey Pacific, across ad-technology, marketing-technology and data strategy, to enhance customer experience and meet RO goals. He’s also lead acquisition strategy for several tier-one NFP’s via his media agency, which he sold in 2017.

Ben is on a mission to deliver world-leading technology to help NFP’s meet their fundraising goals faster and more efficiently!

Cheryl Pultz bbcon speaker 2019

Cheryl Pultz
Director of Fundraising
Australian Conservation Foundation

Upgrading from a Cabin to a Castle!

Come with us on our journey as the Australian Conservation Foundation upgraded from RE to BBCRM. From project initiation and discovery; to planning, design, configuration and testing; and finally go-live. We will share lessons learned around key checkpoints/milestones, resource requirements, budget challenges, business process mapping, and getting back to BAU. You’ll hear how 15 months of hard work and starting the project off with a shared vision between Blackbaud and ACF ensured we built a fabulous castle and stayed friends!


Cheryl’s 30-year career has provided her with experience in all aspects of fundraising including the development & implementation of major gift & planned giving programs, annual & capital campaigns, corporate partnerships, regular giving and cash appeals.

Originally from Canada, she held a variety of fundraising positions there; then spent four years in Vietnam working as a fundraising advisor for local and international NGO’s, before setting up the charitable division for the American Chamber of Commerce in Ho Chi Minh City.

She moved to Australia 10 years ago and for the past four years has served as Director of Fundraising at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

Previously, she spent three years as Director of Fundraising & Communications at WaterAid, and before that managed the major gift and bequest programs for Bush Heritage Australia.

Cheryl is a graduate of The Fundraising School and received her CFRE designation in 1998. She is a former tutor for FIA’s Certificate in Fundraising Program.

Gus Quiroga bbcon 2019 speaker

Gus Quiroga
Watson AI Leader – ANZ
IBM – Watson Customer Engagement Australian & New Zealand

The Changing Fundraising Landscape – Starting A New Journey Through Artificial Intelligence

AI can enable us to exceed our collective potential. Through AI we can free our minds to explore creative solutions to the world’s biggest problems and those that matter to individuals. Gus will explore the art of the possible and how you can start on a new journey through AI to enhance your organisation’s impact on humanity.


Gus Quiroga is the Australia and NZ leader of the Watson Customer Engagement Division of IBM. He is responsible for setting the vision in line with local market opportunities and global trends in the areas of AI enabled Marketing, eCommerce and Supply Chain.

Gus believes our best source of learning is by listening to our clients/citizens with an inquisitive and open mind. Behaviour is not static, it is ever changing and impacted by the very activity in which we engage – only through AI can technologists, marketers and customer advocates truely hope understand the richness of the human condition.

As a general manager and people leader his goal is to inspire the team to be passionate about, and committed to, listening and finding solutions that make a difference to business, customers and humanity.

Passionate about strategy and leadership, he works with companies that to need to energize revenue growth, break into the next level , enter new markets or merge businesses to grow their market presence through AI and other market leading technologies.

His professional background over the last 25 years covers Telecommunications, Retail, Financial Services, Government and NFP sectors.

Katherine Raskob bbcon speaker 2019

Katherine Raskob
Chief Executive Officer
Fundraising Institute of Australia


Katherine is the Chief Executive Officer of Fundraising Institute Australia, the largest representative body for the $12.5 billion charitable fundraising sector. Previously she was Director of Communications & Customer Experience at the network called the Australian Alliance for Data Leadership, incorporating Australia’s largest marketing association, the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA), where she was responsible for the strategy and execution of personalised communications, member engagement and customer experience as well as brand, all internal and external communications including digital, social and PR and technology platforms and solutions for the network.

Her experience encompasses both established and start-up, commercial and not-for-profit companies including SBS, Australia’s national multilingual and multicultural broadcaster, where she spent more than seven years as Head of Group Marketing, responsible for all marketing communications for SBS programs and services across all platforms. While at SBS she managed large internal and external agency teams to achieve award-winning, highly effective campaigns that engaged audiences and stakeholders. Her achievements include the launch of the now iconic SBS brand refresh ‘Six billion stories and counting…’ and the launch of SBS’s digital platform SBS ON DEMAND as well as the establishment of connected communities for SBS content areas.

Katherine is also a member of the Board of Directors of Girl Guides Australia and was previously on the boards of Synergy & Taikoz, Australia’s leading percussion ensembles, and Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image. She grew up in Minnesota, USA where she completed her undergraduate degree as well as a Master of International Business Management degree. Katherine is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ashley Rose bbcon speaker 2019

Ashley Rose
Chief Executive Officer
MonDial Telephone Fundraising

Partnerships: Commitment and Collaboration

Few fundraisers receive training to work effectively with consultants and agencies; and far fewer are trained or experienced in developing a strategic data framework to improve their fundraising. So how are you supposed to bridge that knowledge gap and how do you know you’re getting the best from your chosen partners? Getting this right produces excellent work. CARE Australia, Engage & Experience and MonDial have got it right. We’ll take you through the steps to achieving this, we’ll demonstrate the detail and outcomes an integrated fundraising approach can make to your Regular Giving programme.


A pioneer of telephone fundraising. With fundraising experience developed over 20 years working on telephone and face to face fundraising campaigns. This time has spanned the evolution of technologies from paper to digital.

Ashley has led the team at MonDial for the past 13 years focusing on the enhancement of regular giving programmes to achieve greater all round outcomes. Ashley’s always focused on what drives quality the right metrics which support it. High retention, low complaints, great engagement with supporters coupled with call duration all tell a story which is not visible with standard telephone campaign reporting.

Human to human interaction matters and it is vital to your cause, donor engagement and the successful use of the telephone. It will take your use of the phone from a sole focus on Regular Giving to using it wherever high quality donor engagement has value. This may support your bequest, peer to peer or mid donor fundraising. Getting the most from fundraisers conversations with your donors is a challenge but doing it better has always been Ashley’s focus.

Ashley and his team at MonDial deliver award winning campaigns in Australia and New Zealand. Originally from the UK, Ashley and his family live in Sydney.

Andrew Sabatino bbcon speaker 2019

Andrew Sabatino
Co Founder/Director
Donor Republic

How to Build a Successful Major Gifts Program


Andrew has extensive fundraising and marketing experience both in Australia and the UK, specialising in Direct Mail, Tele-Fundraising, Digital, Major Gifts, Face to Face and Bequests. He led Guide Dogs SA/NT to experience significant fundraising growth, where annual income increased from $1m to $9m over seven years. In 2016 Andrew was part of a team that won a commercial tender to launch a social enterprise for Guide Dogs through building a Pet Hotel at the Adelaide Airport lifting projected revenue to $15m in the next five years. Due to his leadership in fundraising, Andrew was asked to chair the Guide Dogs Australia Fundraising Committee where annual income grew from $53m to $87m over 4 years.

Andrew orchestrated the marketing strategy behind Guide Dogs being voted as Australia’s Most Trusted Charity four years running. Balancing the broader brand marketing with targeted consumer marketing, Andrew also grew the annual client base for Guide Dogs.

In 2015 he was named in Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine’s list of ‘Movers and Shakers’. In 2016 he was named as a Pro Bono ‘Changemaker’ and was also awarded the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s (FIA) National Young Fundraiser of the Year. Currently a committee member of the SA Fundraising Institute of Australia and Board Member of radio station Fresh 92.7, Andrew has previously worked with charities such as The Cancer Council NSW, Multiple Sclerosis Society UK, RSPCA UK, Bernardo’s UK and the NSPCC UK.

David Sexton bbcon speaker 2019

David Sexton
Chief Executive Officer
Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW/ACT

Confessions of a CEO


David Sexton is the CEO of Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW/ACT, an organisation founded in 1975 which supports kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with disability through providing grants, services, programs, scholarships and experiences. Their aim is to improve a child’s quality of life, self-esteem and connectness to community while decreasing strain on families.

He has extensive senior management experience which spans across a variety of industries. With all leadership positions, he has a track record of implementing significant strategic business initiatives which have resulted in tangible and measurable results including increased revenue, reduced overheads, improved operational performance, enhanced customer experience or philanthropic outcomes.

He also have a passion for making a difference in the local, national and global community. He was on the Board of the Liz Ellis Foundation, is a strategic advisor to Fairbreak Global and co-founded the Youngcare Walk.

Charlie Vass bbcon 2019 speaker

Charlie Vass
Business Development
JustGiving UK

Tools to Launch and Grow your Fundraising Appeals – a Case Study with SameYou

Come on this memorable journey with JustGiving and Blackbaud who worked together with 2019’s most exciting new charity, SameYou, to launch their first appeal utilising the best online experiences and stewardship to engage fundraisers, donors and advocates alike. This invaluable session highlights what the NFP sector can learn from this appeal to get supporters to shout about their causes.


Throughout his 5 years at JustGiving, Charlie has helped countless organisations of all sizes to grow their online income through peer to peer fundraising. He works with organisations to deliver world class digital experiences for supporters leveraging gamification, nudge and reward psychology. He’s passionate about raising the bar in online experiences and email stewardship so that charities can raise more through their digital investment.