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"Change doesn't always mean progress, but the status quo isn't always the best result either. It is merely the most convenient."

Philanthropy is stuck. As societal issues constantly evolve, philanthropic systems have been slow to match, leaving our communities' needs sorely unmet. But what would happen if philanthropy became a progressive industry, rather than a sluggish and reactionary one?

Challenging the status quo actually means challenging it, so here are a few things I am passionate about and a few actions I am currently doing to help move the needle in my field - they are small but they compound!

Emerging Leaders Fund

Ryan founded and serves as the principal advisor of the Emerging Leaders Fund which makes small unrestricted grants to organizations that help our next generation of leaders reach their potential, support our most vulnerable communities, and help build a better civil discourse.

U.S. grantees have included: Teach for America, Youth Will, Civic Leadership Fund, Access Youth Academy,, Austin Urban Technology Movement, San Diego Diplomacy Council, Equity & Innovation Fund, San Diego Leadership Alliance, The Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice, Girls Who Code, Partnerships With Industry, Voice of San Diego, World Affairs Council, United Nations Association, and Travelling Stories.

Australian grantees have included: Fundraise for Australia, the Australian Centre for Philanthropy Research Fund, and the ANU College of Business and Economics Changing Futures Scholarship Fund.

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Australia’s rates of giving are low in comparison to similar societies worldwide, but with a new commitment from the incoming government to double philanthropic giving by 2030, there is a real opportunity to develop a new culture of giving within the country and to develop the infrastructure to ensure this goal is realised.


A critical part of that infrastructure will be frontline fundraisers - those who build cases of support and will need to make these additional ‘asks’ to grow and secure a larger share of funding - but they are often missing from the conversation. That’s why Fundraising Australia was formed, to identify, recruit, develop, mobilise, and advocate for, as many as possible of our nation's most promising fundraisers to help build a diverse and powerful social sector that can raise the resources needed to support and strengthen our society.

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Fundraiser Appreciation Day Australia

The observance occurs on the first Friday of July, which is the first Friday following the end of the financial year in Australia, and the end of a very important month for charities nationwide. June is the time when we see more donation revenue come through than any other month.

Fundraising professionals play a vital role in supporting charitable organisations and nonprofit causes, channeling resources to where they are most needed. Their commitment and expertise in mobilising funds are essential for driving social change, tackling societal challenges, and creating a better future for all.

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