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Dr Ursula Stephens to chair FIA Code Authority

16 October 2017

FIA establishes mechanism to monitor compliance with new Code.

Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) has established an independent Authority to oversee its new Code. The Code, launched 1 July, will be enforced from 1 January 2018.

The seven-member Code Authority will be responsible for compliance monitoring, complaints administration and making recommendations for improvements to self-regulation, reporting quarterly to the FIA Board of Directors. The Authority comprises charity, donor and supplier representatives.

The independent chair is The Hon Dr Ursula Stephens, a former ALP senator who has held several senior positions within the Parliament. Dr Stephens led the government’s work in the creation of the ACNC and the development of a National Compact with the NFP sector. In addition to her work as a parliamentarian and senior public servant, Dr Stephens has served on numerous government and private sector bodies. She has also worked in education and training, small business and social entrepreneurship.

FIA CEO Rob Edwards said it was important to have both the donor and sector perspective on the Code Authority and that Dr Stephens was across both areas.

“We are pleased to have Dr Stephens on board as our first chair of the FIA Code Authority. We made this appointment in recognition of the need for a strong chair as we move to establish higher standards for fundraisers around best practice and ethical conduct,” he said.

“I’m delighted to have been asked by Australia’s peak body for professional fundraising to work closely with the sector on best practice,” said Dr Stephens. “Fundraising is being increasingly relied upon by charities and not-for-profit organisations to raise much needed funds to help the communities they serve. We want to ensure good ethical practices and high standards are promoted and that FIA members and the broader fundraising community meet these standards. Having a Code and an engaged, robust Code Authority will ensure sector standards are adhered to which in turn will lead to increased donor confidence in charities.”

Dr Stephens will be joined by the following respected individuals:

  • Sector supplier representative: Bruce Cotton MFIA (Pareto Phone)
  • FIA Board member: Ben Cox FFIA (Legacy Queensland)
  • Consumer/donor advocate: Bill Dee (Compliance and Complaints Advisory Services)
  • FIA Board member: Jennifer Doubell FFIA CFRE (Peter MacCallum  Cancer Foundation)
  • Deputy Chair: Dr Sue-Anne Wallace AM FIACD (Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative)
  • Sector supplier representative: Roewen Wishart FFIA CFRE (Xponential)                                              …2/

About the FIA Code

The FIA Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory code of conduct for fundraising in Australia. It aims to raise standards of conduct across the sector by going beyond the requirements of government regulation. Its content is informed by the International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising.

About Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)

With over 1500 members, FIA is the largest representative body for the $12.5 billion fundraising sector which is supported by some 14.9 million Australians. FIA members include charities and other fundraising not-for-profits operating domestically and internationally as well as the organisations and professionals that provide services to them. FIA advocates for the interests of the sector, administers a self-regulatory Code, educates fundraising practitioners, promotes research, and creates forums for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Bios of Code Authority members are available upon request.


For more information:

Kim Carter

0407 771 698

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