Philanthropic Consultancy

Associate Consultants

Rebecca Iliffe MA Int Rel, BAppScAg

Rebecca has two decades of experience working with companies, government and the philanthropic sector to deepen engagement with the communities where they have connections or seek to support.  She works collaboratively to help establish pathways and programs for investment, social enterprise, strategic giving and employment development to achieve shared goals. From Arnhem Land to Port Augusta, Broome to Beechworth she has extensive experience working with rural and regional communities.

Rebecca and her family also run Bethesda Trust, which combines grant-making and digital storytelling to advocate, educate and inspire.

Key consulting areas include:

Giving strategies – new philanthropists
Assistance in development of giving strategies
Giving strategies – existing philanthropists

  • Identify and research potential and appropriate charitable organisations and programs to support as part of your giving strategies
  • Work with grant recipients on how to best engage with philanthropy to grow sustainable organisations
  • Philanthropic sector training & development
  • Philanthropic sector research






Kimberly Downes CFRE, EMFIA, CAP

Kimberly has 25 years’ experience in Fundraising and Marketing, Kimberly’s range of knowledge of fundraising and communication adds considerable leadership to any campaign. Her first campaign was with the Boy Scouts in the USA where she raised $2 million for an outdoor education centre.

Former Vice-President of Client Services and Quality Control of DVA Navion Australasia, Kimberly was based in the Melbourne office but served clients in VIC, NSW and SA. She directed a consulting staff of 15 and was responsible for campaign targets, client relations and sales and marketing for the firm. After 17 years of consulting some of her clients include: The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, The Clifford Craig Medical Research Institute, CatholicCare, Loreto College Ballarat, Central Coast Grammar School ($2million), Cancer Council VIC, Heart Foundation VIC and NSW, De La Salle College, The Howard Florey Institute, Xavier College ($13 million), Royal Melbourne Hospital, Genazzano FCJ College ($2 million), Damascus College, Dental Health Services of Victoria, Melbourne Business School, Melbourne Zoos ($100 million), Deakin University, UnitingCare Kippax, The University of Melbourne, The Salvation Army, The War Memorial, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Potomac Hospital in Maryland.

Key consulting areas include:

  • Major Gifts Strategy
  • Fundraising Program Strategy
  • Stewardship
  • Total Development
  • Bequests
  • Board Development and Training
  • Staff Recruitment/mentorship and training
  • Culture of Philanthropy
  • The Art of Asking

Jessica Bowman MSc(EnvSc), BFin(Eco) 

Jessica is an experienced evaluator and designer of high-impact social programs, specialising in evaluating existing giving strategies and developing new giving strategies that create an impact. Over her career, she has advised on the economic, social, environmental and financial impacts of over $1 billion of projects spanning across transport, energy and water sectors in developing countries. She has worked with public and private clients designing public-private partnerships to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering essential public services. She has a deep understanding of environmental economics and was heavily involved in developing the United Nations Statistics Division’s ecosystem accounting standards. 

Jessica is the co-founder of The Good Cause Co., a social enterprise that evaluates and rates charities based on their likelihood to deliver social impact. She is also a director of Social Impact Management Network Australia (SIMNA). Jessica has professional qualifications in financial analysis, valuation of environmental services, project management, network analysis and programming. 

Key consulting areas:

  • Developing impactful giving strategies
  • Evaluating existing giving strategies 

Amanda Sartor
Philanthropic Adviser
EWM Group 

Amanda is a Certified financial adviser, whose passion for philanthropy and the non-profit sector led her to take up a philanthropic and grant making advice role to Ultra High Net Worth families at EWM Group, a multi-family office in Brisbane.

Amanda’s unique position to appreciate the personal and financial needs of her clients whilst have a deep understanding of philanthropic organisations and the non-profit sector has proved very successful in translating personal and family values into effective giving. Amanda’s qualifications and involvement in the non-profit sector include a Fundraising Certificate through the Fundraising Institute of Australia, a Masters of Business - Philanthropy and Non Profit Studies (in progress), 10x10 Philanthropy committee member, Women & Change giving circle, ACCF and the Giving Australia 2016 Research project.

Key consulting area:

  • PA Professional Adviser Program

Australian Communities Foundation (ACF) Philanthropy Consulting Service

Over 20 years, ACF has built considerable knowledge and practical experience around grantmaking, effective philanthropy and the design and development of philanthropic structures and operations. The Philanthropy Consulting Service can assist individuals and families, companies, foundations, government and NFP organisations in the following ways:

  • undertake feasibility studies for prospective philanthropic initiatives, including the establishment and development of new trusts and foundations;
  • develop effective grantmaking programs and provide high impact grantmaking research, advice and support;
  • review and evaluate philanthropic programs and operations, including assistance with Board reviews, skills audits and succession planning

Principal Consultants

Marion Webster, OAM

Marion Webster was the founding Executive Director of Philanthropy Australia and has extensive experience working locally and internationally across the philanthropic, corporate and community sectors at both management and governance levels. Marion was co-founder of the Melbourne Community Foundation (now Australian Communities Foundation) and was Chair of the MCF/ACF Board for several years.

In 2004, Marion was awarded an OAM for her services to philanthropy and the community. Marion is committed to making philanthropy accessible and effective for families, individuals and others wishing to establish or review their giving strategies. 

Trudy Wyse

Trudy Wyse has worked in the philanthropic sector for two decades, firstly as the Executive Officer of the Stegley Foundation and subsequently as the Philanthropy Manager at Australian Communities Foundation. In 2014, she was a recipient of the prestigious Australian Community Philanthropy Award for Excellence.

Trudy is a skilled and experienced social policy analyst and consultant, with particular expertise in policy and program development, implementation and review.

With experience spanning all three levels of government, as well as within the philanthropic and broader not-for-profit sectors, Trudy is an industry leader regularly sought out for advice on strategic and community based philanthropy.

Strategic Grants

The team of fundraising and writing professionals that make up the Strategic Grants family have a genuine interest and passion in seeing the missions of nonprofits fulfilled, and the sector strengthened.

We immerse ourselves in the causes of the organisations we work with to understand them inside and out and be able to provide comprehensive grants support. We’re proud that many of our clients consider us an extension of their organisations.

We also maintain our high level of involvement and connection with the nonprofit sector as a whole. You’ll find us at fundraising conferences and professional development events. We are organisational members and partners of FIA, FINZ, Philanthropy Australia and Philanthropy New Zealand.

Key consulting areas include:

  • Grants training and education workshops
  • Board education and strategy
  • Grants program management
  • Grant writing and application critiquing
  • Grants advisory services
  • Customised Grants Calendar and grants research

Australian Philanthropic Services

Australian Philanthropic Services (APS) is a not-for-profit organisation that supports effective philanthropy, primarily by setting up and administering private ancillary funds, offering a public ancillary fund (the APS Foundation) and providing grantmaking support and advice.

The APS team of 12 people is highly regarded in the sector and backed by a vastly experienced board, all of whom are philanthropists.

APS works with over 200 clients in all states and territories and establishes >30% of new PAFs each year. It is now the largest provider of PAF services in Australia and a leading specialist in all aspects of philanthropy. APS is not aligned to any financial institution or advisory group, nor any particular charities.

APS’s principal services, being offered in partnership with Philanthropy Australia, are:

  • Scoping of philanthropic needs, including setting up and managing PAFs and PuAFs.
  • PAF and PuAF compliance audits to make sure your foundation is being managed in line with current legislation.
  • Development of philanthropic strategy and recommendations using our signature ‘Giving Compass’ process.
  • Research into areas of need and due diligence on charities.
  • Practical support around grantmaking, including help finding the right organisations to support and assessing the impact of your grants.
  • Management of grantmaking programs and funding rounds.

Key APS consultants

Antonia Ruffell is the CEO of APS, with a prior career spanning the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. She is passionate about encouraging philanthropy and enabling people to make the most of their charitable giving.

Before joining APS, she held senior roles with Perpetual Trustees, the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation, Mission Australia, ING Australia and The Prince’s Trust in the UK. She is a trustee of the Australian Philanthropic Services Foundation and fulfils the role of Responsible Person for several private ancillary funds. She has studied with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the Sydney Leadership Program.

Key consulting areas:

  • Giving Compass
  • Next Gen
  • Philanthropic Research
  • Grantmaking Essentials
  • Funding Round Management
  • PAF or PuAF Compliance Audits.

David Ward is a leading authority on private ancillary funds. Before moving into the philanthropy sector, he held senior positions in banking at ANZ, including Chief Economist (New Zealand) and General Manager, Investor Relations. He spent four years as Managing Director of ANZ Trustees, which administers over 200 charitable trusts. David sat on the Council of Philanthropy Australia for a decade, and wrote three trustee handbooks for the same, including the Private Ancillary Fund Handbook.  

David lectures at Swinburne University as part of their Asia Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy and specialises in the provision of advice relating to philanthropic structures, governance, accounting, compliance and risk management.

Key consulting areas:

PAF or PuAF compliance audits.

Fiona Higgins has held management and executive roles in the philanthropy, non-profit and corporate communications sectors since 1998. 

Fiona's previous experience includes Executive Director of The Caledonia Foundation (overseeing the Oasis youth homelessness initiative), Philanthropy Services Manager at Cambooya Services (the Fairfax Family Office), Programme Manager at The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Communications Officer at Australian Red Cross (NSW) and Founding Director of the OzIndo Project (a microfinance initiative in southeast Asia).

She holds tertiary qualifications in humanities, social sciences and philanthropy from the University of Sydney and Swinburne University. Fiona currently sits on the board of The Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Foundation of NSW.

Key consulting areas:

  • Giving Compass
  • Next Gen
  • Philanthropic Research

Alex Lagelée Kean was born and raised in Germany, and her work and study has taken her around the globe. After graduating from New York University with a Master of Arts in Political Science, she helped start a global grassroots landmine clearance campaign (Adopt-A-Minefield), in association with the United Nations in New York. This soon led to Alex moving to London, where she worked with Paul McCartney and Heather Mills to establish the UK arm of the campaign.

After moving to Sydney, Alex held the role of Head of Fundraising for the Inspire Foundation, the organisation behind Australia’s online youth mental health service In her current role as Grantmaking Manager at APS, Alex is passionate about helping individuals and foundations to identify their philanthropic goals and then develop a strategy to help them achieve those goals.

Key consulting areas:

  • Giving Compass
  • Next Gen
  • Philanthropic Research
  • Grantmaking Essentials
  • Funding Round Management

Candice Van Doosselaere was born in Mexico to Belgian parents, raised in the US, studied in Brussels and Italy, lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and now calls Australia home. After completing two Masters Degrees specialising in Law and International Human Rights, Candice worked as part of the Delegation of the EU to China and Mongolia.

Moving to Australia in 2011, Candice initially worked in Melbourne at the Cambridge International College and the Human Rights Law Centre. After arriving in Sydney in 2014, Candice found a role with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), where she project-managed two key areas: the Ethical Development Working Group, and the Social Impact Investment Strategic Program. Candice enjoys getting to know people from different backgrounds, and understanding what motivates them. She has a wealth of experience across law, human rights, environment, governance and giving.

Key consulting areas:

  • Giving Compass
  • Next Gen
  • Philanthropic Research
  • Grantmaking Essentials
  • Funding Round Management
  • PAF or PuAF Compliance Audits.



Since 2004, AskRIGHT has helped more than 500 clients raise more than $500 million for their important work in Australia & New Zealand by providing:

  • Consulting advice to improve fundraising and deliver capital campaigns (fundraising reviews, feasibility studies, capital campaign planning and implementation…);
  • Prospect research to find more donors and engage them (database wealth screening, donor profiles, Guide to Australia’s Private Ancillary Funds, donor record analysis…);
  • Training to develop fundraisers’, CEO and Board members’ skills to meet today’s fundraising challenges (webinars, coaching, seminars, workshops…);
  • Recruitment to find high-performing staff for fundraising and development teams.

AskRIGHT fundraising consultants and researchers have more than 100 years of combined experience.

Key ASkRIGHT consultants

Dr Daniel McDiarmid
Principal Consultant (Brisbane) CFRE PhD MBA

Dr Daniel McDiarmid has more than 30 years’ experience in fundraising. In 2004, he established AsKRIGHT to advise leadership on fundraising and build capacity for non-profit to reach their organisational goals.

Daniel has extensive experience in fundraising planning to achieve optimal income for each client. He often helps clients identify potential donors they had not thought of and revenue streams that are possible for their organisation but nor for others.

Key consulting areas:

  • Developing fundraising capacity
  • Reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of departments
  • Fundraising in complex environments
  • Designing fundraising strategies for individual organisations and whole systems

Jim O’Brien,
Senior Consultant (Sydney) 

Jim O’Brien is a highly sought-after fundraising professional with over twenty years’ experience in developing and leading teams and programs in healthcare and higher education.

Jim believes fundraising is all about inspiring people. With a strong focus on developing strategies and launching new campaigns and programmes, he has secured impressive major gifts to support the organisations he worked for.

Key consulting areas:

  • Assisting organisations to transform their capacity for impact through fundraising
  • Developing new fundraising offices and programs within organisations
  • Pursuing large gifts and philanthropic support from corporations, foundations and trusts
  • Supporting the fundraising leadership to have a greater impact within the organisations they serve.

Pamela Sutton-Legaud
Senior Consultant (Melbourne) CFRE MBA

Pamela is a recognised strategic business leader having delivered revenue and growth in dynamic and changing environments within the non-profit sector for over 15 years. She is committed to creating and supporting the growth of sustainable organisations and increasing the strength of the community sector. 

She has proven achievements in strategic planning, leadership, marketing and fundraising with extensive experience within international and multi-cultural non-profit and membership organisations.

She was recognised as a 2006 Victorian Telstra Businesswoman of the Year (Community & Government) for her work with Plan International and her leadership in the creation of the inaugural Commonwealth Games Charity Partnership.

Key Consulting Areas:

  • Integrating fundraising with key strategic organisational objectives
  • Hiring and leading fundraising staff including key performance management
  • Strategic fundraising planning in particular direct marketing, face-to-face fundraising; marketing and communications; brand leadership
  • Development of integrated fundraising systems, processes and procedures
  • Liaising with stakeholders, communities and boards to deliver better outcomes

David Minns

With experience spanning more than 30 years, David is a specialist advisor sought after by families and businesses around the country.

David has successfully established some of Adelaide’s largest philanthropic foundations and is a dynamic leader of best practice governance and grant making.   A passionate family-man, David has also established the Jaquillard Minns Family Office, a holistic suite of services designed specifically for families with complex needs.  He works closely with families seeking to maintain and grow their wealth over generations, advising on what structures, processes and leadership will be required to achieve their goals.

Key consulting areas:

  • PAF establishment
  • PAF compliance
  • Governance review

Stacey Thomas

Stacey has extensive experience in the philanthropic sector having worked with individual, family and corporate foundations across Australia.  She is currently the CEO of the Fay Fuller Foundation and Philanthropy Executive with the Jaquillard Minns Family Office.

Stacey has a Master of Business majoring in Philanthropy and Social Investment and Bachelor of Psychology degree and previously held roles in the Myer Family Company, Telstra Foundation and Trust Company.

Key consulting areas:

  • Giving strategies
  • Grant program design
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Grant round management

Nicolas Crowhurst

LLB/BA (Joint Hons. Law/Mgmt. Sci.), FGIA, FCSA

Nick has two decades of experience working with companies of all shapes and sizes, across multiple jurisdictions. After qualifying as a barrister of England and Wales in 2000, Nick developed a reputation as a consummate corporate governance professional.

Nick enjoys practical and intellectual challenges in stimulating work environments. These have included private legal practice, equity and investment banking sectors in the UK, Europe and Australia, external dispute resolution and not-for-profit organisations. This experience significantly contributed to Nick’s ability to engage with stakeholders at all levels of business and in any circumstance.

Since starting The Collaboratus Group in 2013, Nick has worked with a range of charities and not-for-profits including the Australian Psychological Society, Autism Together (UK), Heart & Lung Transplant Trust (VIC), the TCO Tolling Customer Ombudsman, the Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service, and has been the AGM Secretary for Philanthropy Australia since 2014. In his spare time, he also teaches short course and certification educational sessions for the Governance Institute of Australia.

Key consulting areas include:

  • Legal and corporate counsel functions, including negotiation and settlement of commercial contracts and commercial litigation management
  • Corporate governance (as a Chartered Secretary and Director)
  • Government and regulatory relations and
  • Enterprise-wide risk management

Gavan Woinarski

Gavan began his career in philanthropy and fundraising after a distinguished career as a teacher and educational leader in Australia and the United Kingdom.

His accumulated wisdom and experience have also been used to help families develop philanthropic programs, goals and agendas.

Gavan’s engaging nature and extensive experience means NFPs, Foundations and businesses (CSR), seek his energetic input.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Assist organisations establish sustainable fundraising programs
  • Inspire and inform Boards and executive staff about the potency of endowments and the rewards gained from a culture of philanthropy
  • Advise corporations about CSR programs
  • Help donors assess their giving strategy
  • Motivate organisations to collaborate to achieve maximum results for their cause
  • Securing Major gifts, establishing bequest programs, running major fundraising campaigns
  • Thanking and Stewardship
  • Database management, policies and procedures
  • Stakeholder engagement

Nic Bolto

As a Churchill Fellow, graduate of the Melbourne Business School and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Nic brings expertise to securing better giving outcomes.

Nic has worked in senior government, corporate and not for profit leadership and is the editor of The Difference, an award-winning research publication that carries insights to Australia’s key social health problems and the charities best positioned to assist them.

The Difference has been catalytic in providing new and refocused philanthropists with confidence and clarity to embark on transformative giving strategies.

Nic’s work takes the form of consulting, evaluation, coaching and mentoring assignments that range from annual advisory engagements to an occasional coffee.  Nic’s clients include business owners, shareholders, individuals and families who wish to state their ambition for social change in a planned and positive way.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Facilitating the discovery process for high impact giving plans
  • Developing and documenting giving strategies for new and refocused philanthropists
  • Research, due diligence, advice, recommendations and insights on the charitable sector
  • Impact assessments
  • Management of grantmaking programs, funding rounds and the shortlisting and selection of grant recipients 

Further information

If you want to find out more about our consultancy services - or if you're interested in joining the Philanthropy Australia Consultant Team - please contact Chris Wootton.

Email Chris now