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Join us at The Fundraising Pond

Teresa ripplesIn an effort to continue to reach out to charities and fundraisers, just this month, Fish has created a Facebook group called ‘The Fundraising Pond‘.

This new social group hopes to be an engaging online space for fundraisers and non-profit peeps, especially those from start up and emerging charities, to share ideas and learn from each other.

We will be posting points for discussion and articles regularly in the group to encourage conversation. We also welcome our members to post questions or other thought-provoking comments to stimulate discussion about the wonderful world of charities. We would love for you to join us there and be part of this growing space. And of course, you can invite others that you know would be interested to join the group too.

While alone we may not be able to change the world, as Mother Teresa said, in the non-profit sector we can certainly cast a stone across our pond and create many ripples. Together, let’s learn, inspire and create ripples. And let’s do this in The Fundraising Pond.

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We’re Turning Five 

Have a spectacularWe can’t believe it’s been five years since The Fish Chick first established Fish Community Solutions! It’s a very exciting time and, to celebrate, we’re giving you the presents.

In 2016, we’ll be hosting our very own Fish Webinar Series; five webinars over a period of five months to help you learn more about fundraising and making your organisation more financially sustainable.

To help mark our 5th birthday we are giving away a place at our Webinar Series for you and a friend or colleague. We’re running this promotion all throughout January on our Facebook page, so be sure to pop over and join in the celebrations. You can visit our Facebook page by clicking here.


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Fish Chick Awarded International Fundraising Certification

FullSizeRenderWith a vision of a world where philanthropy is practiced in an environment of trust, respect and accountability, CFRE International certifies experienced fundraising professionals aspiring to the highest standards of ethics, competence and service to the philanthropic sector.

In June, our own Fish Chick sat her exam for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) recognition and it was confirmed recently that she successfully passed!

The CFRE certification process consists of three parts: a written application, a written examination, and agreement to uphold a code of ethics and Accountability Standards and there is a requirement to recertify every three years. Although it has been around since 1981, the CFRE was first offered to Australian fundraisers twelve years later, in 1993.

Last year there were about 5,500 certified fundraising professionals around the globe and less than 60 in Australia. This puts Bianca in a pretty special place in terms of her fundraising skills and knowledge. Well done on such a great career milestone and personal achievement.

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2015 Fish Scholarship Awarded

Today, the second Fish Scholarship was awarded to Neal Taylor from Lilydale based small non-profit organisation, Holy Fools Inc.

Holy Fools Inc is a small charity located working to end homelessness across the Yarra Ranges in Victoria by taking love, hope and grace to the streets.

My dream for Holy Fools is to not receive any Government funding that will tie us into systems and reporting to the Government. Rather, we would like to be self-sufficient, creating a balance of fundraising through donations and events, social enterprise and grant writing,” Mr Taylor said.

Neal Taylor - Holy Fools

We have grown organically and our processes and strategies have been more reactive than proactive. It would be nice to plan and execute fundraising that doesn’t always involve sausages and a barbecue at the local hardware store. Ultimately this scholarship will help Holy Fools develop a clear pathway to fundraising for the future, and not only benefit the charity, but ultimately the people that we serve,” said Mr Taylor.

As the winner of the 2015 Fish Scholarship, Mr Taylor will have his attendance at the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Essentials Course fully paid for. The course is a one day fundraising workshop that will take place in Melbourne in late August.

We are thrilled to be awarding our second Fish Scholarship and we are sure Neal will learn some much-needed fundraising skills through this educational opportunity. Hopefully this will make a big difference to Holy Fools and we will see them go on to do bigger and better things for the Yarra Ranges community,” says Bianca Crocker, Director of Fish Community Solutions.

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Fish Published in Two Non-Profit Magazines

FR MagazinesIn an exciting time for Fish, The Fish Chick has recently been published in two New Zealand magazines.

In the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, Newz Viewz magazine,  March 2015, Bianca wrote  a feature article based on her presentation at the FIA Conference.  From Surviving to Thriving; How a Compelling Case for Support Can Take Your Charity to the Next Level helps readers grasp what a case for support is and how one can be successfully put together.

And, more recently, in May 2015, Bianca was published in Tonic Magazine with Donor Retention: Crucial for Success.  In this article she focuses on why it is so important to keep your existing donors and explains to readers how they can go about doing so.

Have a look at both of these articles in the Learn with Fish section on our website by clicking here.

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Fish Chick at the FIA Conference

2015 FIA ConferenceLast week, The Fish Chick, aka Bianca Crocker, attended the 2015 Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Conference in Brisbane. She was fortunate to be selected as one of the many speakers and presented in the Small Team Track about the importance of a Case for Support.

As one of the most important fundraising tools, her session, ‘From surviving to thriving: How a compelling case for support can take your charity to the next level’ was based on the years of work Bianca has supported community groups, especially small ones, to develop their own. The presentation was a bit of a ‘how-to’, providing an outline of what things to include and some tips for making sure it was persuasive and appealing.

This year’s conference saw over 700 delegates from across Australia, and some other neighbouring nations, attend full day master classes, plenary sessions with international speakers, like the fabulous Simone P Joyaux, and an array of educational workshops and presentations.

It is always exciting to be around so many other fundraisers who are working hard to help their organisations achieve their mission and make a difference in the world. Lots of ideas are shared and it’s a real opportunity to have your inspiration bucket filled again,” she said.

In addition, Bianca volunteered on the Conference Committee and was Co Chair of the Individual Giving Track.

Being part of the Conference Committee was a chance for me to give a little back to the sector that I am so passionate about. It was great to be able meet so many of our wonderful speakers and enthusiastic delegates,” she said.

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Fish Chick meets HRH Princess Anne

Last month Bianca, aka The Fish Chick, was fortunate to be a participant of the 2014 Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue (EPLD) along with about 100 other individuals from across the Pacific region.

As the Australian Study Tour’s Liaison Officer, Bianca spent one week visiting businesses, community groups and Government operations across Sydney, Canberra and Alice Springs with ten team members from across various Pacific Island countries, including New Zealand.


Together they met some incredible people and learnt about various styles of leadership. They also discovered achievements and uncovered challenges on various issues including the environment, economic development, good governance, sustainability and, overall, strengthening communities.

Despite being on the Study Tour that visited my home country, this trip was more culturally enriching than any other single thing I’ve ever done. This was partly due to spending time with an Afghan family in their home in western Sydney and meeting Indigenous Australians in remote communities in Northern Territory, but also because of the dialogue had and relationships built with my incredible team members from nine different countries across the Pacific,” said The Fish Chick.

A highlight of the trip, of course, was meeting and presenting to HRH Princess Anne as part of the closing plenary in Vanuatu. Spending time in an Indigenous community was also a stand-out experience, as was attending a function at Government House in Canberra and meeting Australia’s Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.

EPLD was an incredible, life-changing experience that, without doubt, has changed my attitudes about certain issues, expanded my horizons on others, changed my way of thinking about leadership, and perhaps more than anything, given me a greater thirst for knowledge and drive to create change in our beautiful country ,” The Fish Chick said.

The Fish Chick thanks the Commonwealth Study Conferences and Emerging Leaders Pacific Dialogue committees for making such an experience possible.

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chantelle-baxterToday, the inaugural Fish Scholarship was announced, with the recipient being named as Chantelle Baxter from Melbourne based non-profit organisation, One Girl.

One Girl focuses on empowering women and girls in Sierra Leone so that they can create and lead change in their communities. Established in 2009, they believe that education and economic empowerment are vital when it comes to tackling the issues faced by women and girls.

My big goal, and the goal for One Girl, is to educate one million girls across Africa by 2020. This isn’t going to happen by chance. This will happen because we learn, grow, develop and push ourselves consistently in the directions of our dreams,” says Chantelle.

It will be my first ever fundraising course. I have no doubt I’m going to learn a lot. I’ll gain knowledge beyond what I’ve learned through trial and error – and take a huge step towards really understanding how fundraising works,” said Chantelle.

“We are so excited about awarding our first Fish Scholarship recipient and we hope this educational opportunity can help Chantelle to develop more skills and really learn about ways she can take One Girl’s fundraising to the next level,” says Bianca Crocker, Director of Fish Community Solutions.

For more information click here.
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The Fish Chick heads to the Pacific

Elpd2Next month, Bianca Crocker, aka The Fish Chick, will join 120 individuals from the Pacific region for the 2014 Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue (EPLD).

Bianca was fortunate enough to be selected to attend this event of national and regional significance which aims to strengthen the capacity of the Pacific region’s future leaders to manage challenges collaboratively, positively and creatively.

This is a wonderful opportunity for me, Fish and, in turn, the clients that we work with, both now and in the future. The knowledge I will gain from this experience and the connections I am likely to make will be of great benefit,” Bianca said.

EPLD will take place across a two week period with the opening plenary taking place in New Caledonia and the closing plenary in Vanuatu. As the Liaison Officer for the Australian Study Tour, Bianca will spend time back in Australia also, visiting community and Government organisations in Sydney, Canberra and Alice Springs.

I’m really looking forward to all that this educational experience will offer and I’m proud to be one of a dozen or so Australians involved in this year’s EPLD.”

If you’d like any more info about EPLD please visit their website here.

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New Fish Scholarship

Fish is very excited to announce The Fish Scholarship.  This is an opportunity for an Australian fundraiser to undertake the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Fundraising Essentials course in their nearest capital city. This course teaches people in the non-profit sector what they really need to know about fundraising, all wrapped neatly into a one day course.

We firmly believe in the power of education and hope that with this small gesture of our new Fish Scholarship we can help someone new to fundraising develop more skills and really learn about the theory behind the practice,” says Bianca.

To learn more and apply for the Fish Scholarship, click here.

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Award Nomination for Fish

TelstraThe Telstra Women’s Business Awards recognise inspirational business women in Australia.  Our very own Fish Chick is humbled and privileged to have been nominated in the categoriy of Business Owner – Young Business Woman of the Year.

This year Telstra celebrates 20 years of showcasing amazing business women from across the country.

Applications are underway now with state finalists announced in September.

To Bianca, we say congratulations on your nomination and good luck!  And to her anonymous nominator, we say thank you for your nomination; we think you have excellent taste. 😉

You can read more about the Telstra Women’s Business Awards at Telstra’s website here.

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Making friends in Bali

Bianca, aka The Fish Chick, recently spent a week volunteering at the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage (JoS) in Bali.

During her time there she helped with afternoon activities of art and craft or group games to help entertain the kids once they got back from school. Reading time is also important with the kids each doing one hour of reading five days a week, reading both Indonesian and English books.

While the children are definitely well cared for at JoS, one-on-one time with adults is often a challenge, so volunteers go a long way in helping with this. Bianca spent time making friends with the kids, along with other wonderful volunteers from around the world, chatting with them over a meal (most often of rice), connecting through music and just having some good, old fashioned fun.

For more information about the orphanage and how you can help, please click here.

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Fish Get Happy 🙂

040314_0657_ThankYouThu3.jpgThe team at Fish recently bathed in the glow of the International Day of Happiness.  We posted pictures of what made us happy on Facebook and Twitter.  A couple of us joined up for the 7 Day Happiness Challenge, an initiative of Dr Happy and The Happiness Institute, to learn new strategies to boost our happiness.  We raised awareness before the day so others had the opportunity to join in and get a dose of happiness too.

The Fish Chick wrote an refreshing Thank You Thursday blog – Reclaiming Happiness and even came up with her very own happiness quote!Fish Chick - Happiness

Yep, we totally had happiness overload and loved it!!

The Fish team had some common themes in our happiness triggers that included includes family, friends, pets and the beach. We really enjoyed sharing our experience of Day of Happiness and learned that some of the simplest things really do make us happy.

For more information on the International Day of Happiness, click here.

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Fish Chick to Speak  at FIA Conference

logo-FIABianca, aka the Fish Chick, is excited to be one of the speakers included in the extraordinary list of speakers for the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s conference this month.   She will be presenting along with keynote speakers including Tim Costello (World Vision Australia) and Allan Clayton (Clayton Burnett UK).

Bianca will be presenting ‘Building a brand or fundraising? The chicken or the egg?’

This presentation will demonstrate how your organisation can potentially do both. We’ll look at each of the different methods in some detail and support our point of view with relevant case studies from organisations that have done so successfully.

This conference is where you need to go to ‘get the skills, confidence and inspiration you need to take your fundraising program – and your fundraising career – to new heights.’

The conference will be held from the 26th to the 28th of February at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

For tickets and more information click here.

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Fish Chick set to Judge 2014 FIA Awards

FIA AwardThe Fish Chick is honoured to have been invited to join the judging panel of the 2014 FIA National Fundraising Awards for Excellence in Fundraising.  This privilege comes after Bianca herself was named Young Fundraiser of the Year in 2012.  Bianca will be sitting on the panel for the category of ‘Special Events’.  Judges have been selected from around the country and these fundraising experts will determine the best of the best for this year’s awards.

The FIA awards recognise the outstanding initiatives and innovative efforts of fundraisers, volunteers and organisations. They celebrate fundraisers’ hard work and successes across the year, provide an opportunity for acknowledgement by your peers and promote the role of fundraisers in improving our society.  This is a great opportunity for The Fish Chick to help celebrate the wonderful work of others in the NFP sector.

For more information on the FIA awards – click here.

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New Business Manager for Fish

Fish would like to introduce you to Dianne Murray our Business Manager.  Dianne came on board with Fish earlier this year in a part time capacity to help with the management and administration side of the business as things get busy for The Fish Chick. Dianne is excited about being part of the Fish team as she has been enthusiastic about working with community organisations from a young age.  She is happy to be part of a young vibrant company that is working towards making our community a better place.  Dianne has a degree in Business and Law and has experience in business admin and working with the non-profit sector, primarily in sales and marketing roles.

Photo 23-07-13 9 40 24 PM I’m passionate about women’s rights issues.  I would especially like to be in a position to work with women in developing countries who can face so many injustices and not have the resources to fight against them. Being a vegetarian I also have a soft spot for the humane treatment of animals,” Dianne says.
When Dianne isn’t busy putting together our From the Fish Pond newsletter, updating social media sites or responding to countless emails from The Fish Chick she is having lots of fun playing with and caring for her 20 month old son, Nate.

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Colour Your World                                                                   Colour run

The Fish Chick has attended a few charity events lately and one of the most colourful was certainly worth talking about.

The Colour Run is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. It’s a 5km run (although participants are encouraged to skip, dance, walk or even roll if they want!) that doses you in colour at each kilometre mark – and then with a gigantic colour festival at the finish line.

It’s happening in over 15 places around the country, and in some places it’s happening for a second time, so if you’re interested in having fun and you’re not afraid of colour – you should get involved. You’ll even be doing your bit for charity too!

For more info on the Color Run  Click here.

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New  Clients for Fish

Fish has recently begun working with two new clients supporting Indigenous and Ethnic communities within Australia.

The first is Indigenous Community Volunteers. ICV is a registered charity that works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people to improve their quality of life, health and social and economic wellbeing in the community.  They make sure to work with communities, carefully matching volunteers who have the skills that the communities need to achieve their goals.

Click here to learn more about ICV.

The second client is Action on Disabilities within Ethnic Communities.  ADEC is a community based organisation that provides services and resources for disabled people, their carers and family within the ethnic community.  ADEC aims to empower people with disabilities and help them to fully participate as members of the Victorian community.

Click here to learn more about ADEC.

The Fish Chick goes Global

Bianca, aka The Fish Chick, was fortunate enough to be named as a finalist in the 2012 Global Fundraiser Award through The Resource Alliance. Whilst, she was not awarded the top prize it was a great recognition to be a finalist.

My heartiest congratulations go to the winner, Mr Yoshiomi Tamai, Founder of Ashinaga, a Japanese charity that supports orphans worldwide. He sounds like he is doing some incredible work,” Bianca said.

Since launching the organisation in 1993, Mr Tamai has helped raise $1bn, provided educational support for 90,000 orphans and raised $100m for the 2011 tsunami disaster relief fund. You can read a little about Mr Tamai and Ashinga here:-

To be honest, when I read about the other two finalists when I was first nominated I thought he would be a tough one to beat. Hahaha. It has been a complete honour simply being a finalist in these wonderful global awards,” Bianca said.

The Fish Chick profiled in F&P Magazine

The recent issue of Fundraising and Philanthropy Australasia Magazine, features an article about how Bianca, aka The Fish Chick, made an award-winning transition from ad-land to fundraising.

It’s been so wonderful to be acknowledged in this way and to be featured in such a well respected publication,” Bianca said.

Click below to read the article.

F&P Magazine – Aug&Sept 2012

Probono Work is Acknowledged

Recent probono work with Reef Check Australia was highlighted on volunteering website, Good Company. General Manager, Jenn Loder, said The Fish Chick helpedthe organisation think outside the box.

Read the article here.

The Fish Chick starts as Fundraising Tutor

Bianca, aka The Fish Chick, has been selected as one of twelve tutors for the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s new Certificate in Fundraising.

The Certificate is the only course in Australia that provides the essential training and knowledge needed to become a professional fundraiser. Bianca will be one of the course presenters in Queensland.

You can read more about the Certificate course here.

Bianca, with her award in hand, and award sponsor, Paul Ramsbottom from Advanced Solutions International.

The Fish Chick Wins Big Award

Bianca, aka The Fish Chick, was announced as the 2012 Young Fundraiser of the Year at the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Annual President’s Dinner.

The award is given to an Australian fundraiser under the age of 35 who has not only achieved great success in fundraising work, but who has contributed to the sector as a whole.

“Bianca has not only developed into a passionate fundraiser, she has become a passionate believer in the community sector as a whole and her contribution will continue to support it for many years to come.”

You can read more about the awards at the FIA’s website here.

Fish Heads West

Fish Community Solutions will soon be providing funding development support to a school in Perth – its first client in Western Australia. Bertram Primary School opened in 2007 and in its young life has already achieved so much. It is a Stephanie Alexander Garden Foundation school, has featured on the National Tree Day website and was visited by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The School is developing one of the most innovative sustainability programs around and Fish is delighted to be a partner in this project.

Raising money online

Cause Vox is an online fundraising platform for non-profits to engage  their supporters and encourage peer to peer fundraising. A few months ago Fish Community Solutions worked with One Girl on their Do It In A Dress Campaign to help raise $42,000.

This week, Cause Vox has completed a case study on One Girl and the success of their campaign – and Fish Community Solutions gets a mention.

Click here to read the case study.

Evolving with Fish

Fish Community Solutions is very excited about working with our newest client, Evolve. This Melbourne based charity supports at-risk young people primarily through outdoor education and wilderness therapy. They have two amazing properties – in Victoria and Queensland – and have been achieving some wonderful outcomes with the kids they have helped so far.

Click here to learn more about Evolve.

Fish is on Facebook

For those of you on Facebook we’d love for you to LIKE our page and join our online community. We will have special updates about the non profit community, both here in Australia and overseas.

Click here to go to our Facebook page.