Meet the team: Leanne

Hi. My name is Leanne and I’m the Individual Giving Manager at Royal Far West.

What I do

As Individual Giving Manager I look after all of the wonderful people who choose to make one-off or monthly gifts, or leave a gift in their will to support our country kids.

I work with the fundraising team to ensure that Royal Far West can continue to provide essential services by raising funds from generous individuals. Additionally, I aim to ensure that those who do choose to donate are given the very best experience possible. Without our big-hearted supporters, we wouldn’t be able to provide services to many of the families that we do. It’s absolutely vital that we can connect potential donors with our cause. We then keep them updated with inspiring family stories in a way that keeps them motivated to make further gifts and become long term advocates for Australia’s country kids.

My time here

I started here early in 2019, so I’m a relative newbie to the organisation. The thing that has really stood out to me is me about the experience of the families we support is the huge impact early intervention can have on a child’s future. Speaking with some of the parents who have been through our Paediatric Developmental Program or have visited our in-community Healthy Kids Bus Stop program, you can really hear the relief and gratitude of the parents and carers at having found some direction and progress for their child(ren) and their family unit. It can be so hard to secure assessments in rural areas, and to find the right therapies locally – it makes such a profound difference to a family to be able to access the therapies they need in the one place.

Why I work here

Having worked in fundraising for various organisations for almost 15 years, I was so excited when I heard that the role had become available here. I had heard great things about the programs and the culture within the organisation, not to mention the delight of working at beautiful Manly beachfront!

Something I love about working in fundraising is the huge variety of tasks. As we are a small team, it is usually ‘all-hands-on-deck’, helping each other with various tasks as and when needed. Whilst my role can be quite data heavy in terms of reporting, I will also often be on the phone to donors to answer queries or record donations. I also go out in the field to train fundraisers, or assist our Community Fundraising Manager with setting up events. There is rarely a dull moment!

Why Royal Far West is unique

This is the first organisation I have worked at where some of the fundraising beneficiaries are on-site. It’s so inspiring to see the excited faces of the kids each day in the elevator as they head to sessions, classes or just out on their next recreation activity! Fundraising can be quite dry and numbers driven, so it’s lovely to be reminded each day of the end result, whether it is through a peal of laughter from one of the kids, or a chat with a parent.

I don’t know any other organisation that provides such a holistic service for families of kids with developmental needs. The integration of our amazing team of clinicians, state-of-the-art facilities, a school AND an incredible recreation program for families who visit here is something that I’m pretty confident doesn’t exist anywhere else in Australia. And that’s just thinking about the program here in Manly, never mind the thousands of children and families benefiting from our Telecare and the Healthy Kids Bus Stop programs.

A positive outcome

Recently I was privileged to chat with a family on their third visit to our Paediatric Developmental Program. Following assessment and ongoing therapy with our clinicians, their son has made huge progress. We were all at an event, and his mum assured me that even just 12 months ago, there was no way he would have coped with a busy event.

It’s stories like theirs that make me feel so fortunate to work in an organisation that really makes a difference to people’s lives every single day.

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