Ireland’s Top Charity Fundraisers Honoured at 2009 National Fundraising Awards

The winners of the 2009 National Fundraising Awards were announced last night at a gala ceremony, hosted by RTÈ presenter Mary Kennedy, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin.

The 2009 Fundraiser of the Year Award for large organisations went to Michael Sheridan of the Mercy University Hospital Foundation. Michael raised nearly €1 million for the hospital in 2008 alone. He also created and implemented the hospital’s first fundraising strategy, initiating over 50 fundraising events, campaigns and projects over the past two years. Michael has vastly increased the status and brand recognition of the charity, and he took an active role in all fundraising events – recently completing an 80-mile cycle in aid of the Prostate Cancer Clinic.

The Fundraiser of the Year Award for small organisations went to Stuart McLaughlin of Business to Arts, an organisation that brokers creative partnerships between business and the arts. In 2008, Stuart generated income - including sponsorship in cash and in-kind for Business to Arts - of over €390,000 and additional income for the arts sector of €260,000. In the last year, Stuart has negotiated a number of multi-year investments and sponsorships for Business to Arts and the sector worth over €1,035,000.

The Simon Communities of Ireland scooped the Fundraising Campaign of The Year Award (large organisations) for their CRH Simon Safety Challenge campaign, which netted the charity €1.62 million. The Down Syndrome Centre won Fundraising Campaign of The Year (small organisations) for their Buy My Dress campaign.

The Voluntary Fundraiser of the Year Award for over €100,000 raised went to Margaret Gill for Self Help Africa, and Michael Hilary won in the category Voluntary Fundraiser of the Year (under €100,000 raised) for his work with the Camphill Communities of Ireland.

About the Awards

The National Fundraising Awards were established in 2008 by The Wheel and Fundraising Ireland, with funding from Vodafone Ireland Foundation, to celebrate and promote excellence in the profession of charitable fundraising.

This year over 70 nominations were received from across the three main and six sub-categories, and it was decided to release a longlist (those candidates that passed the first phase of judging), as well as a shortlist.

The Awards is a valuable opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas amongst the fundraising community. You are encouraged to browse through the nominations at www.fundraisingawards.ie to see the breadth of activity and dedication with which Irish fundraisers are bringing in much needed funds to support Ireland's charities.