Change Accelerator: Michelle Berriman
Our Change Accelerator for July is Michelle Berriman, Executive Director for Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, the professional body that represents fundraising in New Zealand.
Please briefly describe what your organisation does
The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) is the professional body that represents fundraising in New Zealand. In delivering its mission, FINZ is concerned with: Providing the best educational events to lead and educate fundraisers; Developing standards of practice to enhance the integrity and professionalism of fundraisers and the fundraising sector; Advocating the value of fundraising to society and government in order to empower fundraisers in their work in and with communities.
How did you get into social impact sector?
Michelle joined FINZ after 20 years working in a variety of roles within the charity sector – the last ten in fundraising and development. Prior to joining the sector’s commercial side, she was a youth/community development worker supporting children looked after by the state, running community-based youth projects and working in juvenile lock-down. Michelle is motivated by creating change and making a difference to those facing adversity and wants everyone to be given the chance to be the very best version of themselves. Originally from the far North of Scotland, she is proud to call NZ her home. Read more about her journey here.
What is your driving force for accelerating change?
Michelle is motivated by creating change and making a difference to those facing adversity and wants everyone to be given the chance to be the very best version of themselves.
“I want people to be the very best versions of themselves – what they want to be, to have dreams, and to want and achieve success, whatever success looks like to them. I suffer hugely from imposter syndrome, I feel every day that I’m not worthy of the role I’m in today, like I’ll be found out at any minute and that I don’t know what the hell I am doing.
However, there is one thing I do know that I am doing and that is doing my very best to make a difference. It can be so easy to get distracted and bogged down in budgets, ROI, live auction items, silent auctions items, street appeals, acquisition, retention, direct mail, getting that one big gift or bequest … sometimes we forget the bigger picture. What I know to be true is that everyone of us has a story, a reason, a cause close to their heart.”
What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?
“I’d tell them that they can. We’re doing it. It happens one person at a time. If you can change even one person’s life, that has a knock-on effect. I’ve been so inspired by so many people along the way and I think it’s really nice to want to aspire to be like someone you admire. Look to the people who are changing the world and try to emulate them. Be Bold. Be Brave. Be authentically you.”