Lauren McDermott

From the Myth Smashers: 'Fundraisers raise funds not friends' – smashing that myth

by Lauren McDermott

‘Too often our focus is on our own needs and short-term goals.’ So says Lauren McDermott of Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Western Australia, winner of Mythsmashers at the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s annual conference 2020. 

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About the author

Lauren is a paper hating, time-saving fundraiser with a passion for making donors feel like the rock stars they are.

Lauren’s passion for NFPs began when she volunteered overseas whilst still at university. After seeing poverty firsthand, she decided her life would be more fulfilling if she worked for causes rather than shareholders. 

Lauren’s fundraising career began shortly after she arrived in Australia when she began working at large healthcare company. Lauren now manages the donor development team at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, a small passionate team focusing on the entire donor experience - CRM/data, cash/RG appeals, stewardship and gifts in wills.

She believes that sincerity is at the heart of everything. When Perkins donors were recently asked if they would recommend the charity to a friend, the overall score was 8.9/10 and this is echoed by increasing income year on year.

Lauren completed studies in Business and Marketing at Liverpool John Moores University in 2013 graduating with a first class degree (BaHons), before leaving the UK shortly after to explore Australia for a year. She is yet to go home.