In an extraordinary first for a Uniting Church agency, Frontier Services national development and fundraising manager, Charlotte Sangster, last month won Young Fundraiser of the Year at the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) Gala Awards on the Gold Coast.
The national awards recognised innovative initiatives and industry contributions of volunteers, organizations and fundraisers.
Such recognition is inspiring, especially when it comes to the reasons why young people like Charlotte are drawn to work in the important ministries of the Uniting Church such as Frontier Services.
For over 104 years the Frontier Services has been an inland mission agency of the Uniting Church that supports pastoral work and communities in remote locations around Australia.
Frontier Services states their mission as: “To support, link and empower the people of Outback Australia by creating connections and mobilising resources.”
This clear goal and positive impact the organisation promotes, is what drew Charlotte to work in Frontier Services for the past five and a half years.
“I absolutely fell in love with fundraising and working in charity… that was pretty much it for me… I knew that this was the career that I wanted to do from now on,” said Charlotte.
For Charlotte, it’s humbling when she sees how grateful people are and being able to show those who have donated just how appreciated their contribution is to these remote communities.
“It’s so satisfying and is one of the things that makes me love my job and one of the things that motivates me to get up every morning, is knowing the impact that we are able to have on other people’s lives,” said Charlotte.
Previous to this award Charlotte received the 2016 Young Fundraiser of the Year for NSW. Charlotte also takes the time to participate in professional development including studying, mentoring and volunteering at the Fundraising Institutes NSW Committee where she assists in creating educational programs.
National Director of Frontier Services, Grahame Ryan, expressed pride in Charlotte’s achievements and said it showed how being able to adapt as a charity in finding innovative ways to fundraise is integral to delivering this service to remote communities.
“To have one of our own recognised for these very qualities are not only a reward for Charlotte’s many individual gifts and talents, but also an acknowledgement of the broader Frontier Services team’s quality, integrity and dedication as a group,” said Mr Ryan.
How can you assist Frontier Services mission?
Charlotte said it is as simple as holding a barbeque to raise money (see the Great Outback BBQ).
There are also opportunities to become a volunteer. Outback Links volunteer program is where you are able to go out and meet the people Frontier Services help. It is also an opportunity to contribute to the families and communities whether it is helping looking after the farm or just listening first-hand to the different challenges of living in remote Australia.
“[This will] make their quality of life a bit better because they are very isolated and don’t have the access to the services that we take for granted every day,” said Charlotte.
Servicing in the Outback is understandably time and economically challenging making this service even more vital.
“We are grateful for people’s prayers but we are also grateful for people just thinking about us and making a contribution to our work in any way,” said Charlotte.
To donate or learn more about Frontier services click here. All donations are tax deductable.
Pictured: Supplied (From left) Founder of RobeJohn & Young Fundraiser of the Year Sponsor, Kathy John with Young Fundraiser of the Year Awardee, Charlotte Sangster and FIA CEO Rob Edwards.