There was a large roll-up to the meeting on 10th September, with well over 30 members and guests in attendance. The Brisbane Club even had to add an extra table for the event.
Chair for the day was IPP Daniel Vankov who opened the meeting with the usual toasts. He then went on to welcome the long list of visitors:
  • Guest speaker Nigel Harris, CEO of Mater Foundation
  • Andrew Lyon, President of the Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley
  • Kym McCluskey, President of the Rotary Club of Brisbane High-Rise
  • Nigel Harris' mother Elizabeth who is visiting from Adelaide 
  • Raewyn Bailey, Mater Foundation
  • Prof. Wendy Scaife, Director of the QUT Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
  • Celia Grenning, CEO of KYEEMA Foundarion
  • Donna Harvey-Hall, Manager of Pikinini Haus
  • Leanne Butterworth, Lose your mind
  • Sally Gardner, Development Manager, Major Gifts at Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Sabrina Chakori, Founder, Brisbane Tool Library
  • David Milling, Australian Road Research Board
  • Matthew Rowan, Director at P&Cs Qld
  • Michael Gerber, CARRS-Q
  • Paul Choy who is technically still a visitor but whose application to join has been approved by the board
The formalities and welcomes being over, Chair Daniel invited President Chris Muir to address the multitude. Chris also extended a warm welcome to our many visitors, and delivered his weekly Presidents' report which can be read above.
Chair Daniel then invited Donna Harvey-Hall, Manager of Pikinini Haus, to give a brief introduction to what she does in Lae. Pikinini Haus has been chosen by RCoB and the Kyeema Foundation to be the pilot project for our Joint chicken-breeding project in PNG. Donna told us that she is a life-long resident of PNG and went along to give a brief outline of her career caring for kids. Having 6 children if her own, she went on to adopt another 11 orphans. After raising these 17 children, Dionna turned to the problem of looking after orphans of parents who died from AIDS. These children are pariahs, with people too scared to look after them. Currently Pikinini Haus cares for 25+ AIDS orphans (only one of whom is HIV positive) and making ends meet is a daily struggle. The chicken-breeding project promises at some stage to provide some slight relief.
Donna Harvey-Hall, Manager of Pikinini Haus addresses members
Next on the agenda was spots:
Denise Schellbach gave us a run-down on future speakers, one of whom will be Acting Senior Sergeant Vicki Campbell from the Qld. Police Fraud Squad who will return to finish her presentation from last week.
Daniel Vankov also had a spot, the text of which is below:
I have some bad news and some good news:
First the Bad news:
The EU project on social entrepreneurship is not happening, at least not this year. We got 65 points in the evaluation but we needed 70 to get over the threshold.
Good news:
We know where we can improve and if the Club would like to continue pursuing the opportunity, the project proposal will be redeveloped and resubmitted next year.
Bad news:
The Brisbane Lord Mayor sent his apologies and will not be able to speak at our International Women's Day Breakfast next on March 06th, 2019.
Good news:
He is sending Councillor Adrian Schrinner, Deputy Mayor, Chairman for Public and Active Transport and Councillor for Chandler to represent him.
I also received a confirmation from Prof. Margaret Sheil, Vice-chancellor and President of QUT. So our panel is completed. Now we need to book the date with USC and ask them for quotes. I will also need more information on how many people we can fit in so that I move forward with the organisation of the event. 
Bad news (kind of):
With our Strategy being made public and with the article about it being published in the last Rotary Down Under magazine, which is not at all bad to hear, we shared and thus have lost our competitive advantage. Nevertheless, we are kicking off a new joint project with QUT but this time with the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. We will be working together on the Club fundraising strategies hopefully to be implemented in near future. Thank you Prof. Wendy Scaife for your willingness to work with us!
Last but not least and not at all bad news:
I have Michael Gerber as a guest today and he is looking up out Club. Michael has applied quite a while ago in Germany to join the Free Masons. They told him that it takes 2 to 3 years to be admitted because they do not like people coming and leaving – something out Membership committees to consider.
Michael and I also come with a project proposal. Last year Club members visited the Queensland advanced simulator. Ensuring that there is a licensed operator is the expensive part of such endeavour. Luckily Michael is such and he offered his support for another similar Club activity. This time I plan to invite school children from Jindalee State School to immerse themselves in hands-on research environment. But as they are little they cannot drive the simulator themselves. So we will need drivers to have them as passengers, something I hope Rotary volunteers would like to do during a potential second vocational visit with President Chris's approval.
After spots, it was time for what we were all waiting for. Chair Daniel introduces our guest speaker Nigel Harris, CEO of the Mater Foundation. Nigel more than justified the strong attendance to hear his thoughts by delivering a wide-ranging and pertinent review of some of the challenges (and in some cases the solutions to those challenges). Some highlights:
  • What do we mean by non-profit? It shouldn't mean that we make no profit, but that we make no profit for shareholders - we make profit for mission. In fact the only way to serve society is to make money for our mission.
  • There is a disturbing trend of decline in public trust in institutions, and this is affecting the non-profit sector at least as much as other kinds of institutions. Sometimes the NFP sector is to blame for this. In particular, NFPs are under fire for their fundraising methods, sometimes unfairly and sometimes perhaps with reason. This is also partly because of the proliferation of charities as well. As of today there are approximately 56,000 charities registered in Australia and on average 7 new ones are registered every working day.
  • Perhaps partly as a result of the above, charity revenues are under threat. However, analysis of where the revenues come from may show some solutions to this issue. 60.5% of donations are made on the spur of the moment, but the 40% of donors who plan their donations account for nearly 85% of charity donations. This points to a need for charities to take note of the "6 Rs"
    • A charity must be Relevant to the people with whom they are engaging.
    • A charity must foster real Relationships with potential donors.
    • A charity should be focused on Results
    • Charity management should be Resilient, Respectful and practice Reflection.
  • Competition vs. Collaboration. Is fundraising a competitive activity? Perhaps in some ways it is. But doing good in the world is always a collaborative activity. Polio Plus is a good example of a collaborative activity where Rotarians should not be disappointed that they do not always get as much credit as they think perhaps Rotary should be getting.
  • As of today, Charity management metrics are rubbish. First, what we have measures the moment not the movement. Second, there are so many ratios bandied about, often with conflicting definitions, that there is no good way to set benchmarks and compare apples with apples. 
Nigel Harris addresses a full house.
The presentation was followed by some lively Q&A and discussion, which eventually had to be cut off for lack of time. Sergeant-at-arms Luke Marshall had a short but expensive session quizzing us about charities, and then it was time for the drawing of the raffle. PP Phil Gresham has the winning ticket, but like so many before him, couild not draw the joker from the pack. The Jackpot inches towards 5 figures.
Just after 1:45pm, President Chris closed the meeting with the singing of the national anthem.