The team of fundraising and writing professionals that make up the Strategic Grants family have a genuine interest and passion in seeing the missions of nonprofits fulfilled, and the sector strengthened.

We immerse ourselves in the causes of the organisations we work with to understand them inside and out and be able to provide comprehensive grants support. We’re proud that many of our clients consider us an extension of their organisations.

We also maintain our high level of involvement and connection with the nonprofit sector as a whole. You’ll find us at fundraising conferences and professional development events. We are organisational members and partners of FIA, FINZ, Philanthropy Australia and Philanthropy New Zealand.

Click on the portraits to read more about each of our team members or scroll down!

 

         Jo

Jo-BNE  

    Harriett

 Harriett7

      Charlotte

Charlotte-Melbourne

     Bianca

Bianca-BNE

      Andrew

AndrewNSW

       Cathy

Cathy-Melbourne

      Kate

KSBNE

        Patrice

Patrice

     Daniel

DanBNE

      Grace

Grace-BNE

    Sarah 

Sarahnz

      Therese

Therese

    

 

 

 

 

 

       Gavin

Gavin1

       Dexter

 Dexter1

 

 

 

 


 

Jo Garner, Director Strategic Grants

Jo-BNE
How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

After stumbling into fundraising in 1994, following completion of a Commerce degree in Marketing and IT, and working two years in hospitality marketing and events, I knew I had foundthe profession for me! After leaving a fulltime fundraising job with the Mater Foundation in Brisbane to take maternity leave, grant-writing consulting opportunities were presented.

Very quickly I realised that there is far more involved in grants success than just writing an application. In 2009, Strategic Grants was born. I am so proud of the team of equally passionate and exceptionally well qualified people that work together with me to enable nonprofit capacity building and grants success across Australia and New Zealand.

What do you love most about your job?

What can be more inspiring and motivating than having the privilege of working with hundreds of nonprofits, helping them build their capacity and seeing them deliver vital projects to achieve their mission? Whether it be saving the lives of animals, babies, children, or adults, saving our environment or enabling participation in and appreciation of the Arts or sports, for me, going to work every day is both challenging and rewarding. But most importantly, it’s great fun. I feel so lucky, too, that I love my job!

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

Nothing is more important to me in this world than my amazing children, Benjamin and Lucy. They inspire me to be the best person and mother that I can be. Spending time with them, other family and my treasured friends, are my favourite things. I LOVE the ocean. Nothing soothes my soul more than being on, in or by the sea. It has also been said that I love to party. That may be true…

Favourite quote?
"Live life to the fullest!"
Credentials and experience

BComm (Marketing & IT), CFRE, FFIA.
IFC2016
Jo has also recently taken on the position as Australian and New Zealand Ambassador for the IFC (International Fundraising Congress). Check out Jo’s take on IFC here
If you have any enquiries about IFC get in touch with Jo atjo@strategicgrants.com.au


 

Harriett Carter, National Manager

Harriett7

How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

 Enthusiastically! With a collection of more traditional business communication roles under my belt and a yearning to work in a role with writing diversity, the opportunity to work with nonprofit clients and apply my skills towards the greater good was fabulous.

What do you love most about your job?

Three things: I love that the work we do is genuinely part of something wonderful, part of bringing about real, on-the-ground, positive changes for people when they really need it.
I love that I get to see the power of well-written words in influencing opinion.
I love (not just saying this because they’ll read it) the Strategic Grants team. What a pleasure to work alongside such brilliant, funny and dedicated colleagues.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

In no particular order: just hanging with my gorgeous kids, snuggling up in front of a great movie, occasionally escaping from said gorgeous kids to be grown-ups, family holidays, attempting new recipes. Actually, that’s pretty much my perfect day.

At the same time, I love to snatch a bit of solitude. Quietly plunging into a good book or just heading out for a run by myself is pure bliss.

Oh, and the one (and only) time I went stand-up paddle boarding, I had a blast. Hoping to nail this skill, if only to sound cooler in this bio. Watch this space.

Favourite quote?

Quote-S. Sorry, there’s two. Bueller meets Hemingway.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.” – Ernest Hemingway

Credentials and experience

18 years professional experience in communications roles across government and the private sector. Previous positions include:

- Corporate Communications Manager, Residential Tenancies Authority
- Account Manager, NOUS Graphic Design
- Senior Communications Officer, CITEC
- Communications Coordinator, Brisbane City Council
- Coordinator, Queensland and Telecom Small Business Awards.Specialty areas: Copywriting, Client Management, Strategic Communication Planning, Publication Management.


 

Bianca Williams, Grants Strategist, Queensland

Bianca-BNEHow did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

I have committed the past 13 years of my career working in the not for profit sector through various marketing, fundraising, business development, event management and grant writing roles. Together with a passion for community and my professional experience, I am dedicated to delivering an extraordinary service for Strategic Grants clients.

What do you love most about your job?

Working alongside the nonprofit sector provides insight into the impactful and genuinely charitable initiatives within our community. Contributing to organisations' capacity to deliver these initiatives through funding opportunities is incredibly rewarding, and continues to be my motivation. Being witness to the passion, integrity and dedication of individuals in the sector is truly inspiring.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

Both family and travel play an important role in my life...and if I can mix the two, all the better! Being a mother is a true privilege, of which I love every single moment. Together with my partner, we ride the rollercoaster of parenthood with a high pitched scream of delight!Travel has been a part of my life since I donned the backpack at age 19 and ventured overseas. Personally, the experience of arriving to a country where every sense is activated, you're engulfed in a language you don’t understand and your concept of culture is totally revamped....is my idea of a phenomenal holiday.

Favourite quote?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi
Credentials and experience

With a Marketing Degree under my belt, I have had the extraordinary experience of working with a number of charities over the years; including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, MS Queensland, the Mater Foundation, Camp Quality, Youth Enterprise Trust and the Australian Red Cross.The experience of working in state-based, national and international charitable organisations has provided me with valuable knowledge in how to identify funding opportunities and package project details accordingly to ensure the best possible chance of success.


 

 Charlotte Francis, Grants Strategist, Victoria

 Charlotte-Melbourne
How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?
As a freelance writer and grant-writer I had been in touch with Jo, Director of Strategic Grants, two years previously offering my services for any overflow work, but somehow we kept missing each other and didn’t manage to meet up. When we finally met in Melbourne in May 2015, I was looking to move away from freelancing into a role that offered variety, interest and new challenges with greater opportunities for connection within the sector. At the same Jo was looking for a Victorian client manager.

What do you love most about your job?
I really enjoy the variety of working with lots of different charities, learning about their programs and the many creative approaches they are taking to improving the welfare of our community and environment. I get immense satisfaction from supporting, coaching and mentoring fundraisers through the grant-seeking process and helping them achieve positive outcomes. I love building a relationship with my clients and going on a journey with them through the highs, lows, challenges and successes.
What besides your job do you love doing the most?
Two of my favourite pastimes are being in nature and reading and, weather permitting, sometimes I get to indulge in both at the same time! I live in the Bayside area of Melbourne and walk my beloved dog Bertie every morning, often on the beach. In summertime, I take my book to the beach and while away the hours. I also love the arts more broadly and enjoy all that Melbourne has to offer from writers’ festivals and literary events to theatre, cinema (especially foreign language films) concerts and opera. As a member of a small community choir, I get to sing a bit too, a perfect antidote to writing and brain work. We give informal performances in a variety of settings from aged care facilities to shopping malls.
Favourite quote?
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” - Oscar Wilde
Credentials and experience

With a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages, I started my career in London in international publishing, selling co-editions, licenses and reprints to US and European publishers. I moved into the not-for-profit sector in 1997 and completed the ICFM Foundation in Fundraising I and II. Based in Oxford, I was Fundraising Manager at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust and looked after a broadly based program including events, corporate sponsorship, appeals, trusts and foundations.

Before migrating to Australia in 2004, I worked at Forum for the Future, a sustainable development charity, with Sir Jonathon Porritt, British environmentalist and writer.I migrated to Australia (Melbourne) in 2004 and worked for Plan where I set up a new bequest program and significantly increased their income from major donor and trust and foundation activities.

Before joining the team at Strategic Grants I worked freelance combining grant-writing and copywriting for charities and not-for-profit organisations with feature writing for magazines and newspapers. I have worked with charities including Save the Children, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Sacred Heart Mission, Earthwatch, Bush Heritage Australia, Benetas, Cool Australia, Calvary Silver Circle and Melbourne City Mission.


 

Kate Sunners, Communications and Grants Strategist

KSBNE

 

How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

At the end of a period in 2014 studying development and policy in Amsterdam I was searching for meaningful work that would utilise my passion for writing, research and social good. I’d previously worked in copywriting, independent bookstores and marketing, and the best part of any of my jobs had been my involvement with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and community projects like 'Books to Floods' through Riverbend Books. Always a student, I wanted a role that would let me learn more about the impact of nonprofits and social change.

What do you love most about your job?

When I first started at SG and was introduced to the GEM Portal and Grants Calendars, I was amazed at how any nonprofit could effectively perform grant seeking without them. I wanted to tell everyone about it. I get to do that every day.

For someone who willingly spends all her free time writing, and is convinced that everything in life is a narrative, spending time getting a grant application just right through writing or editing is a heavenly job!

I also love the SG team (past and present), they’re all pretty wonderful humans.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

Tiny houses, reading, political philosophy, qualitative research, gardening, volunteering with the Pyjama Foundation and Community Plus+. Perfect weekends are spent playing board games with friends (capital N nerd), hiking in Queensland’s extraordinary rainforests or camping in the bush. Also love other people’s pets.

Favourite quote?

If Harriett can have two...so can I!

“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” – W. I. Thomas and D. S. Thomas
“People are just people, people are just people, people are just people like youuuuuu” – Regina Spektor
Credentials and experience

Kate has a Bachelor of Fine Arts: Creative Writing Production and a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Development Studies and minoring in Social and Public Policy. She has spent her work years variously as a freelance travel copywriter, manuscript assessor and book reviewer, a bookseller (yes, it is as dangerous to your bank account as you think it is) and a marketing assistant.

Read Kate's blog posts


 

Cathy Kirwan, Research Manager

Cathy-MelbourneHow did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

I came across Strategic Grants through my own work as a Fundraising and Communications Manager in the nonprofit sector. I was really impressed by the comprehensive services that SG offers to the sector and when the opportunity came up to take on the role of Research Manager I was excited to join the team.

What do you love most about your job?

Ensuring that nonprofits have the most comprehensive and up-to-date information about grant opportunities is really fulfilling. I know how much time and energy is needed to fully research and develop a grants pipeline and keep it current. SG streamlines this process so that nonprofits can focus on securing revenue through Trusts and Foundations.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

So many things. Spending time with my partner and our two fur peeps. Planning and going on luxurious holidays, painting, cooking and baking, reading, drinking coffee, eating out, bike riding and daydreaming, to name a few.

Favourite quote?

“Does a man become a revolutionary out of the belief he's entitled to joy rather than submission?” ― Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

Credentials and experience

I have over 20 years experience working in and supporting the nonprofit sector. I started my career as a youth worker in direct service roles. Over time I moved into program management and eventually fundraising and communications. I’ve worked in a wide range of roles in youth organisations, wormen’s health, Indigenous community development, international development, human rights and asylum seekers, mental health and disability. I also worked in the philanthropic sector and ran my own consultancy business in grant-seeking, fundraising and communications.


 

Andrew Thompson, GEMS Manager

AndrewNSWHow did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

I had been looking for a new opportunity and my next adventure, specifically around the not for profit sector and when I noticed the job ad, I thought “Wow! That job is me” !
When I checked out the Strategic Grants web site, what they do, how they operate and The Team, it got all the ticks and looked like a great organisation to work in … and it is !

What do you love most about your job?

I enjoy assisting people through the clever use of information technology, to enhance their situation. GEM Portal and GEM Local are excellent tools for grant seekers to hone in on the next potential funding opportunity.
I enjoy training people in how to use systems and how to improve their system processes.
I enjoy working with people who are passionate about what they do and why they are there, which is very often the case with people in the not for profit community services spaces.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

That is a long list, but first would be spending time with my wife and our four children. Guiding and loving our children as they grow into adults is the most rewarding experience.
I also enjoy running, bike riding, living close to the beach, swimming in the lagoon, bushwalking, bird keeping, travelling, learning, home renovating, cooking, music, … that’s enough for today !

Favourite quote?
“There was no please or thank you, because we shared everything" ...Aboriginal Elder
 
Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. …. Isaiah 1:17
Credentials and experience

I have had the privilege to work in all sorts of businesses and organisations from large internationals to small associations and even my own consulting business.
Primarily I have worked across information technology, where I enjoy using it as tool for enabling a business to achieve its outcomes.

Way back, I attained a Bachelor Degree in Mathematics (Computer Science) and have achieved other professional experience and training since then in project management, community leadership and various IT skills.


 

Patrice Summers, Administration and Marketing Officer

Patrice

How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

After deciding to change careers, I had a challenging few years trailing new industries, jobs and going down the road of hospitality while studying my lists of strengths and careers that utilised them. Until one day I was sharing a bottle of vino with my next door neighbour, discussing the trials and tribulations of my situation. She all of a sudden had a lightbulb moment and remembered a friend of hers was advertising for an administration officer. This friend was Jo, Strategic Grants Director. 
After sending in my resume and talking with Jo about all my previous roles as a graphic designer, sales representative and in administration she created a role for me. It was as though she had taken all of the jobs I enjoyed out of each position and rolled them into one. Perfect! I’m still touching wood, just to be safe.

What do you love most about your job?

The variety, I can be doing an excel spreadsheet one minute, designing a magazine advert and accounts receivable the next. Also as cheesy as it sounds, I love being in a company that helps people join together to help make an organisation, a community or a project better for someone in the world.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

Anything that involves Music! It is my natural drug. There is a tune to suit every mood and when I’m at a live gig with a crowd full of people I don’t know, all dancing, singing and smiling to the same artist, it gives me overwhelming euphoria knowing that we aren’t in it alone, we can come together regardless what is happening in the world. 
And a not so profound love is watching movies and TV show marathons with snacks and comfy clothes.

Favourite quote?

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

Credentials and experience

Bachelor of Multimedia

I have 10 years experience as a Graphic Designer and 17 years experience with client and customer service. Have been a Sales Representative, Café Manager, Mixologist (yes it is a thing, and I do say it with tongue in cheek) and have worked for a film production company. All of which touched on my not-so-secret love of spreadsheets and poster and stationary design.

Daniel Barnett, Research Assistant

DanBNE

How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

My friend Olivia had always talked glowingly about her job at a place called Strategic Grants. After my previous role ended, Olivia let me know that there was a position available at her work. I jumped at the chance, having learned that the role would involve writing, researching and communicating; three of the things that I enjoy doing most.

What do you love most about your job?

As a research assistant, I get the chance to be across all the sources of funding available to the not-for-profit sector and alert the people who need to know this information. This satisfies my predilection for research as well as my desire to help others.

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

I enjoy hanging out in libraries, meditating, running and making my friends laugh.

Favourite quote:

“If nature is unjust, change nature.” – Laboria Cuboniks

Credentials and experience

BA (Mathematics & Film and Television) and M.Ed.

 Sarah Doherty, New Zealand Manager

 Sarahnz

How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

I met Jo Garner at the 2015 Philanthropy New Zealand conference. We happened to be sitting beside each other at the Pōwhiri, the formal Māori opening. It was Jo’s first experience of pōwhiri so I quietly explained what was happening and the meaning behind the rituals. Over the years we met up occasionally and then reconnected early in 2017 at a sector conference. I was looking for a change from working in government and Jo was looking for a leader for NZ and the rest is as they say, history!

What do you love most about your job?

Supporting organisations to activate their mission. Smart grant-seeking strategies enable groups to resource their projects and plans and make the difference they are passionate about. Plus I love meeting people and I get to do a whole lot of that in this role!

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

I come from a large and vibrant family. My favourite thing at the moment is working with my uncle to collect family and clan stories, and record them digitally for our future generations.

I’m multi-passionate and I love knitting, picnics, 4WDing and stormy beaches. Those come slightly behind my dearly beloved John and our two grown sons Mitch and Finn.

I’m with Jo in that I also love a party…

Favourite quote

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” - C G Jung

Credentials and experience

BA in Psychology and Education
iap2 - International Association for Public Participation facilitator training

I have over thirty years’ experience volunteering and working in the community sector – it’s pretty much who I am and what I do. Strategic planning and governance are my areas of passion.

For a little over four years I worked at DIA Charities Services, in the Capability and Engagement team, leading the capacity building for the new financial reporting requirements. Speaking with and meeting with literally thousands of people including community groups, funders and government policy makers, has given me deep insight into the realities faced by the community sector across Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

 

Therese Lanigan, Grants Strategist, New Zealand

Therese How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

To be honest I stalked Jo at a Philanthropy New Zealand Conference after I found myself nodding at everything she was saying during her presentation about effective grant-making and emerging trends in philanthropy. It is hugely gratifying to work with the Strategic Grants team, as it is the perfect crossover to work in a sector I am passionate about and utilise my marketing skills.

What do you love most about your job?

Quite simply that nonprofits change lives and I enjoy being part of that change process. Plus (and it's a major plus), it is very rewarding to work with people in the sector who not only have huge hearts but bright minds (this includes the SG team!).

What besides your job do you love doing the most?

Family is a big part of my life. My husband and I are raising a young family (3 beautiful/bold children) and are fortunate to be surrounded by our extended family who have gravitated back to Auckland. Together we enjoy NZ's great outdoors and many family get togethers (which typically involve lots of food and noise!). Lastly I'm addicted to chocolate (will not be quitting sugar anytime soon).

Favourite quote?
"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." - Booker T. Washington

Credentials and experience

Working for the community and volunteering is part of my DNA (tracking right back to raising money for World Vision's 40 hour famine)!

After obtaining Honours degree in Marketing and Social Work (Community and Family studies) from Otago university, I worked in senior marketing roles within corporates (ASB, Vodafone, GE Money), start ups (Jucy )and as a marketing consultant.

Whilst I gained invaluable experience from working in diverse industries including Financial Services, Telecommunications, Tourism and IT, I have always be drawn towards projects and roles with a social responsibility focus. Working as the Vodafone NZ Foundation Manager for a stint cemented my views that helping nonprofits with capacity building was where it was at! Most recently I have really enjoyed being a mentor for start up charities and being part of the Board for the Foundation for Youth Development in Auckland.

I also have an appreciation and understanding of Tikanga Maori and Te Reo Maori


 

 Grace Milne, Research Assistant

Grace BNEHow did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

I started working for Strategic Grants in my first year of study at the University of Queensland. Now, almost three years later, I’ve been able to help Strategic Grants enter the New Zealand fundraising market and provide the research that has helped so many wonderful worthwhile charities along the way.

What do you love most about your job?

Ensuring that grants are up to date in our grant database takes a lot of time and attention to detail – but the end results for our clients have been so beneficial as a result. It’s an immensely satisfying feeling when I learn that our clients have been successful in their grant applications. Along the way, I also enjoy learning about the Australian, New Zealand, and international funding environments.


What besides your job do you love doing the most?

When I’m not researching away at work or UQ, I’m an avid traveller. I recently returned from 7 months in Europe and who knows where my wanderlust will take me next? But here in Brisbane, in my spare time I am content curled up with the Harry Potter series with a green tea and many, many maltesers.

Favourite quote?
“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” – JK Rowling
 
“If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it with full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all be passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be” – Roald Dahl
Credentials and experience

I hold undergraduate degrees in Social Science (majoring in Development) and Arts (majoring in Political Science). In 2017, I will be continuing my education at UQ by undertaking an Honours degree in public policy. Working for Strategic Grants for the vast majority of my time as an undergraduate has confirmed my desire to spend my career striving for social good, in whatever means that may encompass in the future.


 

Gavin Roche, Designer

Gavin1Gavin has been working with Strategic Grants on all graphics and design work since 2013. He now also works with a number of our charity partners.

In 2014, Gavin set up his own design studio, based in Brisbane. Roche Creative leans on a strong foundation of experience, passion and creativity.

From branding to packaging, and signage to web, Gavin has experience in all fields and can assist with any design needs, no matter how big or small they may be.

 

 

  


 

Dexter Garner, Chief Whip

Dexter1

How did you arrive at Strategic Grants?

Dexter Garner narrowly avoided the fate of becoming a lapdog, and after studying for many years in the school of life decided he wanted a change from his regular job of bowl pushing, barking and cavorting, and spoke to his owner Jo about positions available within Strategic Grants.

After beating a local brushtailed possum for the position of Chief Whip, Dexter (Dexy to his friends and those who drop ham from the lunch table) diligently took up position as Chief Whip. His official duties at the office include sleeping in random handbags, snapping at flies, de-stressing employees by being fluffy and startling everyone with the occasional bark.

Favourite Quote
"The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack" - Rudyard Kipling
Credentials and Experience

Dexter secured this job based entirely on the strength of nepotism, however he does have experience in being a dog, which is an invaluable perspective when Strategic Grants is working with animal welfare clients. 


 

Now you know all about us, find out about what we do