March 2017

92 APAC / March 2017 , 1701AP25 All that Glitters is Gold KimSutton, award-winning CEO of not for profit organisation, Gold Coast Hospital Foundation, tells us more about the sector and what working in a different country taught her. Gold Coast Hospital Foundation (The Foundation) is a not- for-profit organisation responsible to the Queensland Office of Health Statutory Agencies that exists to support sick and injured patients suffering distress and hardship. With a motto of Help. Care. Save this dynamic organisation assists patients in receiving care at nearly forty local public hospitals, and community health services, as well as advancing clinical treatment for better patient outcomes through education and research. The organisation is the official charity for the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service. It aims to add value to existing government health budgets, as well as deliver projects that would not otherwise be funded – projects that improve the patient experience, and that of their family and friends, by reducing stress and anxiety, minimising wait, treatment and hospital stay times and improving the efficiency and approach of care models. To support patients and families suffering emotional distress and financial hardship, the Foundation provides the Cancer Patient Transport Service and the Trauma Support Program. For Gold Coast Health hospitals and community health clinics, the Foundation provides specialised medical equipment; health staff specialist training through education workshops; allied health and nursing and midwifery scholarships; community health programs; and improvement of facilities. With a focus on reducing distress for children in hospital the Foundation has also made comprehensive music therapy and life therapy services possible. Kim Sutton, CEO of The Foundation, originates from Australia but she has also lived and managed not for profit organisations in the UK for 13 years. “Having returned from living in a country with triple Australia’s population, the scale and scope of business opportunities was greater - clients, donors and employees with vast experience in specialist income streams were much easier to secure. Philanthropy, and its history and its implementation through fundraising is also somewhat different. Coming back to Australia and leading a regional organisation has allowed me to be much more creative in my approach to securing revenue, overcoming challenges and employing staff. Australia and the Gold Coast offer opportunities to be really entrepreneurial.” Kim, at her own admittance, has limitless amounts of energy and the determination to see her organisation succeed. Two key attributes which she believes have helped make her an award- winning CEO. “I love what I do and gain so much satisfaction each time I walk through the hospital and see patients in need that we are helping – babies, children and adults who are seriously injured or unwell,” she enthuses. “My approach is very strategic and solution focused – I stay calm during any storm – focusing on what can be done to solve problems quickly and keep stakeholders happy. I am happy to get hands on and do anything that I would ask my team to do, I have done myself and am happy to do when resources are tight.” Not for profit organisations rely on fundraising for income, so having a CEO that understands and values the fundraising team and the complicated nature of fundraising methodology and finances is key. “Many fundraising teams complain that their executive team and Board don’t understand or support what they are doing. I have personally raised millions of dollars and pounds for UK and Australian charities in my roles with charities such as Action for Children, Oxfam Australia and Gold Coast Hospital Foundation and am only one in ninety Australian fundraising professionals that hold a the CFRE globally recognised certification in fundraising excellence. Having a CEO that loves and deeply understands fundraising and philanthropy is extremely beneficial to my team and organisation.” Technologically is incredibly important in Kim’s industry, however she explains that it is often hard to secure, implement and maintain for not for profit organisations that need to justify every penny spent. “We also work in a time where the young people entering the work force expect to have access to technologically as good as, if not better, than what they use at home. Everyone is used to instant access to information and if the workplace can’t provide the same, employees quickly become frustrated.” Since joining the Foundation Kim has worked with the team to implement a number of technology solutions, such as secure online giving and banking, a contact management system and is currently working to introduce a new system to automate the firm’s service delivery and grant making services. She is also looking at new disrupter technologies about to be introduced to the Australian fundraising market and encourages her team to be at the front of the queue when new opportunities are offered. If you wait to see how they work out for those that try them first, by the time you get on board it will be old news and the opportunity may have been missed. Taking risks presents an opportunity for grander successes! “These technologies save time and money, making us more effective and efficient,” explains Kim. “By capturing information about customers, their likes, dislikes and preferences and our conversations with them, more accurately, they also allow us to have more meaningful conversations with customers and supporters – I think people expect this now. Using it effectively is always the challenge. And it’s about having good processes and policies and reinforcing these regularly – it has to be a team culture and commitment. I like to recruit team that enjoy technology – that want to be well organised and process orientated!” With regards to the future of The Foundation, Kim lets us into a few forthcoming plans which she hopes to see come to fruition. “When I took over this