Celebrating the Public Outreach Alumni



Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of a number of wonderfully talented individuals who have worked at Public Outreach and called it ‘home’.


With this in mind, we want to dedicate this month’s piece to the incredible group of people known as ‘PO Alumni’.


Working at a fundraising agency provides wonderful experiences and opportunities simply because it’s an authentic way of gaining in-field experience in Direct Marketing as well as other forms of Fundraising.


For many individuals, Public Outreach represents one of their very first jobs in the fundraising sector, and resoundingly, the verdict is that their experience at Public Outreach has helped shape and crystallise their expertise in this fascinating space and beyond. In celebration of this, we reached out to a few former ‘PO-ers’ to better understand what they did, what they do now and how they use their PO skills today.





Steffi Chang


What did you do at PO and for how long were you there?

I did a bit of everything at PO. Started as a F2F fundraiser, moved into admin and operations, finished up as Head of Client Partnerships. There for about 8 years altogether.


What role do you do now and where?

I’m at Plan International Australia now, leading the Philanthropy (Major Donors) program. Im also on the Board of grassroots org, Its Not A Compliment, and the co-chair of the Australian Philanthropy Network.


How has your former "PO life" influenced your approach to fundraising? POs values centered on being ethical, and having passion for the causes you worked for. I still carry that with me, along with some of my best friends whom I met during my time at PO.


What are the main skills and/or experiences you had at PO that have a strong presence in your current role?

The main skills I took that have helped me to excel to this day are relationship building and stakeholder management skills. Also, persevering in under resourced circumstances.



Henri Muniz


What did you do at PO and for how long were you there?

I wore many hats at PO, starting as a fundraiser back in 2013 before becoming a Fundraising Manager, National Recruitment Manager and finally Head of Human Resources during my last 4 years at PO.


What role do you do now and where?

I now lead the 5-person Business Development and Relationships team at EthicalJobs.com.au.


How has your former "PO life" influenced your approach to fundraising?

For me fundraising has always been a primarily rapport-driven job where success comes from being genuine, not using sleazy sales tactics. PO always encouraged me to be my authentic self, and expected high standards of honesty and integrity at all times - something that not only made me love my job as a fundraiser, but immensely proud of the work I was doing.


What are the main skills and/or experiences you had at PO that have a strong presence in your current role?

The ability to genuinely connect with different kinds of people and build strong, lasting relationships, as well as the self-confidence and resilience to build a lasting career in the for-purpose space.



Dr Peter Coleman


What did you do at PO and for how long were you there?

I was at Public Outreach for ten years. In that time I worked as a face-to-face fundraiser, phone fundraiser, phone room manager, head of client services and finally the Managing Director. I was Managing Director of Public Outreach for over four years.

What role do you do now and where?

I currently work as a fundraising consultant with Fundraising Partners and as a Director of the Benchmarking Project.

How has your former "PO life" influenced your approach to fundraising?

I learned so much during my time at PO, it's difficult to summarise its influence on my approach to fundraising. I know that starting out as a fundraiser and engaging with donors directly was invaluable, and continues to inform the way I think about fundraising. A sense of fun and willingness to challenge the 'status quo' is something that was encouraged at PO and continues to influence me to this day.

What are the main skills and/or experiences you had at PO that have a strong presence in your current role?

What stands out in my mind is the value of cultivating strong partnerships with clients and working towards common goals. It is so important when working supplier-side to cultivate professional empathy for the priorities and challenges of charity clients. The need for suppliers and charities to actively support one another is something I came to understand during my time at PO and continues to inform my thinking as a consultant and as a Director of the Benchmarking Project.



Emily Steinbach


What did you do at PO and for how long were you there?

I worked at Public Outreach from May 2011 until January 2017 in both the Canadian and Australian offices. I had a number of different roles throughout that time but when I left I was the National Fundraising Director – F2F in which I managed and oversaw all of Australia’s F2F operations.


What role do you do now and where?

I have been working at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation for nearly three years now. I work as a Philanthropy Manager.


How has your former "PO life" influenced your approach to fundraising?

Since leaving PO, I have worked primarily in the telemarketing and partnerships space (private and public) and I can thank a lot of what I learned at Public Outreach for what I do now and how I approach my job. Face to face fundraising was a very fast paced environment where my relationships with donors was fleeting whereas now I work in a space where I aim to secure long term and lasting funding. Whilst the overall approach is really different, my overall view on my career is that I exist as a medium to open up doors for individuals whom want to give to a cause. It has always been my role to make giving both easy and inspiring for donors, and this can be done with both a fleeting interaction, or with a relationship that is nurtured and grown for many years. PO started my career fundraising journey but the conversations I had with donors 10 years ago are still very similar to the conversations I have with donors today.


What are the main skills and/or experiences you had at PO that have a strong presence in your current role?

I think the most important skill I have learned is patience. I feel that innately, most people really want to make a difference and support a cause, but for most people it is simply finding the best cause for them to support in a way that works best. The other skill and experience I try to always hold close to my heart is my passion for the cause I work for. It is very easy to get wrapped up in numbers and figures, or emotion and sadness when working for a cause you are really passionate about. There is a positive and bright side to every charity and it is so important to keep that passion alive!


Alexis Escavy


What did you do at PO and for how long were you there?

I started as a street Fundraiser, then became team leader and Sydney Street Manager. I also managed the Brisbane and Adelaide office at different periods. We also started the phone room in Sydney and had a phone program there for a while. Overall, I stayed at PO for almost 8 years.


What role do you do now and where?

I started my role as the Gifts in Wills Manager at Greenpeace Australia Pacific in 2019


How has your former "PO life" influenced your approach to fundraising?

A lot. There is nothing more formative than talking to donors all day, listening to their concerns and understanding the way they see charities, donations and philanthropy in general. The way PO put a focus on retention and donor centricity has also shaped my values and continues to influence my career.


What are the main skills and/or experiences you had at PO that have a strong presence in your current role?

Working at PO was instrumental in developing the managerial skills and leadership competency that I have today. The resilience it takes to stay in this sort of job is highly sought after in many industries. I still use the strong interpersonal skills and fundraising techniques I acquired whilst working at PO. It also gave me great insights into donor retention and the charity sector as a whole.


Whether you’re currently a fundraiser, considering being a fundraiser or somewhere in between and weighing up your ability to cross pollinate your experience into new and different areas in the long term - we hope these stories help empower and inspire you!


To everyone who has previously worked at Public Outreach, including the wonderful individuals mentioned above as well as the countless others not named - Thank You!


Thank you for your contributions to the history and fabric of the Public Outreach identity.


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