Jim O’Brien

Jim O’BrienSenior Consultant

: Australia (Sydney): 0435 967 444: j.obrien@AskRIGHT.com
Your fundraising consultant

Jim O’Brien is a highly sought-after fundraising professional with over twenty years’ experience in developing and leading teams and programs in healthcare and higher education.


Jim’s consulting practice focusses on:


  • Assisting organisations to transform their capacity for impact through fundraising

  • Developing new fundraising offices and programs within organisations

  • Applying a rigorous approach to fundraising practice

  • Specialising in fundraising in large, complex organisations

  • Pursuing large gifts and philanthropic support from corporations, foundations and trusts

  • Supporting the fundraising leadership to have a greater impact within the organisations they serve.


I offer a rigorous approach to fundraising practice and standards, which includes the basic necessities for fundraising, getting the right systems in place, motivating staff and implementing moves management to bring donors into greater relationship with an organisation.


A native of Connecticut, Jim began his fundraising career following graduate studies in psychology at the University of Chicago. While pursuing a research career focused on health care quality, organisational culture and change at Northwestern University, he was recruited by Advocate Health Care to launch a new office of foundation and corporate relations. This is where Jim came to appreciate the power of fundraising to transform organisations.


I saw how fundraising could help an organisation to create a vision for itself to take its work to another level where it can innovate, develop programs which contribute to the community, and ultimately meet its mission in a more successful and meaningful way.


From Chicago, Jim moved to the University of Hawaii where he established the first office of foundation relations and was engaged in the early stages of the university’s first capital campaign. He returned to the University of Chicago Medical School and Hospital joining its capital campaign. There he secured major gifts to support leading-edge research, medical education, patient care and community health programs. He then worked for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in New York where he secured over $10 million in foundation gifts and was instrumental in managing relations with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, stewarding a $100 million gift.


Jim was invited to Australia in 2010 by the University of Sydney where he developed corporate and foundation fundraising strategies to great effect and played a key role in helping to secure some of the University’s largest gifts. As a senior leader of the Advancement team at the University of Technology Sydney Jim had responsibility for bringing on a team and program of fundraising that could help move the institution towards becoming a world-leading university of technology. In addition to focusing on strategies for major and principal gifts, he developed and launched a phone campaign as part of the annual appeal and a new donor relations program.


In Australia, Jim discovered a philanthropic sector which was truly awakening to the power of giving. He hopes to help support the growth of fundraising and philanthropy in this country, beginning with fundraising leadership.


If you want to be successful in fundraising, you have to foster a culture of philanthropy internally before you can inspire philanthropic giving in people outside of your organisation. Fundraising is all about inspiring people. You have to reach people where they are and inspire them to realise the difference they can make.

Fundraising commitment

I am committed to supporting non-profit leaders to see bring about real change within their organisations so they can better serve the community and achieve their mission.





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Fundraising Consultants & Researchers at AskRIGHT
AskRIGHT fundraising consultants and researchers help non-profit organisations raise more money by providing optimal fundraising strategies, identification of donors and fundraising training.
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