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Always Be Connecting Podcast
17th June 2024

Finding support for those in need with Berta Youakim

Podcast Audio

Podcast Video

The Synopsis

In this episode, we talk with Berta Youakim, Director of Philanthropy and Engagement at The Funding Network Australia and a seasoned fundraiser with a remarkable journey from Beirut to Australia. The conversation covers various aspects of fundraising, including the importance of storytelling, donor engagement and professional approaches in the non-profit sector.

Berta’s Unique Background

Berta shares her personal story of growing up in Beirut during the war, highlighting how these experiences shaped her approach to life and work. Moving to Australia in 2006, she sought a safer environment for her family and found her passion in fundraising.

The Role of Storytelling

A key theme in this episode is the power of storytelling in fundraising. Berta emphasises that engaging stories can connect donors to the cause on a deeper level. Authentic and transparent communication builds trust and fosters long-term relationships.

Donor Engagement Strategies

Berta discusses various strategies for engaging donors effectively:

  • Personalised Communication: Tailoring messages to reflect the donor’s interests and past interactions.
  • Transparency: Keeping donors informed about challenges and successes.
  • Regular Updates: Providing impact stories and updates outside of annual reports.

Professional Approach to Fundraising

Fundraising is more than just asking for donations; it’s about creating meaningful connections. Berta talks about the importance of having a professional and strategic approach. This includes understanding donor motivations and offering multiple ways to support the cause, from volunteering to advocacy.

Challenges and Rewards

The episode also covers the challenges of fundraising, such as competition for donor attention and the need for transparency. However, the rewards of making a significant impact on communities and individuals make it a fulfilling career.

Future of Fundraising

Berta shares her thoughts on the future of fundraising, stressing the importance of cultivating a culture of generosity. She believes that with the right strategies, non-profits can continue to thrive and make a difference.


In this insightful conversation, Berta Youakim offers valuable lessons for anyone involved in fundraising. From the importance of storytelling to the need for a professional approach, her experiences and strategies provide a roadmap for successful donor engagement.

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