European Fundraising Association names its first chief executive

The EFA says the appointment of Beatrice Schell is crucial to furthering its key aims of influencing European Union VAT rates and data protection reform

Beatrice Schell
Beatrice Schell

The European Fundraising Association, whose members include the UK’s Institute of Fundraising and organisations from 21 other countries, has appointed Beatrice Schell as its first chief executive.

The EFA, which was founded in 2002 to support the formation of new national fundraising associations, said Schell’s appointment was an important step towards delivering on priorities including the advancement of its position on issues such as European VAT and data protection, and identifying sources of funding to support its activities.

Schell has taken up the role at a time when EU reform on issues of relevance to fundraising associations, such as data protection and VAT, is imminent, according to the EFA.

In her former role as senior programme officer for environment at the Geneva-based grant-maker the Oak Foundation, Schell managed a multimillion-dollar budget that supported 50 organisations in Europe, India, the US and South America on lobbying and advocacy work. Before spending eight years at the foundation, she led the Brussels-based umbrella body the European Federation for Transport and Environment, where she led lobbying and fundraising campaigns.

"It is a great privilege for me to be joining the EFA at this key stage in its development," said Schell. "I look forward to working with the board and the staff to ensure that EFA becomes the first port of call for the fundraising profession in Europe and to strengthen its lobbying voice at the heart of Europe."

Günther Lutschinger, president of the EFA and chief executive of the Austrian association Fundraising Verband Austria, said: "With Beatrice’s appointment, we gain critical capacity and a strong lobbying voice that will enable us to better represent the needs of the fundraising community in Europe.

"We look forward to some exciting and dynamic times ahead, in which the EFA will provide increased opportunities for shared learning, contribute to the wider fundraising environment and accelerate the development of the profession."

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