Yoshiomi Tamai, the founder and president of Ashinaga, a Japanese charity that supports orphans worldwide, has been named global fundraiser of the year.
Tamai collected the award at the Global Awards for Fundraising 2012 at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands on Wednesday evening.
Since launching the organisation in 1993, his activism has helped raise $1bn (£620m), provided educational support for 90,000 orphans and raised $100m (£61m) for the 2011 tsunami disaster relief fund.
Others to collect awards included Action Against Hunger, Spain, which won the innovative fundraising category for its Sharing Experiment campaign.
The digital fundraising campaign raised awareness about serious malnutrition by showing that the solution to hunger was not complicated and one that could be learnt from children. It showed 10 pairs of children filmed by a hidden camera receiving two covered plates – one with a meal and one without. They always shared the food when they realised one would go without.
The campaign provided an 85 per cent return on investment.
Reeta Sabharwal won outstanding volunteer of the year for her work with Action for Autism, India. The judges said she was a terrific fundraiser and an example of the key role that a selfless volunteer can play in the setting up and expansion of much-needed services.
Sabharwal joined the charity in 1997 and used her social and professional contacts to develop AFA’s supporters and expand its services.
The award in the big idea, small budget category went to the Australian homelessness charity the Sir David Martin Foundation for its Abseil for Youth campaign.
With just four staff members, the foundation organised an abseiling event that raised $250,000 (£160,000) for young people in crisis and saw 110 people abseil down 26 floors of Australia’s first skyscraper, the 188-metre-high AMP building in Sydney.