Our People

Frankie Airey

Director & Founder

Frankie began her career in development with the Campaign for Oxford in 1987. After establishing the campaign’s prospect research function in both Oxford and New York, she led the individual giving division which contributed the lion’s share of the philanthropic income to the £342 million raised. The Campaign for Oxford was the first major fundraising campaign for the University and marked the first major endowment campaign undertaken by any British institution.

Following the Campaign for Oxford, Frankie moved between the UK and Australia working for high profile institutions in executive development roles before identifying a need in the Australian market for an advisory practice that could help inspire a new approach to development. In 2003, Philanthropy Squared was launched.

For over 30 years Frankie has provided support to the non-profit sector. She is a passionate advocate for cultivating a stronger culture of giving in Australia and is committed to re-defining the sector’s approach to and understanding of fundraising as a professional discipline.

Frankie completed the Art and Science of Leadership Development course at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015. She is an associate member of Philanthropy Australia and has served on several boards including Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London and the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. Currently, Frankie is CEO of the Betty Amsden Foundation and is a trustee of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust (Arts Centre Melbourne).


What attracts you to work in the non-profit sector?

I love the sector’s optimism.  I love the people who are putting all their energies and intelligence into making the world a better place. I love it when we see clients working in partnership with their donors to realise shared dreams.  I just love it!

Non-profits to watch?

In the UK the big university campaigns set the ball rolling for transformational philanthropy. Somehow, they gave donors the permission to think big, which opened the doors for more creative philanthropy across the board – in culture, medical research, health and welfare – everywhere.  The same is now happening here in Australia.  We are all learning what role philanthropy can and should play in shaping the world we would like to live in.

Next big trend in the sector?

Over the years I’ve seen a few “next-big-ideas” go off like a firework and disappear into the darkness. What is consistent is that if you actively listen to your donors you are more likely to find a common view of the problem and work together to find (and fund) solutions.  It’s termed ‘engagement’ (by the sector), but to me it’s simply common sense and courtesy.