The Director of Fundraising at the British Red Cross, Mark Astarita, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was recognised for his services to fundraising.
He has worked as Fundraising Director at the charity for 12 years, during which time he has helped treble donations. Last year total fundraising income reached a record £163 million.
During his time at the British Red Cross Astarita has overseen the launch of more than 50 emergency appeals, including those for the 2005 London Bombings, the 2011 Japan Tsunami appeal, and most recently, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake appeal.
During his 20 year fundraising career he has been responsible for raising almost £1.5 billion pounds. Before he joined the Red Cross, Astarita held posts as the deputy chief executive and director of fundraising at the National Deaf Children’s Society, including a period of time as acting chief executive.
Chair of the Institute of Fundraising for three years, he has also been voted by fundraisers as the most influential person in fundraising in the UK for the past three years.
He is a trustee of St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney and former trustee of Voluntary Service Overseas.
On hearing the news of his award, Astarita said:
“I’m stunned that anyone has singled me out for such an honour. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by remarkable fundraisers throughout my career who have been passionate about the amazing causes we have the privilege to raise money for. It is all of them that deserve this recognition.”
Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the IoF said:
“I can’t think of anyone who has done more to deserve this accolade than Mark. His fundraising track record of course speaks for itself. But he has contributed far more than just to the causes and organisations he has worked for.
“His leadership and vision during his time as Chair of the Institute of Fundraising was remarkable. He is the absolute epitome of a proud fundraiser. His passion for fundraising, and for the good causes he raises money for, is matched only by his character and the flair with which he talks about those causes, and the fundraising community that he has contributed so much to.”
Other honours for Red Cross members
Four other Red Cross members have also been honoured:
• Fiona Hamilton, 79, who has dedicated more than 30 years to ensuring 4,500 people got to medical appointments in rural Scotland and fundraiser
• first aider and Red Cross stalwart 82-year-old Anne Deane from Dorset who has been a volunteer for 47 years both received the Member of the British Empire (MBE).
• Volunteer and Red Cross shop manager 86-year-old Dorothy Huddart, from Penrith, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) after 35 years’ service.
• Head of first aid education at the British Red Cross, Joe Mulligan, also received an honorary OBE last month for services first aid and community resilience. Mulligan, who is originally from County Mayo in western Ireland, is a qualified nurse, teacher and former ambulance crew member.
More Queen’s birthday honours
Other fundraisers, donors, volunteers and charity leaders were recognised in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours including:
• Zarine Kharas, co-founder of JustGiving, was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire.
• Ciaran Devane was awarded a knighthood his work while he was at charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. He is now chief executive of the British Council.
• Lenny Henry, actor and comedian, received a knighthood for services to drama and charity, especially for his work with Comic Relief.
• Dr Rory Brooks received a CBE for services to philanthropy and higher education. A personal supporter of The University of Manchester for more than 20 years, with his wife Elizabeth he made a landmark gift in 2005 to launch the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI), with the largest known philanthropic commitment to poverty research in the world.
• Were any of your staff, volunteers or supporters honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List? Share details and a link in the comments below.
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