The AGCF are super excited to announce that we have a new person steering the ship! Kimberly Downes has been appointed as our Acting CEO and is ready to take the AGCF in a new direction that will empower women and get all people talking about gynaecological cancers.
Originally from Chicago, Kim has been in Australia for 27 years and has two wonderful children aged 23 and 25. With a degree in marketing and psychology and over 30 years’ experience in fundraising and philanthropy – Kim absolutely loves the work she does in the not-for-profit sector. She supports organisations from the ground up – always willing to get hands-on! – so that they can continue to flourish and make a difference to the lives of people around the world.
“My first job was at a not-for-profit,” says Kim. “First day they told me that we need to raise 2.5 million dollars. Phew! I learned everything there. I set up food for events, put stamps on envelopes, and organised major gifts. And when the campaign was over and we raised what we needed to, I knew this was what I was meant to do.”
Kim worked as a consultant for a variety of purpose-driven organisations, supporting their strategy, vision development and donor acquisition. A self-described “learner”, she is always looking for best practice, the latest world trends and educational courses. She has even written a research paper on how to engage women as donors.
“I love the not-for-profit world,” says Kim. “I love connecting donors with organisations to help them both achieve what they want to achieve. It’s not about donors giving money – it’s about donors getting to see an outcome. To see the impact that they can make. As much as an organisation gets excited about receiving a gift – the donor feels 10 times better because they think, wow I’m going to do something amazing with that gift.”
Having had her own health issues, Kim is now excited to turn her head towards the ACGF and women’s health. “There was not a better organisation that I would want to help raise their profile, educate women about these important issues and raise funds for research.”
As Acting AGCF CEO, her vision is to create a world in which women aren’t shocked to learn that there are 8 gynaecological cancers. “I want them to know the symptoms. To know what to look for and when to act. Women are unique beings and our health needs to be as much of a priority as anyone else’s. We can empower women to understand our own bodies.”
She is also thrilled to join a team of people who are incredibly dedicated, including extraordinary Australian scientists who are doing world-class research on new ways to screen, treat and cure gynaecological cancers.
“It’s an honour to be entrusted with leading this organisation and shaping its future,” says Kim. “It’s also incredibly exciting. I’m absolutely loving the relationships, connections and opportunities that we have to educate, raise awareness and raise money for such vital research.”
We can’t wait to get to work! A big welcome Kim.