Fundraising success on a global stage, Greg Millar
Welcome to Purposely with Greg Millar, a leading fundraising professional who has successfully raised millions for important causes and prominent charities globally.
Greg currently serves as the National Fundraising Manager at IHC, New Zealand's leading provider of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Greg shares his journey, starting with his formative years growing up overseas before moving to New Zealand at the age of 9. As the son of Salvation Army Missionaries, Greg witnessed his parents' dedication to promoting their faith while helping people in need in Mumbai, India.
Tragically, Greg's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in her early thirties, and he reflects on the challenges of losing her at a young age. However, he cherishes fond memories of her, particularly from their time in India.
After his mother's passing, Greg's father brought the family back to New Zealand. As the eldest child, Greg became aware of the cultural differences between his experiences and those of his New Zealand peers. Additionally, being raised by a sole parent for 25 years, Greg deeply admires his father for his role as both a wonderful father figure and for his work assisting marginalised individuals, many of whom faced addiction issues. Greg vividly remembers weekends spent weeding gardens for the people his father supported, experiences that laid the foundation for his career in the charity sector and his commitment to purpose.
In the early 1980s, Greg pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and education at the University of Auckland. He then embarked on an Overseas Experience (OE) to the UK, where he secured a position in the press and publication relations department of NSPCC, one of the largest charities in the country.
Since then, Greg has built a successful career in charity fundraising, working in the UK, New Zealand, Geneva, Switzerland, Washington, USA, and Rome, Italy. He has held senior fundraising roles with international development agencies such as UNICEF Global, UNHCR, and WWF. Greg has also made significant contributions to organisations like the Auckland City Mission, leading award-winning fundraising and marketing campaigns. He began his fundraising journey at Presbyterian Support, where he gained valuable experience.
Greg shares his fundraising secrets and acknowledges that his early decision-making was guided by intuition rather than solely relying on data or testing ideas and approaches. This approach, learned during his experiences abroad, has given him and his teams the confidence to be bold and aim for ambitious targets.
While Greg finds fulfilment in making a difference by raising more income for frontline services, he recognises that direct work with individuals in need may not be his strong suit. Instead, he utilises his skills and knowledge to raise funds and ensure greater reach and impact.
As a passionate proponent of fundraising, Greg has resisted the temptation to transition into general charity leadership. He is a living example that fundraising can provide a long, fulfilling, and impactful career option, both in NZ and across the world presenting endless and meaningful challenges.