Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith

Founder & CEO

Melissa Smith has built fundraising and philanthropy programs from concept to delivery at major cultural institutions and in the university sector in Australia, raising millions from philanthropists globally. She achieved multiple awards including Australian Fundraiser Of The Year (FIA) and Global Fundraiser Of The Year (IFC). This 20-year journey in fundraising expertise has crystallised Melissa’s thinking that unless leadership, Board and executive teams share a common understanding and are engaged in strategic fundraising, the potential of an organisation’s philanthropic capabilities cannot be fully realised.

Melissa established Noble Ambition in 2016 and has focused exclusively on working at Board and executive level to build the capability and confidence of Australia’s for-purpose sector leadership, to drive multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns and achieve lasting social impact.

Noble Ambition has worked with hundreds of board directors, CEOs and fundraising directors nationally across many sectors including health, education, advocacy, culture, Indigenous, climate, disability, and social services.

Melissa has led four fundraising programs from start-up to established, from Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Opera House in the arts, to University of Technology, Sydney and RMIT University, in education.

Melissa has a BA Hons (First Class, USyd), Masters of Management (UTS) and is a Churchill Fellow.