At Disability Sport and Recreation (DSR), we’re proud to have an extremely dedicated fundraising team who have built meaningful relationships with donors, many of whom has supported our organisation for over 20 years. Thanks to this support we’ve been able to make a positive difference in the life of thousands of Victorians living with disability.
One of the key members of our fundraising department is Team Leader, Bruce Ellwood. . Bruce has devoted his life to helping others and ensuring that those in need are assisted in the best way possible. He has 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector and has been a valued member of the DSR family for 3 years.
We sat down with Bruce to talk about his journey.
Q: Where did you work before DSR?
"I was between jobs, and I had previously worked for a media group in advertising. A friend of mine who was working in the NFP space suggested I try my hand at fundraising. It’ll help utilise your skillset and keep you sharp and engaged until you find something you like.
So, I went and worked for a very short time in a Team Manager role with Smart Health Australia, and I loved it...I decided that I could look myself in the eye at the end of the day and know that the work I was doing was delivering material benefit to people who really needed help."
Q: Why did you get involved with DSR?
"I was inspired by those living with disability. It’s why I first applied at DSR. Disability isn’t at the forefront of minds when it comes to attention and representation. I’ve worked on everything from medical research, to animals, health, psych support, everything like that… but disability is something that still desperately needs support.
I’d worked on behalf of Independence Australia for a little while, and they were a really good organisation, and there’s a really human element to it. So, working here at DSR, I felt like I was getting into the disability sector where I could contribute to medical change for people who really needed it. Disability still needs all the help it can get”
Q: What is the best part about working with/for DSR?
"The donors are absolutely amazing. Out of all the organisations I’ve worked on behalf of, especially some with a huge database and good connections with the community, I have never dealt with donors as loyal or as dedicated as the ones we have here.
Many of them have an intimate understanding of what disability is, so they’re automatically connected to the cause and have been rusted on loyal supporters of DSR for over 20 years which says it all."
Q: How do you stay motivated?
"I stay motivated because I’ve had dealings with people like former Paralympians and two
time gold medallists, Jason Lees and Andrew Harrison. I was fortunate to have a long conversation with Jason about his history, about what inspires him, and I’ve never forgotten that. I walked away from that quite emotional. I still well from that experience.
They’re really inspirational people. I don’t complain about headaches, because I work with people who don’t have legs. There’s an old line… ‘I thought it was bad that I had no shoes, until I met the man that had no feet.’ That’s the stuff that inspires me."
Q: What would you want your legacy to be?
"That I dealt with people honestly and ethically. I was never inspired by ambition or personal wealth. The legacy I want to leave is one of helping my fellow human being."
If you'd like to become a donor and supporter of DSR, please support us and our work towards helping us make a difference for Victorians living with disability.