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Rob Cameron / Cameron Partners

Rob-Cameron_portrait.jpgFew not-for-profit organisations are run as efficiently and successfully as Special Olympics New Zealand. Rob Cameron and his firm, Cameron Partners have made a significant contribution to itscohesive infrastructure, systematic fundraising framework, and clear governance.

Rob is one of New Zealand’s most successful and insightful business leaders. He has more than 25 years’ experience in investment banking and has been responsible for bringing several organisations ‘back from the brink’ through strategic thinking and action. He is one of the Government’s most valuable business advisors and in 2008 chaired the Capital Markets Development Taskforce set up to assess and improve New Zealand’s financial system and economy.
For Special Olympics New Zealand, having someone as experienced and supportive as Rob Cameron on board has been transformational.
Back in the early 2000s, Special Olympics New Zealand was struggling as an organisation, its growth and services stymied by financial pressures and disparate goals. Brought in on the recommendation of his brother-in-law (Special Olympics New Zealand Life Member John Towns), Rob and Cameron Partners took on Special Olympics New Zealand as a pro bono client and undertook a review of its mission, vision, strategy and organisational structure.   Working with Special Olympics New Zealand Board Chairs Michael Shanahan, Robin Sheffield, and then David Rutherford, Cameron Partners took the organisation back to basics, clarifying its visionand laying out choices for how it could improve its capabilities and better organise itself to marshall the resources it needed to extend its activities and programmes.,
As was typical of many not-for-profit organisations a lot of effort was  being spent on developing and delivering programmes rather than developing the organisational infrastructure and capabilities to sustain and grow activities.. Rob worked with the board  to identify  volunteers as Special Olympics’ most valuable resource. This simple reflection led to fundamental infrastructure changes, establishing Special Olympics New Zealand as an Incorporated Society with a representative structure (and creating Regional Sports Coordinators).
Guided by Rob , Cameron Partners,and the then Chairman,David Rutherford,Special Olympics New Zealand’s focus was aligned with Special Olympics international. In a pioneering move, Rob  and David adapted  the corporate venture capital model and applied it to Special Olympics New Zealand establishing a philanthropic structure whereby benefactors had insight into  and control over where their money was spent and could be satisfied it was being invested wisely. Fundraising sources were diversified and volunteer recruitment formalised.
Rob continued to work with Special Olympics New Zealand and sat on the Board until 2011 whe n he was forced to retire due to ill health. He remains a steadfast supporter of the organisation.
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