We set up ChallengeWorks because we saw too many wasted opportunities for fundraising and supporter engagement in the challenge event market and felt it was important to help not for profits to get the most from their events.
We achieve this by providing an end to end service to develop and manage great events that showcase the organisation’s mission, maximise fundraising and attract supporters.
Simon has always found himself just a little off the mainstream and enjoys having a few strings to his bow that challenge the (much to be avoided) norm. Being an endurance athlete, unicyclist, slightly overaged DJ, and very overaged skateboarder have fulfilled those requirements so far.
Having followed a corporate management career for many years, he had the opportunity to spend 3 years running Honda Australia’s not-for-profit CSR division in the late noughties. This role involved working closely with the Honda Foundation, Youth off the Streets, Rotary and other philanthropic partners to design and deliver socially responsible initiatives to more than 10,000 young people each year. This fortuitous opportunity gave him a taste of the NFP sector.
Simon valiantly resisted diving into the sector for a further 7 years. During this time he obtained a post graduate degree and forged a successful career as a strategy consultant, but the urge to return to the NFP sector was always there, largely being fulfilled by volunteer event organisation roles with Worldvision, Sir David Martin Foundation and Songo.info.
Having competed in hundreds of adventure events (and organised quite a few) over the last 20 years, and seeing how charity events are so often badly conceived and managed, the outlet for his passions became obvious and ChallengeWorks was born.
Coming from a strong strategy and communication background, Simon is most likely to be found agonising over the perfect phrase for the next fundraising communication, rounding up event sponsors or developing multi-year supporter journey maps. That is unless there is a great mountain bike trail that just has to be mapped.
Henry van Heerden
Henry has an enormous depth of experience in the challenge event industry, gained over the past 10 years as an event director. He has worked across a wide range of outdoor event disciplines and is particularly focused on event concept design and sustainability.
His experience includes planning, marketing and directing over 100 public participation, corporate and not-for-profit events ranging from fifty to thousands of participants. He also knows how to keep innovating and driving participant loyalty given that he directed the first and longest running urban adventure series and the longest running mountain bike marathon in NSW, both into their second decade of continuity.
Henry drives the event incubation, planning and logistics at ChallengeWorks. He works closely with our clients to develop events that provide the greatest lifetime value.