Tony Elischer, who has been credited with shaping much of the modern professional fundraising sector, died earlier this week.
A statement on Think Consulting Solution’s website said: “Tony Elischer died peacefully on 12 January after a courageous battle with cancer.”
Elischer founded the consultancy in 2001 having previously worked in charities. He was also a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, a trustee of a number of charities and a regular speaker on fundraising issues. He also regularly featured in Fundraising Magazine’s ‘Most Influential’ poll.
Richard Taylor, chair of the Institute of Fundraising and director of fundraising at Macmillan Cancer Support, paid tribute: “Tony was a true pioneer of fundraising as we know it today. In his early career as a practitioner he paved the way for the future success of the charities he worked for, including what is now Cancer Research UK.
“He was a truly inspiring fundraising director. His extraordinary personality enabled him to inspire fundraisers young and old throughout his career. As a personal friend I will miss him enormously but it's his impact across the entire sector where he was so admired and loved that he will be so missed.”
Peter Lewis, chief executive of IoF added: “It is hard to imagine the fundraising world without Tony. His enormous warmth and personality filled any room; his endless passion to make the world a better placed flowed into those around him; and he never ceased wanting to innovate and do things better.
“As well as being a fundraising guru of worldwide acclaim, he never ceased to be a true friend to the Institute of Fundraising (or the Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers as it was before) over the whole of its history, whether fronting inspiring plenary sessions at Convention, supporting young and up-and-coming fundraisers; or simply acting as a wise counsel and mentor to many that met him, with his unique style of encouragement and enthusiasm.
“His tragic and untimely death will be mourned by the fundraising community around the world. Our thoughts are with his wife Nicky, his family, friends and colleagues.”
Several people have paid tribute to Elischer on Twitter.
Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, tweeted: "It is heart breaking to learn that Tony Elischer has died. One of our sector's giant personalities lost to us. RIP."
Liz Tait, director of fundraising at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, tweeted: "So very sad to hear about the loss of Tony Elischer - an inspiration to me as well as a kind friend to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home's animals. We will miss you."
Adrian Sargeant tweeted: "Deeply sad to hear about the passing of Tony Elischer. An inspiration and friend to many of us. His humour and kindness will be sorely missed."