The experienced leader and respected member of the fundraising community Danielle Atkinson died in hospital yesterday after being admitted to intensive care.
In a successful fundraising career that spanned nearly 20 years, Atkinson held roles at British Red Cross and Save the Children, as well as assistant director of public fundraising at Breast Cancer Campaign.
In her most recent role, Atkinson was head of individual giving at Plan International UK, where she had worked since September 2016. She oversaw the charity's child sponsorship programme, among other fundraising activities, and managed a team of around 40 staff.
In a statement released on Monday, Plan's UK chief executive Rose Caldwell said: “We are extremely saddened at the passing of our beloved colleague and friend, Danielle Atkinson.
“Danielle had a long and successful career in fundraising and was hugely respected across the sector, as much as she was here at Plan International UK where she spent the last three and a half years as head of individual giving.
“Danielle was known throughout the organisation for her wit, warmth and wonderful smile. She was passionate about helping others and was dedicated to her role.
“She was so proud to work for Plan International UK, and she will be terribly missed by us all. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to her family and friends at this difficult time."
Atkinson was also a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising from 2014 to 2019.
In a message posted on Twitter, the IoF wrote: "It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Danielle Atkinson, our friend, former trustee and #proudfundraiser who passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with Danielle’s family, friends and colleagues."
IoF chief executive Peter Lewis later tweeted: "This is such sad, sad news. Danielle was the best of people, a fantastic #fundraiser and the very best trustee you could imagine. Thoughtful, supportive, always happy to volunteer to help on the most difficult bits of being a trustee quietly and unassumingly, as well as huge fun."
In other online tributes, Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, posted: "This is very sad news. Danielle was one of the first fundraisers I met when @FundrRegulator started out. Always supportive and understanding. Sincere condolences. You will be missed."
Fundraisers have been sharing tributes on Twitter using the hashtag #ThankYouDanielle.
Atkinson, whose cause of death is as yet unknown, was 46 years old and is survived by her parents, brother and sister-in-law and her nieces.