Balancing the Grind Kylie Wallace, CEO of Seedling Giving

Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Kylie Wallace, the CEO of Seedling Giving. In this conversation, she shares insights from her diverse career, her approach to maintaining work-life balance, and the changes she’s made to enhance her personal well-being.

Kylie also opens up about a typical workday, which includes tracking donations, developing digital marketing campaigns, and engaging with major donors. She emphasises the importance of starting the day with a morning walk, staying active, and allowing her body to wake up naturally without an alarm.

​​Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I have over 15 years of experience in the not-for-profit and Corporate Social Responsibility space, in the areas of Fundraising and Marketing. My first role was at the Heart Foundation as an Events and Community Fundraising Coordinator. I then worked for a range of NFPs including the Prahran Mission, World Vision and YGAP. 

I also had a stint working in Corporate Social Responsibility for Priceline and set up a Foundation with them called the Priceline SIsterhood. This gave me great insights into knowing what Corporates were looking for when they were donating and partnering with charities. 

Largely over the last 5 years I ran an international fundraising campaign called Polished Man (the nail painting movement) that took off in 110 countries around the world, has raised over $10M to date and got the likes of the Hemsworth brothers, Zac Efron and Kelly Slater on board. 

I am now on a mission to grow Philanthropic giving through a new and innovative social enterprise Charity Matching Platform; Seedling Giving.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

We have recently launched a really exciting new platform that allows anyone to find a high performing, grassroots charity to support so each day I’m tracking how many new donations we have had from the day before. I’m also looking at our growth strategies and how we can be building awareness of our service and platform to the Australian public. 

That involves developing our digital marketing campaigns and assets, evolving donor testimonials into social tiles, following up on any exciting podcast interviews, chasing any potential media lead ops, and doing Charity Reveal Sessions with our Major donors. 

We also develop a lot of great giving guides on topics including ‘How much should a charity be spending on admin?’, ‘Who are Australia’s biggest charities?’ and ‘How much are charity Executives being paid?’ so I’m often writing emails to our database and getting content loaded up onto our website. 

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

Running your own business the lines are really blurred. Also trying to get something new off the ground requires a huge amount of work and effort (especially at the start!). The magic sauce for me is:

  • Morning walks are always a must — It’s the best way to start the day, even when it’s freezing cold. I also really enjoy putting on a podcast and being inspired by other people’s business journies. 
  • Exercise — I usually wrap up my day by getting to the gym at least 3 times a week. Being the daughter of a personal trainer being active has always been a big part of my life and routine. 
  • I don’t set an alarm — I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but I let my body wake up naturally every day. It’s so nice not being jolted into the day with an alarm. 

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

It’s a simple one but I’ve switched gyms to one that is across the road from me (rather than my previous gym that was a 15 min drive away). Although I don’t love the vibe and community at this one as much, it’s so close that I never have an excuse not to go! However you can make good choices as easy for yourself as possible is always best. Like buying more healthy snacks at the supermarket, rather than chocolate. Set yourself up for success! 

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

My sister Linda Wallace is a Somatic Lifecoach. She is often sharing about how to better listen to our bodies and incorporate more mindfulness into our everyday lives. I’ve loved personally working with her and building tools and techniques to live a more purposeful and intentional life. 

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Working in the social impact space I think you can fall into the trap of giving up so much of yourself to help others. What I’m realising now is how vitally important it is to look after myself so I can still be doing this work in 10 or 20 years time. As they say, ‘don’t forget to fit your own oxygen mask first.’

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.