Louise Richards has joined the professional body for UK fundraisers as director of policy and campaigns, in charge of an eight-strong team.
She replaces Megan Pacey, who left in February to become CEO of Early Education, the charity for early years practitioners and parents.
Richards said she will try to raise the profile of the organisation in the external media, showing the impact of its work through case studies. She will also argue that fundraising is crucial to charities' survival in the recession.
The body will also continue to lobby the Government and other political parties to support changes to Gift Aid, including making it 'opt-out'.
Richards was at Computer Aid for 18 months. Prior to this she was CEO of campaign group War on Want, and head of international relations for trade union UNISON for over twenty years.