Fundraising: The best of the next generation - Part II

Fundraising remains the lifeblood of the charity sector; without it many charities simply could not exist. It therefore needs to attract highly skilled people, people with clear ideas about how to negotiate a way through the changing fundraising landscape and who are able to adapt to the digital age.

That's why Third Sector this year launched Fundraisers: The New Generation, a programme to identify the best the up-and-coming talent in the sector and the potential leaders of tomorrow.

Ten people from a wide variety of charity causes and a diverse range of fundraising roles made the cut this year. We're really pleased with those chosen and expect them to go on to great things, so well done to all.

Aaron Hearne, Senior regional fundraising manager, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Hearne was working as an accountant when his teenage younger brother committed suicide. This prompted Hearne to start voluntary fundraising for Childline through a tribute fund he set up called the Liam Charity, which has raised more than £200,000, and in turn led to a change of career.

This was not straightforward: it took 19 applications and seven interview rejections before he landed a job as an executive in the NSPCC's individual giving team. His progress since then has been swift: after less than a year with the charity he became community fundraising manager, helping to introduce a new way of sourcing corporate partners, significantly saving on staff time. He trained his team how to interact with different audiences and helped build the charity's social media presence.

Hearne has since moved on to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and hopes to become a head of department in the next five years. Further ahead, he harbours ambitions to become a director of fundraising and possibly a chief executive.

On his entry form, Hearne said he wanted the sector to recover the public trust it previously enjoyed: "I want the world to believe in fundraising again, and the goodness of the sector."

What the judges said Mark Flannagan, a consultant, said: "Aaron is an individual with a huge a personal motivation. He demonstrated clearly how focused he is, all in aid of making a huge difference for the cause."

Verity O'Shaughnessy, Senior corporate partnerships executive, Care International UK

O'Shaughnessy became a fundraiser less than two years ago, choosing to move into fundraising because she wanted to have a positive impact. One of her proudest moments is bringing the pharmaceuticals firm GSK and the retailer M&S into a tripartite partnership that will help to strengthen healthcare systems in some of the poorest communities in Bangladesh.

Her other successes include helping to raise a six-figure sum from the Intercontinental Hotels Group in response to disasters including Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the earthquake in Ecuador in 2016.

In five years' time, she'd like to be leading a team developing strategic corporate partnerships that are more than philanthropic gestures and which are based on achieving maximum impact.

"I see presentations too often that talk about corporate responsibility rather than truly strategic partnerships," she said on her entry form. "We need to focus more on the impact and influence you can achieve."

What the judges said Flannagan said: "Verity has already delivered very significant partnerships for the charity in a very short time. Her view of the need for our sector to adapt and change is spot on and will drive future giving and partnerships work."

Daniel Magson, Community and events manager, Independent Age

Daniel Magson says he always dreamed of becoming an events manager, and decided to pursue this goal while he was at university. At the time, he decided to run an event that would have a tangible benefit for local communities in Leeds and settled on the idea of a talent show that would raise money for a community development charity.

"The charity was over the moon, which showed me how donations and the substantial awareness the event had raised would make a big impact on the lives of others," he said on his entry form. He says his proudest moment so far has been becoming the events manager at Independent Age, where he has been organising new events and fundraising activities.

Magson holds additional roles as a trustee and ambassador for Anorexia and Bulimia Care and as a member of the Institute of Fundraising's special interest group for community fundraising. "Working in fundraising has inspired me to take my own experience of an eating disorder and do something positive," he said. "I intend to evaluate my career path and either move to a senior position within a charity, start my own campaign or set up my own charitable events company."

What the judges said MacQuillin said: "This guy is really passionate about a particular type of fundraising and is going all out to make that work for his own sense of pride."

Kenneth Foreman, Sporting event manager, Alzheimer's Research UK

After 10 years in the corporate sector, Foreman pursued a career in fundraising, having found volunteering for charities such as Samaritans rewarding. But making the move was not simple: he was initially rejected by Alzheimer's Research UK due to a lack of experience. Undeterred, he pursued the recruitment manager at the charity, who eventually offered him a job.

He was taken on as the charity's first dedicated staff member for sporting events and quickly played a key role in helping to grow the charity's income in this area by 60 per cent in just a year. He has used his corporate skills to build long-term relationships with supporters and helped to introduce new approaches to mass-participation events. This included leading the development of the charity's first virtual running event, which raised a six-figure sum and attracted almost 4,000 supporters.

In two years at the charity, he has also secured partnerships with third-party event providers and helped to build the charity's digital communities. "As technology continues to progress, we should be constantly looking for new ways to innovate and build genuine relationships with our supporters," Foreman said on his entry form.

What the judges said Lillian Ashford, senior development manager at Clean Break, said: "He has made a big difference and is valued by team members and community fundraisers alike."

Rachel Murphy, National events marketing programme manager, Macmillan Cancer Support

It was a personal connection that led Murphy to fundraising: at the age of 12 she lost her father to cancer; then, at only 19, she received her own diagnosis. Her experiences have given her "buckets of determination" to fundraise for cancer charities.

She has worked as a fundraiser for less than a year and her proudest moment so far has been watching the totaliser for Macmillan's Go Sober hit the first £1m mark last autumn.

She is "big on personalisation" and in five years' time would like be leading campaigns that incorporate this to a much higher degree.

The two tailored donor-retention journeys she implemented for Go Sober drove a significant increase in conversion rates, but she believes there is space for much more personalisation within fundraising. She would also like to see more emphasis placed on donor engagement and loyalty.

Equally, she says, the sector needs to innovate more. "We need to keep up with fast-moving lifestyle trends or we will lose relevance," Murphy said on her entry form. Another bugbear is donor consent statements: too often these are dull and instead need to be framed as a positive way of supporting the cause, she says.

What the judges said MacQuillin said: "Rachel has got some great ideas for change and seems to know how to take them forward."

SEE ALSO Click here for the previous five winners in The New Generation list

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