- Who is she?
Liz Tait is director of fundraising at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and a member of the Institute of Fundraising's learning and development committee. Her 14-year career in fundraising started at Plan UK and her previous role was head of direct marketing at the British Red Cross. In the three years since she joined Battersea, its voluntary income has grown from £10m, of which £8.5m was from legacies, to £14.6m last year. Its income is expected to exceed £20m this year, about half of which is likely to come from legacies.
- What's she going to say?
Tait will be joined by fellow directors of fundraising Catherine Miles, from Anthony Nolan, and Lucy Caldicott, from Clic Sargent, to talk about climbing the career ladder and the skills and attributes needed to be a great fundraiser. All three fundraisers have overseen significant income growth at their respective charities and will offer perspectives based on their experience of getting into top jobs in fundraising. Tait believes that taking responsibility for your own development and working to improve your skills and experience are key.
- How did she climb the ladder?
She says that it's important to put time aside to focus on planning, building experience and getting involved in the sector's extracurricular activities. She credits the people she worked with at the Red Cross for giving her the support and mentoring needed to progress in fundraising. She says this allowed her to gain skills and experience in different areas.
- So what skills do make a great fundraiser?
Project management and relationship management are important for fundraisers, says Tait. But she says that attributes such as passion, tenacity and self-awareness can also make the difference between a good fundraiser and a great fundraiser. As an officer, being reliable is a great attribute, while managers need to be skilled in performance management, she says. For directors, fundraising success is about building the right team.