Personal account: Paul Amadi

The group director of fundraising at the RNIB discusses rewards and redundancy.

The best advice I've had

Not so much the profundity of the advice but the backdrop to the conversation was so memorable. As we looked down on the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru after walking the Inca Trail in arduous weather conditions and having suffered significant altitude sickness, my mentor and friend John Crabtree turned to me and said: "Perseverance has its own reward."

My greatest hit

Lots of little things spring to mind: winning my first major corporate pitches, with companies such as Nissan and Railtrack; filling in as an aerobics instructor on a challenge event; and running the London Marathon twice for the deaf-blind charity Sense. I think I'm particularly proud of persuading the Sense board and senior management team to seize the opportunity of being London Marathon charity of the year. The charity has netted nearly £2m from that decision.

My greatest challenge

Moving from NCH to Radar, which meant the transition from a well-known, well-resourced children's charity that had potential donors ringing up offering support to a little-known campaigning disability charity where fundraising was absolutely critical to keeping people in posts.

I learned a great deal about packaging an organisation's work to make it more appealing to funders and about translating aspirational campaigning aims into accessible stories. Most importantly, I learned about making budget, which dictates your ability to deliver your charity's aims and objectives.

My worst moment

Being made redundant and having to reapply for my job. This happened very early in my fundraising career as part of a departmental restructure.

It was very stressful, and the sensation of not being in control was very debilitating. The one good thing that came out of it was that it means I've had empathy when I've been on the other side of the situation.

My top tip

Definitely, totally enjoy your work. We all know fundraising can be stressful, with unreliable donors and managers who can be relied upon to be demanding.

However, I truly believe that fundraising is an extraordinary profession, linking donors with their dreams of changing the world. It's important to see the positives and celebrate what we do.

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