Our team: Smile Support & Care

Theresa Elliott, appeal director at the care charity for children with special needs or disabilities, talks about its capital appeal

Theresa Elliott
Theresa Elliott

How many fundraisers are there in your team?

There are only two of us at the moment, based at our offices in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

What do the fundraisers do?

We started fundraising for the first time in November 2010, when we launched a capital appeal to build a new centre. Until then we had been funded by government grants. So far we have concentrated on trust and foundations fundraising. We have built up a "vice-patron network" for this - consisting of people like the presenter Alan Titchmarsh and various lords, who are great contacts for certain trusts so that we don't have to approach them completely cold.

How much do you raise?

We're aiming to raise £3.4m from our capital appeal by the end of this year. So far we have raised £1.9m and we are spending between £40,000 and £60,000 a year on fundraising.

What's in the pipeline?

We've taken on a PR company and it will help launch a community fundraising programme for us in the local area. We are also going to start corporate fundraising in the spring. This will involve contacting local companies to ask them for their support - particularly in the form of gifts in kind. And at some point we will also do a legacy appeal.

What's it like in the office?

Very busy. We make daily contact with trusts and foundations and are forever doing research on who can support us. We will be taking on extra staff soon.

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