My career: Annu Mayor, Fight for Sight

The charity's director of fundraising on the highs and lows of her career

The best advice I've had

Fresh out of university, I went to work for Amnesty International. My boss said I had to take some risks and learn from my mistakes. His advice has always worked for me.

The biggest challenge I've faced

Raising money for a mental health charity where I had to tackle huge stigma about the cause and had no budget to spend. At the same charity, I had to organise a special benefit theatre evening in less than four weeks, which was pretty scary.

My greatest hit

Maintaining communication with key stakeholders when Fight for Sight merged with the British Eye Research Foundation, recruiting interim fundraising staff - rebranding, relocating, helping to manage the day-to-day activities of the newly merged charity and then still reaching our fundraising target. How did I do it?

My worst moment

Going back some 10 years or more, I was asked to recruit a trainer to do a two-day workshop with staff on how they could communicate better with each other. At the end of day one, the trainer hadn't made much headway.

She called me the next morning to say she wasn't coming back because it was going to be far more challenging than she had realised. It was down to me to convey this to the staff. On the plus side, it gave them something to talk about.

My top tip

I have a few. First, realise that sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct, no matter how much reading you have done on the subject. Above all, have integrity in everything you do. And finding the right work-life balance is essential.

Interview by Annie Kelly


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