My career: Sharon Wheeler, the Rainbow Trust

The trusts and foundations manager left the glamour of the music industry for the charity sector

- The best advice I've had

I can be a bit of a bull in a china shop and have a tendency to become extremely bouncy when excited, so the best advice I've had was from The X Factor judge Simon Cowell. He sometimes tells his proteges to take deep breaths and breathe slowly to calm themselves down. I try to do it but it doesn't always work, as some of my colleagues will testify.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

Leaving my previous career as a PR in the music industry and joining the charity sector. I wasn't certain I was ready for it, let alone whether the charity sector was ready for me, but I'm here now and I've never looked back.

- My greatest hit

One of my greatest achievements in this job has been learning to be patient, which is not something that comes naturally to me. One particular trust I worked with springs to mind because it took two years of preparation before I was ready to make an appeal to it. I watched its giving patterns and made sure my timing was right before I hit it with an ask. All my patience was rewarded because we got a three-year grant of £15,000 a year. I got a lovely warm and satisfying feeling when the grant letter arrived.

- My worst moment

I forgot to include something in a large trust application when the guidelines clearly stated "if the application is not complete it will be rejected immediately" - and they weren't kidding. This mistake put me about £25,000 off target. I worked my butt off to find funding from other sources to make up for it, which was hard work. But I did it.

- My top tip

Make sure that you check, check and check again.

Interview by Annie Kelly


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now