CAREERS: HOW I GOT HERE - John Ward, director of fundraising, the Crafts Council

- What was your first job?

I was on the West Africa desk in the overseas department of the Bank of England. A typical task was analysing the balance of payments of Burkina Faso. This left me with a fascination for Africa, especially the Sahara.

- What does your current role involve?

Creating a more strategic fundraising plan for the Crafts Council and preparing a capital funding campaign for our future relocation.

- Roughly outline your career path?

I helped set up a trade union for Bank of England staff. After running that for several years I became general secretary at the First Division Association, the union for senior civil servants.

I'd always wanted to work in opera so in 1988 I leapt at the chance to become the first head of development at Opera North and moving to Leeds.

From there, I moved to similar jobs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and, from 1997 to 2002, at the English National Opera. I joined the Crafts Council last month.

- What training or course has most enhanced your career?

What I learned on the job from my first manager at the Bank of England.

- What has been your greatest career achievement?

Helping a succession of astonishingly talented young fundraisers at the English National Opera to achieve their potential.

- What is your advice to people starting out in the sector?

Be passionate about your cause when fundraising, because you must be able to communicate enthusiasm to supporters.

- Are there any charities you support financially, or with time?

I give money to the organisation I am working for at the time, which gives me credibility when asking others. I mostly give my time to "third world" charities, particularly ones working in Africa such as the Bishop Simeon Trust.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus