Fundraiser of the Week: Emily Lynch of Send a Cow

The head of community and events at the international development charity talks to Third Sector about fundraiser development, corporate partnerships and exploring different areas of fundraising

Emily Lynch
Emily Lynch

What is the best thing about your role?

The team I work with and getting to meet the charity’s incredible network of supporters across the UK, who are all so passionate about our work in Africa and the lasting impact it has on people’s lives

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

For me it’s the balance between the time spent on strategy and planning and actively supporting the team with fundraising on the ground. As a community and events fundraiser it’s always natural to want to get stuck in.

Do you think fundraising has changed since you have been involved with it, and how?

I think the charity sector has become much more saturated and, as a result, fundraising has become much more innovative and fast-paced, which is a good thing.

What advice would you give to a new fundraiser just starting out?

Get to know as many areas of fundraising as possible. If you’re a community fundraiser, get to know trusts and foundations, and vice versa. It will help you find out what area you are most passionate about and suited to.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – I’m a big fan of war-time love stories.

How did you get into fundraising?

I started off volunteering for a small charity in Bristol, assisting the community and events fundraiser with organising one of its big events at Colston Hall. I was offered her job when she left.

Would you like to see more done to support fundraisers? If so, what?

I’d like to see more organisations investing in fundraiser development. So often this is overlooked, hence the low retention rate of fundraising staff in many organisations.

What reaction do you get from people when you tell them you’re a fundraiser?

"Do you get paid?"

What’s the best piece of fundraising advice you’ve ever been given?

"Fundraising is sales with a heart." 

What qualities do you believe are important in a good fundraiser?

Empathy, patience, positivity and a general desire to make the world a better place.

Which fundraiser do you most admire and why?

Kim Van Niekerk. I’ve attended some great fundraising workshops led by her. She’s a great speaker and very inspiring in terms of what she’s achieved.

What keeps you awake at night?

Donald Trump.

How important are corporate partnerships and what can they offer a charity?

They're vital. Corporate partnerships can so often have a positive effect on other areas of fundraising, especially community and events fundraising. Many partners look to sponsor key fundraising events and colleagues want to sign up to volunteer or join community fundraising groups.

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