Fundraiser of the Week: Hannah Monteith of Dimbleby Cancer Care

The fundraiser talks about her move from 'the night-time scene' to the charity sector

Hannah Monteith
Hannah Monteith

How long have you been in your role?

I’ll have been at Dimbleby Cancer Care for three years next month.

What is the best thing about your role?

The variety: we have an established annual calendar of activities, including our glamorous gala quiz night, our flagship walking event #walk50 and our lovely carol concert. I’m also in the process of developing a new initiative, #DimbleTea, which we’re launching in March – it has involved getting creative. I also really enjoy supporting people in their own personal challenges, whether that’s climbing mountains, cycling a continent or organising their own personal events. Volunteer recruitment and management is a big part of the job too and we have a fab team of volunteers who are part of the family -– it’s never dull!

How did you get into fundraising?

I started in corporate fundraising in 2006 at NCH, now Action for Children. Before that I was a promoter and event manager in the night-time scene. After a while the late nights started to wear me down. I wanted a better work-life balance and to move into something more meaningful where my efforts meant more than just profit. Fundraising seemed like a good fit and I’ve not looked back.

What is your charity’s main income stream? What are the positive aspects of that and what are the challenges?

We rely solely on voluntary income and our flagship event, #walk50, brings in a large portion of this. This year we are aiming for at least £75,000 from the event, with a minimum of 200 participants. This would be the largest number we have had, but we are in our fourth year now and feel really confident in the event.

The positives are that this income is unrestricted, so we can decide with the service team where this funding is best-placed. This can change from year to year depending on the demand for our services. The negatives are trying to recruit participants when there are so many brilliant fundraising challenges out there and so many good causes.

What fundraising challenges do small charities face?

Being a small team with limited resources, we have to get creative with our marketing and promotion. Sadly, we don’t have the money to justify a big advertising budget and we are up against charities that are always on the radio, billboards and social media. Some even have TV adverts. It’s hard to compete and stand out when we are much more grass roots, but thankfully we have some amazing supporters who really help to push our activities.

It means you have to be brave and ask for help, which can be awkward at first – but some of our best successes have been from reaching out and asking. It’s amazing how generous and helpful people can be. You do have to be prepared to accept that there will be disappointments along the way, so you try not to lose heart and just keep on keeping on.

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