Fundraiser of the Week: Lindsey Cape of FareShare UK

The head of fundraising at the food redistribution charity talks to Third Sector about relationships in fundraising, cookbooks and individual giving

Lindsey Cape
Lindsey Cape

How long have you been in your role?

I have been with FareShare UK since September 2017 and have loved every minute. It is my dream job. After five years with Macmillan Cancer Support it’s fantastic to work for a smaller charity and see the difference I’m making every single day.

What is the best thing about your role?

There are many wonderful things about my role. I thoroughly enjoy leading a team and have seven fantastic fundraisers at FareShare whom I get to work with every day. We inspire each other, share successes and support each other during busy times or when we need a boost. It really is the best team I’ve worked with. We also work daily with the volunteers at FareShare – we rely on them to keep our charity running. They are really inspiring people.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

It’s a challenging time for fundraising across the sector. It can be frustrating when misleading information about charities is spread and confuses donors. Charities have to spend money to fundraise. In other businesses it’s considered good practice to invest in expansion, so it’s challenging when charities are criticised for it and negative stories then fuel a narrative.

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

It’s all about relationships, and not just with donors. We build relationships with other fundraisers in the sector, share information, join the fundraising forums and play in the charity softball league. The more we all work together in the third sector, the better.

What do you do to switch off from work?

I’m a big foodie: I like to cook eat, and entertain, and I love working for a food charity. It means a lot to me personally being able to save delicious and nutritious surplus food from waste and use it to support thousands of charities that are feeding people in need.

What’s your favourite book and why?

At the moment it’s all the Deliciously Ella cookbooks. I became a vegan for health reasons a few years ago, inspired by Ella’s blog and her first cookbook, and Deliciously Ella books are my daily go-tos.

How did you get into fundraising?

I started volunteering when I had a young family because I gave up my career in fashion and became a full-time mum. I just fell in love with the third sector and, after many years as a volunteer in both service delivery and fundraising, I decided that once my kids were in school full time I should go for my first fundraising job.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for the sector in the year ahead?

Individual giving. We must build relationships with our donors, and that takes resource. Mass marketing is not working like it used to.

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

My first mentor when I started used to say "there’s nothing we can’t do". That might not have been entirely true, but it definitely set me up to think big, ask big and go for it.

Which fundraiser do you most admire and why?

The late great Dame Jane Tomlinson CBE. She inspired so many.

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