Fundraiser of the Week: Pam White of Guide Dogs

The national community fundraising campaigns manager at Guide Dogs talks to Third Sector about soft skills, passion and her new arrival

What is the best thing about your role?

As a fundraising manager, one of the best things about my role is collaborating with others across the organisation, including staff, volunteers and our supporters. Nothing beats chatting to supporters and hearing them proudly share their fundraising efforts. It’s just lovely when people well up with pride because they know they’re doing something to make a real difference to people living with sight loss. I take great pleasure in thanking them for their support.

I also love that my job allows me to be creative – coming up with new fundraising opportunities is great fun. My role is so varied. No two days are the same and I’m empowered to make decisions to change lives on a daily basis, which is extremely fulfilling.

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

To be successful in fundraising you must be personable. The ability to talk to people and gain a person’s trust is vital. Soft skills should not be overlooked. Passion, a good sense of humour and determination will also help.

How did you get into fundraising?

I worked as long-haul cabin crew for 13 years, which I loved at the time. It was then that I came across Guide Dogs when I met some of the charity's volunteers at British Airways headquarters. I was so inspired by their work and their commitment to the charity that I felt compelled to give up my time for the cause. I first started volunteering as both a driver and a fundraiser. I held the roles for five years and learnt so much during that time. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

Passion. A good fundraiser clearly loves the job they do and zest for the role really shines through. Being a good listener is also essential – it’s an important communication skill to master. A "get-up-and-go" attitude is infectious and can motivate others.

What keeps you awake at night?

Sid, my cute new 13-week-old Labrador puppy.

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