What did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember vividly watching a documentary on funeral directors after the death of my aunt. Their work fascinated me: the idea of having the opportunity to support a family through such a difficult time in their life was something I was really drawn too. I would have loved to have been a funeral director, but obviously life took me down a different path. I’m grateful that my role at Winston’s Wish has given me an opportunity to support children through bereavement even though, as a fundraiser, I’m not directly involved in their care.
What qualities do you believe are important in a good fundraiser?
Adaptability, creativity and resilience. I truly believe fundraising is one of the most diverse careers there is. I often find that the tone and focus of my day can change from one hour to the next, so to be able to leave a meeting where you’re discussing silly fundraising ideas for primary school children and then sit in a board room with directors of a large national takes skill and tact. We all know that people buy in to people, so if we can’t adapt ourselves to the audience we’re in front of then really we’re on a road to nowhere before we’ve even begun.
While I have always believed that there’s no point reinventing the wheel, there is a definite need for fundraisers to be creative in their approach and to repurpose an existing idea to come up with something fresh for their cause.
What makes a good corporate partnership?
Clearly outlining expectations from day one for both sides and ensuring that the culture and values of your organisations work hand-in-hand. The culture of the corporate will give you a good insight into what it will expect from you and its motivations for wanting to support you in the first place. If in doubt, ask! When you know exactly why a corporate wants to enter into a partnership, you can help it to explore whether your charity is the right fit for it or not.
Do you tweet and why?
I do because I find that tweeting gives me a great way to interact with supporters and build a natural relationship in times when they might have no need to be in touch. It gives me an opportunity to directly interact with their posts about the charity and gives a personal feel to their relationship with us. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to prospects when they might not otherwise reply.
What do you do to switch off from work?
I’d love to put in here that I spend time at the gym or reading. In reality, I spend time with my friends, usually with a drink in my hand.