FUNDRAISING NEWS: Debra hires new director to double income

Emma Maier

Debra, the charity for people with the skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa, has poached Barnardo's head of corporate fundraising and has set him the task of doubling the charity's income within the next three to five years.

The appointment of Mark Smith as director of fundraising and communications marks the start of an ambitious programme to expand the charity's work in supporting people with EB, a genetic condition that causes the skin to blister from the slightest friction.

"The challenge is to ensure planned growth over the next three years," said Smith, who started this month.

"We are looking to expand what has worked well in the past, such as our golf events and corporate appeals network, and will then be looking to add other fundraising channels such as payroll giving, face-to-face and an increased direct marketing programme to attract committed donors."

The charity has been given renewed impetus in the last couple of years by the discovery of the gene that causes EB, although further work is needed to identify a cure.

The fundraising drive will be supported by a robust communications campaign to raise public awareness of the charity's work.

Smith's position at Debra had been vacant for more than a year while trustees mapped out the charity's expansion programme, following the departure of Smith's predecessor Terry Osbourne.

Barnardo's is still deciding whether to hire a direct replacement for Smith.

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