St Vincent’s Family Project (SVFP) offers free direct services addressing parenting, child welfare and social exclusion to more than 175 vulnerable families in Westminster. It is a unique partnership, having space within Methodist Central Hall and governed by the Daughters of Charity - a Vincentian order of Catholic nuns.
The charity is currently looking for a part-time fundraising officer to devise and implement a strong strategic plan and drive a more financially sustainable future for the organisation.
We spoke to Albie Stadtmiller, director of St Vincent’s Family Project, to find out more about the charity and the fundraising officer role.
Tell us about your organisation and what it does
SVFP is a registered Christian, Vincentian charity that has supported young families and children in Westminster since 1976. It serves 175+ vulnerable families who experience deprivation and poverty’s wider effects. We provide a supportive environment by offering free direct services addressing parenting, child welfare and social exclusion. We’re supported by 40 volunteers. Our work is governed by six Vincentian values: Respect, Inspiration, Travelling Together, Professionalism, Holistic Approach and Compassion.
What role are you currently recruiting for and what does it involve?
SVFP is recruiting for the role of a fundraising officer who will begin to turn the tide for the charity so that it’s more financially sustainable, has greater free cash reserves, and has a strong strategic fundraising plan in place. The fundraising officer will be supported by the director, who will also continue to write funding bids and build organisational capacity. A key focus will be on diversifying the income.
What kind of person are you looking for?
SVFP is looking for a fundraiser who can translate our impact into making meaning for our donors and stakeholders, in order that they feel they are making a difference in supporting the work. The person needs experience in events, campaigns, high net worth individual givers, social media, crisis campaigns, sponsorships, social enterprise, legacy giving and corporate giving. The director is proficient in acquiring funds from grant-making trusts and building partnerships.
Why would someone want to work for SVFP?
St. Vincent’s Family Project has a 40-year history within Westminster, a borough of extremes, serving the needs of vulnerable families and children. In March 2015, a new director was hired to increase the financial stability of the charity. Though the borough houses the royal family and central government, some families within the area cannot afford toys or toothpaste for their children. SVFP provides free direct services within this hyper-diverse area.
What exciting projects are you working on?
SVFP hosts early intervention targeted parenting programmes that run as part of Family Space, our namesake service for young families. We’re expanding this into other parts of the borough, with our partnering charities. It also provides art therapy, dramatherapy and dance and movement therapy for very troubled client children who can’t access support for a variety of reasons. The charity also has numerous volunteering opportunities for local and student volunteers.
What opportunities for training and development are there?
SVFP encourages best reflective practice for all of its staff, and expects them to apply our Vincentian values to their work. We support the professional development of staff, and send them on training, encouraging them to share their expertise with their co-workers. All staff are regularly supervised, including annual performance reviews. As a member of many associations, we have access to relevant and interesting training, including varied networking opportunities.
What tips would you offer applicants?
Applicants for the role should know where their skills lie, and what they can offer the organisation in terms of skills, contacts and energy. The director is seeking to diversify the income and works within a collegial style, being open to new ideas and ways to strengthen partnerships. Applicants need to produce new income quickly. The values-based organisation is in a period of change due to a recent restructure.
Sum up what it’s like to work for SVFP
SVFP is an exciting and challenging place to work, as our client families are around the office, and we can see and hear our work’s results. Many of the staff are long-serving, and this brings great buy-in, but also change management issues. Our aim is to work with society’s most vulnerable, and we’re working out how to do that within a diverse client group that includes every branch of society.