Personal account: Saddif Hayee

The individual giving manager at Bliss likes to keep friendship out of business.

- The best advice I had

From my mum, who taught me never to make any friends in business and rely on nobody but myself. It sounds a bit harsh, but it has actually worked very well for me. It has encouraged me to find the answers myself and take an active approach to my working life.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

Probably leaving the commercial sector, where I had worked in business-to-business marketing for six years. I took the giant leap of leaving my company and finding exactly the job I was looking for in the charity sector.

Becoming an individual giving manager in the fundraising team required me to start from the beginning in many ways. I rapidly had to learn how to motivate people to reach into their pockets and give to something from which they would not personally gain.

In business-to-business marketing it was very clear what I had to do to get people to react to particular marketing campaigns. In the charity sector, however, it's much harder.

- My greatest hit

One of the biggest challenges for individual giving here at Bliss is to generate income through cold recruitment and gain support from people who may not be familiar with our cause. Recruiting the layperson on the street is a challenge for us because we are not a large charity with the resources for big appeals.

Lots of people who use our website are not actually supporting us financially, so I set up a simple online list-builder tool. This meant that we were able to hold on to these people and try to get them interested in learning more about our work. It doesn't sound much, but so far we've managed to collect more than 600 new names in the seven months it's been operating. This is the group that I'm now going to try to develop as donors and supporters.

- My worst moment

Having to write hard-hitting and emotional copy for an emergency cash appeal - which felt totally alien to me. In the end I managed to write it and made a return on investment of 310 per cent.

- My top tip

Dissect your database and then dissect it some more. Know your target group inside out. Target your campaigns and be very specific with your messages.


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