Our Team: Make-A-Wish Foundation

Karen England, director of fundraising, takes us behind the scenes at the charity's fundraising department

Karen England, director fundraising, Make-A-Wish Foundation
Karen England, director fundraising, Make-A-Wish Foundation

How many fundraisers are there?

There are 13 of us in total: 11 in our head office in Camberley, Surrey, one in Edinburgh and one in Belfast. We have grown from a team of six only a year ago.

What do they do?

We split our fundraising activity into five different areas: corporate and trusts; community fundraising; individual giving; events; and marketing.

The first two of these each generate a third of our income. We're not currently in a position to do things such as direct mail because of the large sums of money involved.

How much do they raise?

This year we are aiming to raise £4.6m and our fundraising budget is just over £1m. We raised a similar figure last year, but our budget has increased slightly because of the growth of our team. We are aiming to raise £7m a year by 2013.

What's in the pipeline?

We're looking at growing our legacy-giving income and at making individual giving a higher priority in order to balance our income streams and reduce risk. Because we are a strong brand we think an individual ask is likely to be successful.

Cadbury, one of our corporate partners, has just launched a new chocolate bar called Wishes - 10 per cent of its profits from this go to Make-A-Wish.

What's it like in the office?

Because the team has grown, it's vital that we know what's going on with each other. We have weekly 45-minute team meetings, and members in Edinburgh and Belfast participate by phone.

It's a dynamic, friendly team and we usually have social evenings once every quarter.

Interview by Sophie Hudson

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