Our team: Vision Aid Overseas

Nina Ross, the major giving manager at the international charity that works to improve access to eye care services in developing countries, takes us behind the scenes of the fundraising team

Nina Ross of Vision Aid Overseas
Nina Ross of Vision Aid Overseas

How many fundraisers are in your team?

We have two full-time fundraisers based at our office in Crawley, West Sussex. We also have a team of volunteers and numerous optical practices where staff raise funds.

What does the team do?

The fundraising team is small, so we each cover a range of activities. We're testing a telemarketing campaign with the agency Pell & Bales to re-engage with lapsed donors and ask them to commit to regular donations. It's the first time we've tried a campaign like this and it's proving beneficial.

How much do you raise?

We've raised about £1m a year for the past three years. In 2013 this included £298,301 from individuals, £174,983 from legacies, £169,323 from grants, £151,289 from corporate partnerships and £196,308 from recycling.

What's in the pipeline?

I'm working on a major project in Sierra Leone that supports our existing programme, funded by the Clothworkers' Foundation, providing primary eye health and spectacles to isolated rural districts in the eastern province, which has a potential reach of more than 125,000 people.

What's it like in the office?

I sit with the programmes team, which is helpful because it means I keep up to date with assignments. When I'm not busy, I pop downstairs to where we recycle donated frames. We receive about 70,000 pairs of specs a week and I love rummaging through them.

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