My Week: Katie Cross is chasing those elusive auction pledges

The development director at Promoting Equality in African Schools recounts her week

Katie Cross
Katie Cross

MONDAY - The window for applying for match funding from the Department for International Development closes next week, so this week starts with some creative thinking about how we can raise as much money as possible before it closes. We have fun thinking about awareness-raising stunts such as breaking the record for the largest outdoor lesson - but, given our budget and capacity, we're banking these ideas for future years. For now, we'll focus on reaching supporters through social media and direct mail packs.

TUESDAY - I call Frank, our chief engineer in Uganda, on Skype to hear how the new school builds are progressing. It's very hot out there, but Frank is happy the rainy season is over because that's the one thing that stops construction. After lunch I meet a major potential corporate partner. Our approach is different from that of charities it has supported in the past, so I have high hopes for its 2014 charity of the year spot.

WEDNESDAY - The day starts with stuffing envelopes for a mail-out encouraging supporters to send Christmas donations before the match-funding deadline. Then I chase pledges made at our annual celebrity fundraising quiz last month. The silent auction raised £50,000 and we need to make sure payments are made in time to be match-funded. People can be enthusiastic on the night, but then elusive when asked later for payment.

THURSDAY - I'm in the office early to interview a potential chief financial officer. We have regional financial directors in Uganda and Zambia but, now that our turnover has passed the £3m mark, we need a head of finance. The question is whether we recruit from the charity sector or business.

FRIDAY - The team is immersed in an application for a major piece of institutional fundraising. Afterwards, we celebrate with an early Christmas dinner at my house. Everyone has cooked a Finnish dish in honour of our Finnish colleague Linda. It's fun to spend time together out of the office.

PEAS develops and runs a network of public-private partnership secondary schools in Africa.

Katie Cross is development director at Promoting Equality in African Schools

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