Amy Butcher is the Individual Giving & Digital Fundraising Officer at DEBRA. She explains for us her greatest achievements in fundraising, and why she would highly recommend fundraising as a career.
During my final year of university, I began volunteering at Make A Wish UK where I first got an insight into the world of charity. I heard incredible stories about the difference they were making, it really inspired me, and I knew that I wanted to join the sector full time.
Once I graduated, I joined DEBRA where I began as a Fundraising Assistant and was promoted in under two years to become the Individual Giving and Digital Fundraising Officer. I am very lucky to have people at DEBRA who really believe in me and give me the opportunity to grow. My current role is very diverse, it covers everything from direct mail to virtual challenges and legacy marketing to regular giving – to name a few!
The highlight of my career so far, has been leading on the direct mail campaigns and seeing their success. I really enjoy these multi-channel campaigns as they give me the chance to be creative and work across different teams. The best part is developing the relationship with the beneficiaries, hearing their story, and then bringing them to life which is such a fulfilling experience.
The first Christmas campaign I worked on was in 2020 where we raised over £24,000 which was more than double the previous year. In 2022, we raised over £47,000 with the introduction of match funding, maximizing digital channels and by bringing the story to life through diverse methods. I am proud of these projects because they give me the chance to bring important stories to life and shine a spotlight on real people.
Looking forward, I hope to continue to develop within the sector and I’m looking forward to making the most out of any opportunities that come my way. Personally, in 2023 I hope to break even more records with the projects I’m working on, keep championing digital fundraising wherever I can and learn lots of new skills.
I have had lots of opportunities through being a Chartered Institute member and they have really helped me develop early on in my career, which has been pivotal. I have attended numerous training courses and my first Fundraising Convention last year, where I had the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and learn from experts. In November 2022, I was kindly invited to speak at the Future of Fundraising Conference on the Digital Fundraising panel. This was a huge opportunity for me to speak to people about my experience early in my career and it was really exciting (and a bit scary!).
If someone is looking to start a career in fundraising, I would say – do it! If you want to make a difference and to really see value in your work, then fundraising is for you. The sector is incredibly welcoming, and many charities are very willing to share their insights – you won’t ever be on your own with a problem! Fundraising is always evolving, if you’re creative, innovative and willing to try new things (and fail!) then this is the perfect career for you.
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