‘How I got here’ with Husne Begum, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Teach First

07 June 2022
Standard Content

With the Fundraising Convention around the corner, Husne Begum of Teach First, shares her journey from ‘falling into fundraising’ to Head of Corporate partnerships, and how peer to peer learning can support career development.

Like many people in the sector, a career in fundraising had never crossed my mind, in fact I completely fell into it. 

I was thrown in at the deep end in my first role at a small community organisation, given just a little black book with a few names on it and told my job was to start projects and raise money. It was here that I completely fell in love with fundraising.  

Since then, I’ve worked with many small to medium sized charities in a huge range of sectors, from social care and medical humanitarian aid to museums and dance. What I love about working for all these different types of charities is the unique challenges they pose. Yet, no matter where I work, the core skills are key for me, these transferable skills provide you with everything you need to do your job well. 

I’m now four months into my role as Head of Corporate Partnerships at Teach First. It’s the first time I’ve had a job share but I absolutely love having someone to bounce ideas off and with a team of thirteen there’s plenty of work to do in keeping the team focused on achieving our goals. I can hang up the many hats I’ve had to wear in previous roles and focus solely on leadership skills, my main aim is to empower the team on what we need to do and help them to develop their ability.  

A big part of this development is the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s annual Fundraising Convention, and this year I have as many members of the team that budget will allow attending. 

From my own experience I know the impact and inspiration that the Fundraising Convention can have on a fundraiser. Being completely honest, the biggest appeal for me during my first time there was three whole days away from my kids (I’d like to caveat that with the fact that I love them more than anything in the world)! But just one session in I was completely moved and inspired from being around my peers, ‘my people’ and knowing that we’re all working to make society better. Totally cheesy, but it’s true.  

The Fundraising Convention plays such a vital role in personal development and leadership. As well as being a great opportunity to build connections with peers, and share and learn about the technical aspects of fundraising, it’s also a platform for new voices and rising stars within the sector. Which is why this year I encouraged my team to not only attend but to submit a session, and as a result the team is speaking in the Partnerships Track alongside one of our biggest partners, Deloitte.  

Since the start of our Deloitte partnership in 2006 we’ve raised £1.9 million, supporting 632 new teachers and leaders, and reaching the incredible number of 250,000 pupils. The session will delve into this and look at the impact of the partnership, exploring the way we’ve succeeded through support and engagement of senior stakeholders.  

Aside from the obvious developmental opportunity for my team, Fundraising Convention also presents an opportunity for engaging our partners and demonstrating their support, like the upcoming session with Deloitte. We want to make them feel valued as often as we can and this is one of the ways that we do that.  

Schools are where we can best demonstrate the impact of our work with partners but priority for schools must always be the students and so we are often limited in the number of in-person school visits we can provide and instead have to get creative with partnership engagement. We do this in many ways, from hosting online classes, to hosting forum days where leaders can have conversations with students, to facilitating work experience for our students with our partners.  

Like many people who work in fundraising, every day is different for me. That’s another thing that I love about my role. No day is the same, no partner is the same and as the world around us changes we can’t apply the same fundraising formula. The only thing we can rely on is developing our skills, which we can take with us no matter what charity we work for. 

To find out more about Teach First and Deloitte’s partnership success sign up to Fundraising Convention 2022 . The session will take place on Wednesday 6th July at 11:45am, Frobisher four - at the Fundraising Convention, The Barbican. 

Husne Begum
Husne Begum
Head of Corporate Partnerships at Teach First
Members Only Content