Before becoming a fundraiser I was a night owl. A career in music and working in venues after graduating meant mornings were often for catching up on sleep.
Out of the blue, I discovered the world of fundraising with NCH, now Action for Children. Working in the third sector hadn’t occurred to me, my fundraising experience at that point being limited to Bob-a-Job week with the Cubs.
Immediately I was hooked. I learned about the challenges facing vulnerable children, young people and families and how I could use my sales, marketing and events experience to help. I witnessed the incredible impact Action for Children’s frontline staff have on people’s lives and became aware of the work of peers in the sector. I learned about the different fundraising disciplines. The buzz of securing a major gift, winning a partnership or delivering a gala event became addictive. Working with the team on events like Never Mind The Business, a gala music quiz for 700 people, was and still is a joy.
It’s all about people. Those whose lives are impacted through the work we all do. The amazing people who support, donate and volunteer. And the incredible colleagues and peers who inspire, share in the highs and provide support when things aren’t so good, whether personal or professional.
It’s about having a purpose too. That’s not entirely altruistic – it’s linked to personal happiness. There are few careers that are as rewarding and satisfying, though often challenging too.
Much has changed in my 22 years as a fundraiser, including becoming a father to two wonderful girls. Too many children won’t have the same positive, nurturing, safe environment my daughters have. Three in every ten children in the UK live in poverty. That has only deepened my connection to Action for Children’s work and strengthened my resolve to make my contribution really telling.
That’s something worth getting out of bed for.