Aren’t you marvellous?
The blog’s title reflects the inevitable reaction any Fundraiser or charity worker gets when you tell people what you do for a job.
“Oh, aren’t you marvellous? You must be so committed to work for a charity. Well done you.”
[End of conversation as they scan the room for someone more important to talk to.]
This highlights an interesting contradiction in the great British public’s attitude to charities. People think charities are a good thing, and generally still trust them more than they do politicians, estate agents or heaven forbid, journalists. They want charities to be well-run and effective, and to use their funding wisely. But there’s still a sense that anyone working for a charity should really be a volunteer, not a professional. This very British worshipping of the enthusiastic amateur is a powerful perception to try to shift, particularly as Government tries to devolve more and more State responsibilities to the voluntary sector (that V word again).
The blog will try, in its own tiny way, to help to shift that perception and show that the people who benefit from charities, and the people who fund them, deserve and need a professionally run sector.
I’ve spent a frightening number of years (17) working as a Fundraiser for various charities. After roles at Council for the Protection of Rural England, Mencap and Shelter, I’m currently Fundraising Director for Anthony Nolan. We’re a charity that matches blood cancer patients whose last chance of life is a stem cell transplant with volunteers who are willing to donate their stem cells to potentially save the life of a stranger. I promise not to plug what Anthony Nolan does too much, but it’s an amazing cause to raise money for. I constantly find myself moved by meeting patients whose lives Anthony Nolan has saved, or stem cell donors who talk about how giving a stranger the chance of life has had a transformational effect on their own. If you’re 18-40 and inspired to sign up to be a potential stem cell donor by anything that appears in this blog, you can at www.anthonynolan.org/register.
So I’m currently responsible for raising about £6m+ a year and lead a team of 28 of the most committed, talented and hilarious (sometimes unintentionally so) Fundraisers in the business. Away from that I live in south-west London, spend far too much time watching football, cricket and tennis, and not enough time in the gym.
I’m also one of the Institute of Fundraising’s fundraising bloggers. You can check us out at @IoFtweets or at bit.ly/Kp93DN
All views expressed in this blog are, of course, my own. I’m also on Twitter as @Cadders68. Thanks for reading.