Case study

Community fundraising lead — Danielle De'ath

Danielle works for the income generation team at St Clare Hospice. She is currently studying for her Diploma in Fundraising at the Institute of Fundraising (IoF)

How did you get your job?

I was working at a telesales company and really wanted to use my skillset to do good and help an organisation. I had heard of St Clare Hospice, as it's a hospice local to where I live.

When I went for my interview I knew it was somewhere where I wanted to work and I put my all in to both sets of interviews. I had done lots of research on fundraising for my presentation and was fortunate to be offered the job as a community fundraiser.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My degree was in photography and digital imaging, and although it is not relevant in my job, I did need a degree to apply for the vacancy.

Thankfully, from doing wedding and family photography I had learnt to build rapport and be very adaptable with different individuals and these skills stood me in good stead. As I didn't have a relevant degree or any formal training in fundraising I went on to do a certificate in fundraising through the IoF. I am now currently studying for my diploma.

What's a typical day like as a community fundraiser?

Each day is a surprise in itself. No matter how organised I am something unplanned for will happen, be it an issue with a third party event that is being organised or needing to set up a street collection.

It's not a desk-orientated job. There are lots of meetings with people who are planning on, or in the process of, doing fundraising for the organisation.

What do you enjoy about your job?

No day or event is the same. I work with such a varied amount of individuals and they each put their own twist on events.

I love being able to go out and about and encourage people to do a fundraising activity and providing them with materials to do so.

However, the most enjoyable part of my job is seeing the look of achievement and pride on a person's face when they have raised funds for a charity close to them.

What are the challenges?

When people don't know what is happening with the economy they become more protective and conscious over where their money is going. This is a challenge faced by all charity fundraisers.

How has your role developed?

I have been at the St Clare Hospice for three years. I started as a community fundraiser for a particular part of the catchment area and I now manage three people including the community, events and challenges team.

How do I get into charity fundraising?

  • Don't think you can't - regardless of your work background or what you have studied. If you have transferable skills then be confident and go for it.
  • Learn early and don’t stop learning - there are so many materials to help aspiring charity fundraisers out there, look on the IOF website. There is always space to learn and when you feel you have found your niche don't let that stop you learning about the wider world of fundraising.
  • Be proactive - everyone has to tackle their first day in the job but envision where you want to be in the next five or ten years.

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