Jo Reeder is Head of Fundraising & Marketing at Age UK Suffolk. Here she is with her fundraising team. Jo’s the one on the left!
Jo has been a member of the IoF East Anglia Committee since November 2017.
The life of a fundraiser!
If I had £1 for every time someone says – “what, you get paid” or “I’ll need you one day” – there wouldn’t be a need for a fundraising team at Age UK Suffolk…but of course, people see the word “charity” and think that everyone involved works for free… wouldn’t that be great! The reality is that for any charity to operate in the current climate, we have to have a commercial mind-set, we have to employ good, versatile and adaptable people that have a charitable heart, and we have to rely, yes, rely on our volunteers to make that vital difference.
What they don’t see of course, is all the extra hours, the evening and weekend working, the “fundraisers” car, full of stuff, and that’s not even to mention the dreaded English weather! How many of you have been stood in a soggy, boggy field at a community event on a Sunday, when you could have been enjoying a roast dinner with your family? How many of you have missed that parents evening or school concert because you’re needed to sell raffle tickets or give a talk to the Women's Institute? That’s the reality of a fundraisers life and whilst it sounds like a moan, that couldn’t be further from the truth – because if we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t do it.
What other job is there where you get that whole raft of emotions and experiences on a daily basis? Knowing that by selling that raffle ticket or giving that talk, you’re actually informing people about really really important, often life-changing work that could one day, change their lives too.
So next time I stand in that field, freezing cold, shivering, hugging my cup of tea in a polystyrene cup, I will give myself a little nudge, and say “remember why you do this” – one day, you, or someone you love could need the support of the charity. I wouldn’t change it for anything, except perhaps for a warmer pair of socks!