Hello, my name is Sarah and I am the Fundraising Partnerships Manager for St Elizabeth Hospice. I joined the Hospice back in May 2012 as a Business Development Officer before going on to manage the fundraising partnerships team. Having worked in sales and recruitment for a good few years, I decided I wanted to try and use my powers for good and that is how I became a fundraiser. I wanted to make a difference.
When you say you are a fundraiser, you will get a variety of differing reactions. It may be excited envy: “Wow, that must be so much fun!” Or it may be someone sharing a story about a loved one that has been helped by the Hospice, it may be someone in awe of the work the Hospice does. You may find the person you are talking to starts slowly backing away, terrified of what you might rope them in to, or the amount of money that you will make them part with.
You see fundraisers are not always loved. And I get it; we are after your money. For a very good cause granted, but still, we are definitely after your hard earned cash.
But we are not all bad, and our team has tried to change up the game a bit. Don’t get me wrong, St Elizabeth Hospice still needs the £9.1 million a year it costs to run, allowing us to care for more than 2,000 patients last year. But what else is there, other than making donations or raising sponsorship money that you can do to help the Hospice?
Helping people answer that question is a huge part of what a fundraiser’s job is. To work with our local community, with each individual, each community group, school or business to see what they are interested in. Not just to hound you for money but to see if you could support in any other way. Could you, your company or your group donate your time to help re-paint parts of the Hospice for the patients? Could you pop a collection pot in your local shop and collect it when it’s full? Could you help with a bag pack at a supermarket, or go to a cheque presentation on behalf of the Hospice? If someone needed our help, could you pass on information about Hospice so the patient knew where to get the care they need? I feel it is worth pointing out here that if you can do any of the above, please let us know!
Our jobs are also about raising awareness, providing a greater understanding of your local Hospice and if you haven’t experienced it yet, trying to convey quite how much of a difference we can make to your loved ones lives when they need it most.
So if you are somebody that avoids all contact with our fundraisers, next time don’t back away, we might actually have something that you would like to get involved in, or some information that could really benefit someone you know.
With a bit of creative thinking there is something for everyone to get involved in; you could even help us raise money from other people by manning a collection stand, and then you get to feel really good about yourself without spending a penny!
For me, being a fundraiser for St Elizabeth Hospice is the best job I could have. Pretty much every day I get to see something, or hear a story, about the Hospice that makes me proud to be a part of it and my faith in humanity is restored by the acts of kindness I see. I consider myself one of the lucky ones; I don’t know how many jobs you get to say that about.