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The working life of an events & community manager

Author: Leila Hawkins
25 August 2017
  • Participants of the Ladies Midnight Walk

Gail Dolan manages fundraising events at St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie, Scotland, having previously worked in banking for many years. Here she explains what her role involves and which are their most successful fundraisers.

“Part of my role at HSBC was corporate sustainability, so my job there was to manage the charity partners for the bank. That started to change, which meant there was not going to be as much of the charity role, and I preferred to do that full time as I had really good relationships with local and national charities.”

This led her to apply to St Andrew’s, where she leads on fundraising and events.

“At St Andrew’s we have a department target for fundraising overall, and along with my team of eight we have our own targets to meet for our events. Our priority is to maximise the income for the hospice through our events, third party fundraising and community work.”

“I also prioritise the team’s potential and everyone has actions to work through throughout the month. I check in with the team each day to see how they are doing and if they need help to achieve the targets.”

“Sometimes I have presentations to attend, or meetings with current or prospective corporate partners. I also have 1-to-1 meetings every month with the team, and monthly team meetings.”  

On keeping her staff motivated, she says:

“We mostly do engagement activities at our team meetings, and most of the team lunch together. If there is negativity displayed I try to explain how this can impact other people and encourage them to speak to me privately so they can enjoy work and be positive and happy with their colleagues. We have a 15 minute weekly “buzz session” on a Friday to check everyone is ok.”

The hospice’s fundraisers are extremely varied, from the Ladies Midnight Walk, to Ben Nevis treks and whisky tasting events. The most successful to date have included a live show by covers band Abbamania, their version of It’s A Knockout,and Breakfast with Santa, which has food, Christmas films and carol singing.  

In addition to her role, Gail is currently mentoring two girls who want to start  working in the charity sector.

For more information visit St Andrew’s Hospice

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