this is me
(go on, admit it, you just broke into the song from the Greatest Showman didn't you!)
yes, this is me, in every photo (with some special guests)
It was also at the Halle where I found my love of fundraising: of selling a cause, of telling a 'why'.
I was lucky. I had an amazing boss, Kath, who not only taught me the theory behind fundraising, but also showed me how passion, compassion, empathy and a sheer love of what you do, can make getting out of bed to go to work in the morning a really enjoyable thing!
In my personal life, I'm not very confident or confrontational - I certainly can't sent back a cold meal or make a complaint in a shop. But Kath ignited in me a terrier-like tenacity and I developed a penchant for looking people in the whites of their eyes, and asking them for large sums of money.
Like most people, I spent my first six years as a fundraiser in in-house roles. Unlike most people, those first six years were with some very large, very well-infrastructured organisations:
I was Development Assistant and then Development Officer at the Halle;
I was Corporate Sponsorship Manager at Opera North in Leeds; and
I was Head of Development at Imperial War Museum North and ran the public phase of their Capital Appeal
I was lucky. I got to cut my teeth and hone my craft in such organisations. I learnt from the best.
In 2003, having successfully completed the capital appeal at Imperial War Museum North and having assembled a great team to work on the ongoing revenue fundraising, I decided to move into a freelance career.
In doing so, I hoped to devote 100% of my time to telling charity stories and to raising the money they needed to run. And I hoped not have to get involved in charity politics, bureaucracy, reporting hierarchies, and unnecessary meeting-overload.
What I hadn't anticipated in moving into freelance work and focusing on smaller charities with less resource, was just how different it is working in a smaller charity: - where the person who does all the bits you need in order to do the fundraising is also you! But I loved it.
It is in the small / medium sized charity sector that I found my home and have remained ever since.
I've got hands-on demonstrable experience in successfully executing and managing most areas of fundraising. I've completed five capital appeals and am currently working with a client on a sixth.
I've worked with Arts & Heritage Charities, Hospices, Sport Charities, Disability Charities; Caring Charities, and Children's Charities.
To see the full list of charities I've worked with and for, click here
I've lead teams of one (me) and teams of 27. I've worked with charities in England, Scotland and Wales, and have trained and mentored fundraisers and managers from countries around the world
I've appointed complete novices and grown them into spectacular fundraisers. I've nurtured bright young things and seen them take-on and nurture teams of their own.
I've worked alongside some very talented and inspiring chief executives and senior managers and I've played my part in the creating, sustaining, developing, and thriving of some truly life-changing projects. And I love it!
And now, due to a set of circumstances explained here, I am using that passion, that knowledge, that good humour and that unexplainable "getting under your skinness" to help others in the Charity Fundraising sector
I'm Claire, and I've been working in the charity sector since 1997, when I didn't get the job I applied for at the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, but where they saw something in me they liked and so created an entry level job for me!