Our most recent Trustee, Julie Harrington, joined the LYF after spending several months supporting us through the Small Charities Coalition Skills Sharing Programme. Here is an extract of an interview with Julie by the SCC.
1. Your name:
2. Name of the charity you supported:
Lorna Young Foundation (LYF)
3. The match need:
4. How long did your match last?
Ongoing – taken up my first ever trustee role with the charity!
5. Please describe your match experience and how it worked?
I have spent time with two directors, Ian and Christine and the small team at LYF to talk through the marketing of the foundation and clarifying the core fundraising proposition of the charity. We have done this via meetings, emails, sharing resources.
6. What did you learn both personally and professionally from the match?
It has been an excellent opportunity to get involved with the charity at a strategic level, to act as a soundboard for the directors about future growth plans and act as a kind of filter for ideas and strategy. I had no idea of the existence of the charity here in my home town and was delighted to learn all about LYF and its growing impact in the UK and overseas. After working as a fundraiser for 24 years, I have recently accepted a role as Trustee for the LYF – my first time ever as a Trustee. I am hoping I can continue to contribute for the longer term in this capacity and help LYF to expand. They are an excellently competent team already – I just hope to offer additional time and resources that can help them move to another, more sustainable level.
7. What would you recommend about the matching service to other would-be supporters?
I have been privileged to work with some of the masters of fundraising over the years – organisations and individuals – and as you gather experience in the profession, this in itself becomes invaluable. The school of hard knocks counts for a lot! So Small Charities Coalition’s mentoring scheme is an excellent vehicle to be able to give back to the profession in a targeted way. Small charities are always resource limited and so saving them from going through a few of those hard knocks and expanding their resources with a bit of your time and your experience can be a great boost. But as a supporter, you also continue to learn. You gain mentoring skills and sometimes practice a mini kind of consultancy experience too. It’s fascinating to be involved from a purely interested party point of view too – none of the pressure of being an employee nor the responsibility as a Trustee. It has been a real happy, comfortable medium for me.
8. If you have any other comments please share them below
I first became aware of the Small Charities Coalition at a stand at the Institute of Fundraising and instantly thought it a cracking idea, a way to strengthen the fundraising profession and the sector. This was 2009 and my first charity match (Bone Cancer Research in Leeds) was active for more than 18 months. In fact we still meet up for updates – it’s become a lovely habit. I recently helped them fill a vacancy by introducing them to an eminently suitable candidate who got the job – so I suppose when it goes well, they become part of your wider network and the relationship is ongoing.