When we think of fundraising, we often think of the volunteers who stand outside Tesco with buckets asking for money for cats protection or the lifeboats etc.
But what about charity/organisation scale fundraising?
You might not realise, but there are a wealth of opportunities in the charity and not for profit employment sector, and having fundraising experience on your CV could put you in really good stead when it comes to graduate applications.
The University of Reading has it’s own Campaigns and Supporter Engagement department that is accountable to raising funds for University initiatives that benefit the University directly as well as initiatives that benefit the wider community. The fundraising team each year choose particular campaigns that will be focused on as part of a student led fundraising call centre campaign which happens each November.
This calling campaign happens in a large space in London Road that is kitted out with the appropriate telephone and headset equipment and houses up to 60 student fundraisers at a time.
In the 2018 campaign, a huge £56,225 was raised through single gifts and direct debits, with an average of £69 per fundraising call. This sum was then used to support young people with mental health concerns, anxiety and depression who visit the AnDY clinic which is based at Earley Gate.
In last year’s campaign approximately 811 alumni were called and 4,570 were mailed. The Student Fundraisers on average handled around 21 conversations each during the campaign.
This year the campaign is focused on providing crucial funds to the University’s Hardship Fund initiative, this provides crucial emergency funds to students of the University during times of crisis or need.
What do others say about it?
Q: What did the Student Fundraiser role involve?
This role involved speaking to University of Reading alumni from all over the world, getting to know them and what they went on to do after graduation. This would often stem into conversations about their career path and advice they have for a current student. Then, you update the alumni on an area in which they can support the University, such as the hardship fund, and use your skills of persuasion to convince them to give back to the University financially.
Q: What did you enjoy most about this role?
I absolutely loved the satisfaction and pride that this role gave me every shift. It was great to get paid to have a lovely chat with alumni over the phone about anything from their course to nights out in town, gain advice on life after graduation and at the same time help fundraise for a worthy cause. It was also lovely to be part of such a big team; we would regularly have socials.
Q: What skills and experience did you gain from this role?
My communication and resilience skills definitely improved from this role, as two calls are never the same and you find yourself having to adapt quickly depending on the alumni that you are talking to. Not only did the role help me to develop invaluable skills, but it was also a key contributor to my first job after graduating (working in Alumni Relations).
Q: What advice would you give to other students looking at applying for this role?
Definitely do it! It is one of the best student jobs you are going to find, especially because it is such a social role and really helps you to switch off from your studies and take a break (while getting paid). It is also lovely to know that you are doing something which is worthwhile and important, which looks great on your CV.
Lauren, Student Fundraiser, 2015-2016 campaigns
How do I get involved?
If you’d like to apply to be part of the upcoming November campaign, head to the Campus Jobs portal today and apply to be a Student Fundraiser.
If you want to nail your application, why not consider having a 1-2-1 careers appointment to go over it and your CV with a careers consultant, book an appointment via My Jobs Online.
Written by Rachel Jeans, Campus Jobs (Sept 2019)