|Education, Politics & Public Policy
|Individual Giving Manager
|Sobell House Hospice Charity
|Charity and voluntary sector
|Small business (0-49 employees)
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A day in the life of a Individual Giving Manager in the United Kingdom
Don't feel like you have to get a graduate scheme, and don't compare the salary of something you would like to do to that of others
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work for an NHS hospice who provide various care and support services for patients receiving palliative care and their families. The Charity contributes between £2.5million and £3million to support the costs of running the hospice each year.
What do you do?
Individual Giving fundraising. I manage all individual giving strategy and activity at the charity including regular giving, stewardship, campaigns and appeals and in memory initiatives and events.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
Work experience in various charities, one of which I work for now! I didn't know what I wanted to do while I was still studying at York or when I went on to postgraduate study at Cardiff, but my degrees very much shaped my desire to 'make a difference' and do something impactful.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
No, part of me always knew I wanted to work in fundraising.
Describe your most memorable day at work
Organising a wedding for a patient and her husband in under two hours. Not something that is in my job description but it is a very special moment that will stay with me forever.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Fundraising can be tough, particularly in a cost of living crisis. Working in a hospice requires a lot of emotional intelligence and resilience, which can at times be difficult. However, it is so rewarding, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Sometimes fundraising can feel like you have to give your soul to the place - it’s something that’s come with time but I’ve learned to draw boundaries and push back when workloads become too much.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I work in a small team within the charity office. I work in the office three days a week and at home two days a week. Typically, smaller charities can be a bit stuck in their ways. However, a change in the senior leadership team has seen a more towards progressive policies such as hybrid working and enhanced maternity pay. Everyone is friendly and caring and compassionate and we look after one another.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was a YSIS volunteer, played college Netball and was a member of EdSoc. I probably didn't make the most of my time at York in terms of social activities, but I really found that work experience helped my confidence, but most importantly taught me what I did and didn't like about a company or role or sector. It also made getting a job after graduation much easier.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would like to continue in the charity sector as a manager. I would probably see myself moving to a larger charity with greater home working as I begin to settle down.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
You will likely experience knock backs once you graduate, but that's okay - it's normal! In fact, it makes you a better, more resilient person. If things seem tough, just remember that everything happens for a reason, and if you don't understand why right now I absolutely promise you that you will see it eventually.
Don't feel like you have to get a graduate scheme, and don't compare the salary of something you would like to do to that of others - everyone has to start somewhere and there's no set path for everyone to follow after graduation. A salary is nice, but job satisfaction is so much more important.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
My areas of expertise include Politics and Public Policy, Education, Fundraising, Volunteering, CVs, Jobhunting and Proofreading. I can offer all sorts of help to anyone wanting to get into fundraising or politics, including networking events, application help and providing contacts in various industries with my fellow alumni from my own courses!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
After graduation, I was offered a scholarship to study MScEcon Politics and Public Policy at Cardiff University. I have also completed a Level 3 in Management and Leadership.
If you like the look of Sophie’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Sophie a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Sophie to be your mentor.