As Individual Giving Manager for ellenor – a hospice that supports individuals with life-limiting illnesses in the Kent and Bexley communities – it’s fair to say that Hayley Brown wears many hats.
That’s because ‘individual giving’ – which refers to donations that that come directly from the donor’s pocket, rather than funds raised from elsewhere – takes such a wide range of forms.
It might come from ‘regular givers’, those supporters whose monthly donations are core to ellenor’s survival, or through contributions made in memory of a loved one. Individual giving also includes legacies and gifts in wills – not to mention those who play ellenor’s lottery, and regular raffles.
Haley’s role? Managing all of the above, while creating and executing an annual calendar of direct mail and email campaigns.
"The aim of these is to raise awareness of ellenor’s vital work in the local community, and appeal directly to new and existing donors for urgently-needed support."
It sounds like a lot of admin, but what it really comes down to is understanding not the paperwork, but the people – and this has only intensified since the COVID-19 pandemic.
With events being postponed and all eyes turning to the Individual Giving team, Hayley and her team have adopted an even more personal approach:
“We’ve made a point of calling a lot more of our supporters to thank them, and have seen multiple donations off the back of it, which has been lovely. It’s opened our eyes – sometimes you hide behind emails and letters, when, actually, picking up the phone is the best thing.”
"The Individual Giving team’s coronavirus-enforced tactical switch included launching more cash appeals in 2020, cutting down on costs (the “flashy production”), and placing a greater emphasis on the care ellenor provides."
And the results – which indicate that, even in the absence of most events, ellenor’s support within the community has remained steadfast – speak for themselves.
“We had an outstanding response from our community, and our appeals this financial year have raised substantially more than they’ve done previously. Last year’s summer raffle also raised more than ever. Some of the adaptations we’ve made for COVID-19 have made us think – why weren’t we doing that before!”
The struggles of the last year have come with at least some silver linings, then. In one twist, Hayley’s role is now based on-site at the hospice, rather than at an office several miles away. This allows her to work more closely with the care teams – getting to know them, and being able to take away care stories that will resonate with ellenor’s supporters.