Why did we become corporate fundraisers?

We fall into fundraising for a number of different reasons, some by chance, some by fate and some of us are born with it in our blood. Whatever our reasons are, we all have one thing in common, the passion and desire that led us here to make a difference and an impact. 

We thought we would put a spotlight on 5 amazing fundraisers and ask them ‘Why did they become a corporate fundraiser?’   

Daisy Wilson, Corporate Partnerships Lead, Dementia UK 

My fundraising days started when I was five. I paraded around our village with a ‘save the otters’ sign, selling questionable homemade bakes. My new business asks started when I was seven – asking my parents to fund a puppy. We ended up with two Labradors. I knew I had potential…  

Building corporate partnerships is an exciting and evolving space to work in, presenting win-win opportunities for both sides and transformational impact for causes you’re rooting for. It presents a platform to share powerful stories. It attracts a creative bunch of people, who are eager to learn, share and inspire and do not shy away from a challenge. It keeps you on your toes, always, which means you never have a dull day at work.     

Denise Cranston, Partnerships Manager, Remarkable Partnerships 

For me, Fundraising isn’t something I do: it feels like who I am.  
When I was a child I wanted to be a nurse, as a teenager I fancied myself as the next Debbie Harry.  I doubt anyone grows up thinking ‘I really want to be a corporate fundraiser’! Ultimately, though, I wanted to help people. 
Being a corporate fundraiser is getting harder.  More and more charities are fighting for the same pots of money and are feeling the strain of trying to pick up the pieces of the current cost of living crisis.  But we carry on: we know the impact we can make here, and every ‘yes’ is exhilarating. This is the reason I do it. I wake up each morning knowing I’m able to help. 

If you are inspired by the reasons we became corporate fundraisers listed, we recommend you check out our Introduction to Corporate Partnerships course – helping you kickstart your corporate partnerships career. 

Harbi Jama (He/Him), Corporate Partnerships Manager, Refugee Action 

I was inspired by corporate fundraising because I did not see people that looked like me.  

I knew I had a passion for charity and have worked in the private sector; I know great things can be achieved when the two work together. I am fortunate to work for an organisation that values lived experience; over the years, linking my lived experience with the organisation’s mission and vision has made me an excellent fundraiser, relationship manager and communicator.  

I am also a firm believer in abundance and a positive mindset; this is key to being successful in corporate partnerships. 
Amy Chambers, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Thames Hospice 

My fundraising journey started when I was a little girl. I came across a charity at a carnival and purchased a t-shirt for guide dogs for the blind and then went knocking on my neighbours doors selling raffle tickets to collect donations. My mum said to me ‘you shouldn’t be knocking on people’s doors!’ and then donated the money on my behalf. When I look back this where it all started…I believe I was always meant to become a fundraiser.  

I started my career working for Audi as a group marketing manager. I was asked to write their CSR strategy and create positive PR and boost staff morale, and this is when I got involved in fundraising for a local hospice. I loved it so much I went to work for them as a corporate partnerships manager. 

For me, corporate partnerships are all about the change and impact that they have and how it can benefit both charity and company. It helps to give employees a sense of pride in the work that they are doing and the company, and both charity and company benefit financially and in other ways. Fourteen years on and I still have a special passion for corporate fundraising. The landscape has changed so much but it’s still just as exciting. 

Laura Swan, Partnerships Manager. Remarkable Partnerships 

I have dabbled in quite a few areas of fundraising over my 19 years working with charities, but it’s the potential that truly remarkable Corporate Partnerships can have that really excites me.  

More than ever before, I believe that we are seeing huge opportunities for companies and charities to work together in a way that can have an extremely significant impact on the causes we all work on. A meaningful corporate-charity partnership is one of the most wonderful things to be a part of – it’s about excellent and inspiring relationships, it’s about problem-solving collaboratively, it’s about getting outside of our own silos (and often comfort zones),  it’s about having the courage to think about innovative ways of approaching the challenges in our world. Ultimately, it’s about dreaming BIG about what we could really achieve if we work together – and getting on and doing it!  

As the African proverb says – ‘if you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go together’. With a meaningful, long-term, shared purpose partnership you can go very, very far. 

Corporate fundraising is a fantastic career. We’d love to hear why you became a corporate fundraiser. 

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