HOME's Training Manager Robin Clarke, from London, shares some of his best fundraising moments and explains why, although he may be in his seventies, he's not ready to retire for a second time just yet.
What made you decide to step out of retirement and get a job in fundraising?
After retiring from a career in aviation and project management at the end of 2004, just before my 60th birthday, I realised I wasn't at all ready for retirement. I’m told I became pretty irritable. Utterly fed up with me, my family said: "For goodness’ sake Dad! Find something worthwhile to do!"
So I did! I joined HOME Fundraising on a part-time basis in May 2005. After just one week I was so hooked I went full-time – and I carried on knocking doors until August 2011 when I took up my present training role.
What have you enjoyed most about working in fundraising?
In no particular order: making a difference, meeting loads of people, making new friends!
Any door-to-door fundraiser will be able to tell you stories about the experiences they have had and the folks they have met. I carry so many in my mind I could definitely write a book! Without dwelling on any particular one, the best examples are by far those which started out in the least promising way but ended up brilliantly, with happiness and smiles all round!
For sure door-to-door fundraising is hard work. You have to learn how to handle rejection, as well as deal with getting cold and wet. But that makes the successes all the more rewarding... and what possibly could be more uplifting to the soul than helping to make the world a better place!
Tell us about your job as a Training Manager. What do you enjoy about the role?
At its heart, my role is (1) to help fundraisers learn the requisite accurate facts about each charity campaign (2) to help fundraisers buy in (hopefully with some passion!) to each campaign proposition (3) to support fundraisers in the skills and best practice aspects of our unique six-steps approach to fundraising.
I relish the challenge that the role presents. It’s forever evolving, and never dull.
What's it like working for HOME?
HOME is an extraordinary company. I've never worked for a company that goes out of its way to encourage and unify its people in quite the same way that HOME does. This is an organisation that recognises everyone's contributions, and truly gives people the chance to grow.
Another aspect of working for HOME is the sense one gets of being a part of a genuine “force for good” in the charity sector overall. HOME understands fundraising, it understands the extent to which the charity sector depends on public trust, and it honestly cares about the way it does things.
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