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‘I love knowing that I’ve helped make a difference’

As a 20-year-old who had deferred from uni and with no work experience, a job was hard to come by. So when I picked up the paper to go through that gruelling task of finding something that was not only challenging but rewarding, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

Luckily for me, I found a job which I loved, and which helped me get to the position I am in now at ChildFund Australia. The job I’m talking about is face-to-face fundraising.

Having worked in the industry for over seven years, both as a fundraiser and in other roles, I can honestly say that it is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had (apart from this current role, of course!). During that time I met so many wonderful people, had hundreds of thousands of conversations and recruited over 2,500 donors. Who else can say they get to do that every day and go home each night, knowing they’ve contributed to help make a difference.

Don’t get me wrong – I did have bad days too. I recall one specific day when I was working on George St in Sydney and being called a ‘parasite’ by a man who asked how I could sleep at night, knowing I was taking money from a not-for-profit organisation (ie being paid for my work). I could not get a word in to explain that I was actually helping the organisation generate much more income for their work and that this enables charities to reach more people in need.

Katherine now helps manage the fundraising teams who are out on the street every day raising money and awareness for ChildFund.

But the bad days are just blurred memories compared to the wonderful conversations I had with so many others. Having people, who you’ve never met in your life, walk up to you and tell you that you’re doing a great job. Or someone walking up to you and asking what you`re doing, and once you’ve talked to them, they sympathise and want to help.

I love knowing that I have helped make a difference by talking to people about these issues – and the feedback I’ve had from the different organisations I’ve fundraised for is that the work I, and others like me, have done has enabled them to deliver more life-saving projects here in Australia and around the world.

Now I help manage the fundraising teams who are out on the street every day raising money and awareness for ChildFund. They are amazing people who work tirelessly to support our work. This being ChildFund’s 75th anniversary year, I wanted to celebrate them by introducing some of them to you…

Face-to-face fundraiser Niall spreading the word.

As a child in India, Nima grew up with poverty all around her and has seen firsthand the devastating effects it has on the lives of children and their communities. Now living in Australia, her background inspired her to take action and for the past four years, she has been fundraising for ChildFund. Nima proudly spends her time out on the streets of Sydney in her ChildFund t-shirt chatting with the public about ChildFund’s work. “The money I have raised for ChildFund continues to be the biggest highlight of my job. I love ChildFund. It is part of my life and family. I cannot leave this job!”

Niall was drawn to fundraising after hearing about a natural disaster in Myanmar in 2008, which left over one million people without food, clean water or medical care, while travelling in neighbouring Thailand. He knew he wanted to help. “Fundraising for ChildFund has given me the opportunity to give something back to communities overseas who, for whatever reason, remain under-developed. It has also taught me that the simple things in life are the most important. A lot of the support charities receive is coming from face-to-face fundraisers like me getting out there and spreading the word!”

Since launching our face-to-face fundraising program, ChildFund Australia has been able to double (yes, double!) the amount of money sent overseas to our programs for children in developing countries. It has also enabled us to expand our reach and begin work in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. We’d like to send a huge thank you to all the fundraisers who helped make this happen – and to all our supporters who took the time to stop and hear what they had to say.

Through your support ChildFund Australia has been able to double the amount of money sent overseas to our programs for children in developing countries.

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