Two minutes with... Carrie Bater - Community Fundraising Manager
What did you do before joining Brain Tumour Research?
Before joining this wonderful charity, I was lucky enough to work for another great cause as a fundraiser. Nothing is more important to me in a job than feeling like you are making a true and real difference to the lives of others, and although I’m fairly young, I think fundraising will be my career for a long time to come yet. My grandma had a brain tumour (and has fortunately made a full recovery after a very scary time), so when the opportunity arose to work for Brain Tumour Research, I knew it was my dream job at my dream organisation.
Why did you choose your profession?
Honestly, I fell into fundraising, but I think the majority of fundraisers will tell you the same! I didn’t know that working in charity was a ‘real job’ – I can’t remember it ever coming up in careers lessons in school. I studied criminology at university thinking I wanted to be a police woman, but ended up getting involved in lots of fundraising in my spare time whilst studying. When I realised I could make this my career, I was sold! Working in charity really is my dream come true.
What is a typical day in the life of Community Fundraising Manager?
There isn’t really a typical day, which is partly why I love the job so much. I spend a lot of time out and about – meeting supporters and helping them with their events; visiting venues to host my own events; giving presentations to companies to ask for their support; even a good old bucket collection now and again! The rest of the time you’ll find me in my home office, with a cup of good coffee and my kitten, supporting our wonderful fundraisers and volunteers from afar.
What is the most challenging thing about being a Community Fundraising Manager, in the context of a medical research charity?
I think there are two things that instantly come to mind here. Firstly, there are a lot of good causes out there, and especially when pitching Brain Tumour Research to someone who luckily hasn’t been affected, it can be hard to justify why we deserve their hard-earned cash. The solution is to get across the chronic underfunding of research into brain tumours. There just isn’t the public awareness, and it can be a challenge explaining to people how little the bigger cancer charities have been contributing to the research into this specific disease.
Working at Brain Tumour Research, what have you learnt about brain tumours that surprised you the most?
I was surprised, shocked, and saddened to learn how many people lose their driving licenses after diagnosis. My grandmother had a tumour, but has never driven a day in her life, so this didn’t affect her, and so I wasn’t aware before joining the charity. However, my heart goes out to all those I work with who are waiting to be able to drive again – I know that loss of independence is really challenging, especially after such a devastating diagnosis.
What makes you happy?
Oh my goodness, so many things, some simple, some more lavish. I love to travel and I love good food (which normally go hand in hand), which is my more lavish pleasures. However, the simple things like good coffee, long summer evenings, countryside walks, an old novel, or a relaxing yoga session are more my day-to-day happiness doses.