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We deliver the best recruitment news and advice to the Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing sectors, including market updates, CV tips, interview advice, and exclusive interviews.

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2021 Return To The Workplace

I revisited an article written in 2020 reflecting on what may happen to the traditional office working culture beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.  In 2020 I felt that the pandemic will eradicate the conventional office based working environment. I decided to revisit this in March 2021 by creating a poll on LinkedIn asking my network on what their employer’s plans are for post Covid-19 with regards to returning to work in an office environment. The options included: 5 days a week in the office 3-4 days a week in the office 1-2 days a week in the office Will not return to the office I would like to thank every single person who took part and voted. A total of 305 people participated, and the results have been very interesting. The overwhelming conclusion from this sample is that 50% of contributors selected that they will be returning 1-2 days a week in the office. This is a vast contrast to the 11% that chose 5 days a week back in the office. The remaining results are: 3-4 days in the office = 27% Will not return to the office = 11% It is evident from this poll that the majority (78% collectively) will only be returning to the office on a part-time basis. This is a huge shift from the traditional 5 days a week office-based environment. In my previous article I discussed that whilst the pandemic forced many businesses to work remotely, many employees found their productivity increased by working from home according to a report from Colliers. This will certainly encourage and give many employers the confidence to re-think the necessity of their office environments and closely consider the cost implications surrounding an office premise. It is widely considered that behind all these factors and why productivity may be on the rise from a remote working environment is that a high percentage of people working from home feel that it has led to a better work-life balance and this is very evident in a report released in 2020 by Ipsos MORI titled ‘Working post-COVID’. However, from this report it is very important to note that mental well-being is not much different. Mental well-being will of course be severely impacted now as we all face the challenges of lockdown, but I think key to the work environment is that many people will be missing their colleagues and the culture of their business. This is perhaps reflective on the small percentage of 11% from the poll who voted that they will not be returning to the office environment at all. Post pandemic we may see a spike in the desire for flexible workspaces with organisations like WeWork and Regus leading the way for those who may want to provide options to their staff without the severe costs of owning an office space. There are certainly still signs that we are not prepared to entirely work remotely and the return to office on a part-time basis is perhaps a healthy meet in the middle solution for many. As it stands Pro-Recruitment Group recently sent an anonymous survey around to their staff asking for their preferences on returning to work in an office environment and it is great to be an employee for an employer that are prepared to listen, be adaptable and react to the changing market. To conclude, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as some businesses will look to get rid of the traditional office environment whereas others will need it to continue and flourish. Regardless, the pandemic has provided a huge opportunity for change to the future of work which is exciting and interesting. For more information about your recruitment needs, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or email nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Can Community Fundraising Capitalise on the Public’s Interest in their Local Community?

Last summer, I wrote an article reflecting on the first national lockdown due to COVID-19 and discussed the impacts that the pandemic was having on fundraising for the voluntary sector. Take a look here. In 2020 I felt that the initial lockdown and self-isolation enabled people to think about vulnerable people and causes in their communities. In turn, I hoped that this awareness and spirit would continue post COVID-19 to benefit the voluntary sector. Looking at this in March 2021 and although we are not post the COVID-19 pandemic yet, it would appear that this community mindset is becoming more apparent. According to research recently released by The National Lottery Community Fund the pandemic has helped to reignite people’s interest in their local community with three in ten (30%) planning to get more involved in 2021. The same research showed that across the UK almost seven in ten people (69%) feel like they are a part of their local community, with about a third acknowledging that COVID has increased their sense of belonging (35%). I think that because many organisations have had to shift their office culture to remote working to adhere to Government guidelines this has really helped people to recognise and appreciate their health, surroundings, and local community. The research really demonstrates the growing rise of attention to community wellbeing for 2021. This is hopefully positive news for local charities as well as community fundraising which has arguably been one of the hardest hit forms of fundraising during the pandemic due to a high proportion of community fundraising relying on events as a large source of income. I very much hope we continue to build on this community support mindset and that many worthwhile charities are able to capitalise and benefit. As it stands, Pro-Marketing of Pro-Recruitment Group is currently representing some fantastic community fundraisers all with excellent community fundraising strategy backgrounds and some are immediately available. For further information on this article or the above Community Fundraising professionals, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or email nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Philanthropy Fundraising is on the Rise in the UK

It has been nearly 11-months since the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a televised address that brought in widespread lockdown measures on the 23rd of March 2020 and it is very apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic has of course provided lots of challenges and has changed and adapted the UK fundraising market.  For example, Trust Fundraisers will have had very different experiences over the past 11 months to those who work in public fundraising. Community and events teams have had to speed up the digitalisation of their culture and fundraising. It has also been interesting to see the rise and enormous opportunity for the UK to become a global centre of excellence for philanthropists and social investors.   A new report has been introduced for the UK Government, HMRC, the Charity Commission and civil society to take action now to position the UK as a leader for international philanthropy and social investment. The report, The UK as a Centre of Excellence for International Philanthropists and Social Investors, is by the Beacon Collaborative, supported by City Bridge Trust (the City of London Corporation’s charity funder) and EY. The report is based on research (including international) and shows the UK to hold strengths as a strategic base for social investors and global philanthropists.   Cath Dovey, report author and Co-Founder of Beacon Collaborative, comments: ‘Both Brexit and Covid-19 have caused challenges and uncertainty, but have also highlighted the importance of global collaboration to tackle global issues. We think that more overseas donors could be encouraged to set up foundations in the UK, supporting international needs as well as supporting UK charities and causes.’   UK charities have already demonstrated fantastic resilience during this pandemic and have been adaptable and have managed to continue moving forward by modernising their technical resources and it will be interesting to see how the market responds to this research and the opportunity for philanthropy. As it stands, Pro-Marketing has seen an increase in demand for philanthropy focused requirements in 2021 and as such are currently representing some brilliant individuals all with excellent reputations and some are immediately available.  For further information on this article or the above Philanthropy professionals, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or email nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Market Update from Pro-Group: Pat Keogh - Chairman January 2021

Hello, a quick update on the recruitment market from me, Pat Keogh, Chairman of the Pro-Recruitment Group. January 2021 We've been asked recently by a number of candidates "What's the state of the Market like?", and if you know us, we cover the Tax, Legal, Finance, Marketing & HR sectors. All five sectors are really strong, and we've been really pleased with the number of new vacancies registered by the organisations we work with. Surprisingly, 2020 was a very good year for a number of our clients, especially the professional services firms, law firms and accountancy firms. Even a lot of our Not-For-Profit sectors and tax commerce and industry surprisingly had a really good year. And that's been reflected by their levels of recruitment. We have a large number of vacancies we are looking to fill. It's really a character of the market, and that might be a surprise to a lot of people, but candidates and those now looking for new opportunities now have a really good choice of roles out there, clients are really keen to recruit and some have really aggressive growth plans. Many organisations are seeing this time as a good opportunity to grow their business and grow their headcount. If you are looking and considering moving, it's definitely worth exploring the market. Do call us, do explore our website and you will be really surprised to see the number of vacancies out there. Come and speak to us. We will give you good solid advice. We will always give you the best advice as to your career options. Ot's definitely a good market, so definitely give one of our team a call.

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900km run for CALM charity

With the impact of the pandemic this year taking a huge toll on people’s mental wellbeing, myself and 8 others at Pro-Recruitment Group have decided to raise money for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) a small but growing charity, to support their campaigns, increase awareness, and offer our support. ​ Sadly, suicide rates have increased dramatically in both male and female in 2020, with Male suicide rate being at the highest for two decades. CALM is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. CALM runs a free and confidential helpline 0800 58 58 58 and webchat 7 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems, as well as help from other organisations.  CALM has experienced a record surge in demand for our helpline recently… 37% more daily calls in the first week of the Spring lockdown, to be precise. That’s why, during this second lockdown, myself, Rebecca English, Jennifer Nelson, Kevin Racher, Ashleigh Polakiewicz, Dominic Watt, Chris Davey, Tom Eagle and George Tatnell are aiming to run 100km each during a 30 day period to raise money and awareness for CALM, and hopefully improving our own mental wellbeing at the same time! With fundraising events being cancelled due to the pandemic, this charity needs our help more than ever - help fund CALM's life-saving helpline and webchat. Just £8 pays for a call that could turn someone’s life around. We understand that times are tough, however if you would like to donate, please visit our JustGiving funding page, where any donation is extremely appreciated. Stay tuned to socials for updates on our progress!               

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Pat Keogh - Pro Group - October 2020 Update

Here is a quick update on the markets we cover from Pro-Recruitment Group's Managing Director, Pat Keogh. It's no surprise that all five of our markets, tax, legal, finance, marketing and HR slowed down earlier this year, but we were really encouraged when we brought everyone back fully in September, there were clear signs and green shoots across all five divisions. It was slightly stunted when we had to go back to a work-from-home strategy, but we are hoping that will lift soon. That said, all markets are still responding well. A lot of organisations are taking the opportunity to obnboard remotely. There are a few clients who are more gung-ho than others, and some a recruiting in serious numbers, which is pleasing to see. On the candidate side, unfortunately there are a lot who are now immediately available, through no fault of thier own, but due to current market conditions. There are plenty of skilled professionals who are immediately available, so its a great time to recruit if that is your strategy. We are producing a monthly market-tracker which will allow us to keep you informed of recruiting trends, covering professionals seeking new roles and opportunities available on the market. Do sign up to receive our newsletters. We haven't seen a single market without an increase, understandably it has been relatively flat market since March, but more recently we are seeing monthly increases in jobs being registered with us, which is very encouraging. The approach we have taken as a business is that we are looking to help kick-start the economy. Of course, whilst balancing the safety of our teams and those around us. We are currently working remotely, whilst allowing those who prefer to safely come into the office the opportunity to do so. This is paramount in us ensuring we are servicing all of our clients and candidates alike. I hope this gives you a bit of an insight into where the market is at. Feel free to pick up the phone to me directly, I am more than happy to share market intel and looking to share this information as regularly as we can. We are always here and our lines of communications are always here to help you with your reruitment needs. For now, stay safe and speak soon!

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60 Seconds With: Laura Savory, Deputy Director of Community Fundraising at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Laura Savory is Deputy Director of Community Fundraising at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity). Laura has worked for the organisation in a variety of roles in its community and events team for the last ten years. Prior to this, she worked in the fundraising team at Sue Ryder. Laura speaks with Nicholas Ogden at Pro-Marketing about her role at GOSH and sharing her advice to anyone looking to move into the Not-for-Profit sector Tell me about yourself, how your career started and what you do at GOSH Charity At the start of my career I’d planned to work in sustainable tourism, but the role I’d lined up sadly fell through and instead I started working as a sales executive. From this I quickly learnt I was quite good at making money, but that I’d like to do it for a cause I cared about. I applied for lots of jobs in the charity sector, but struggled to get a foot in the door, until I met the head of events at Sue Ryder, where I started volunteering. I loved it and went from volunteering to being their challenge events manager where I did everything from helping the charity embark upon its first ever London Marathon with five gold bond places, through to building the national challenge events portfolio. An opportunity came up at GOSH Charity to manage the challenge events programme and I took it. I grew the challenge’s income from one million pounds to four million pounds, a portfolio that included our biggest mass participation event - RBC Race for the Kids. I was then promoted to manage the community events team which I found to be a baptism of fire as I quickly learnt that community events is quite a different space to challenge events! But I loved it, and I was subsequently able to move into a role managing the whole department, a post I’ve been in for around four years now. Why community fundraising? It was partly luck as it was the opportunity that presented itself to me, but I’m so happy it did as this feels like an area of fundraising that really suits me. I am an extrovert (ENTP if you are interested), I enjoy getting stuck in, I really like talking to people and I’m also motivated by the idea of supporting others to meet their own goals, which ultimately is what this area of fundraising is all about. It’s members of the public who are pushing themselves to do something to raise funds for the hospital, using their time and energy, and I find that very inspiring. In a crowded market, what does GOSH Charity do to stand out, how is it different/unique/special in the market? As fundraisers we are lucky that the areas we are raising money towards become very tangible; you can stand in the hospital buildings that transform the care children receive, you see the state of the art piece of equipment, you get the chance to talk to staff whose posts are funded by charitable giving and you see the impact of their work. You can touch it, feel it, smell it. I think at GOSH Charity, that’s something we really appreciate. From a personal perspective what really stands out to me about Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is the breadth of the work it does. It’s caring for children with the rarest and most complex conditions, and that inherently places it in a very unique position. I grew up watching the Wishing Well Appeal, which raised funds for the hospital, and now I’ve worked for the charity that supports the hospital for a quarter of my life. It’s a very special place. I think in theory it would be easy to lose sight of how special it as after being here for so long, but you just don’t. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? In terms of our charity’s profile and how much we try and raise, we’re a relatively large organisation. But in terms of our staff, we are relatively small; before social distancing measures we all worked from one office five minutes away from the hospital itself, and it’s always been really easy to pop over and chat to a colleague to get something done. My team is one department in a fundraising directorate that includes individual giving, philanthropy, corporate partnerships and special events, so there’s quite a breadth. We’re hardworking and professional, but also very supportive and caring, which I’m really proud of. My advice – you need to be someone who’s prepared to talk to people, to pick up the phone or to go to the hospital to meet in person. I also need you to think more broadly than community fundraising, because the supporter you are working with is not one dimensional. We need to see every opportunity we can and think about how to build a really positive relationship with the fundraisers we’re supporting. At the end of the day, it’s all about people and the relationships we have with them. Putting the supporter at the heart of everything we do is really important. How would your team describe you? Determined. Informal. Driven, in that I have high expectations.  I hope they would say I am accessible. We’re all on a journey, I’m not perfect, and I’ve definitely grown – in the last few years in particular. I would hope that a colleague answering this question now might say something different that they would a few years ago, which would reflect my development as a leader and a colleague. What advice would you give to your younger self? Pause, slow down and forgive yourself a bit more. I have a habit of rushing in! I think my biggest piece of advice is that it’s ok to be vulnerable, you don’t have to know everything, and it’s ok to ask for help. How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or adapted fundraising? I think it depends on what type of fundraising you’re talking about. For example trust fundraisers will have a very different experience of change to those who work in public fundraising. In community and events, we’ve had to pivot everything that we do. We were quite a digitally focused team before the pandemic, but it has sped up digitisation of our culture and fundraising. And as a sector we have to catch up quickly, because the pandemic is not only changing how we work, it’s changing how the public thinks of and engages with charities. For example, I think the pace at which we will now move towards a cashless society is speeding up, and that poses big questions for community cash based fundraising. There has also been a big shift towards supporting hyperlocal causes, this will require larger national charities to really challenge themselves on how they demonstrate impact and engage people at such a micro level. The surge of mutual aid groups through the pandemic was not only really heartening to see from a personal point of view, but was fascinating from a professional perspective.     What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector (especially during this pandemic)? People are often pleasantly surprised by how values driven the sector is. I think we all acknowledge the impact that Covid-19 has had on fundraising, and so for many organisations it will be a tough few months ahead. With that in mind, my advice would be to choose a cause that you are really passionate about. If you’re moving into the sector it’s because you want to see change happen and at this time the change could be really meaningful. If you feel like you’re really part of something by working towards something you really care about, it’ll be much easier. If you were not working for a charity or not-for-profit organisation, what would the dream be? I think I’d be doing something outdoorsy, where I could be hands on and get stuck in. I did once consider training to become a landscape gardener! Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity sector? Right now, be adaptable. Be willing to try new things, be willing to explore different avenues in fundraising. I think we will all be stronger for having a diverse and wide range of skills, so say yes to opportunities. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I don’t think pleasures should be guilty! I’m also an oversharer, so nothing is really that secret. At a push, perhaps I would say watching or listening to a true crime documentary whilst snaffling a bag of crisps. It turns out I am fascinated by serial killers (hopefully because they are very different to me!), and I do a love a frazzle. For more information on this article, or to find out how you can get involved in Pro-Marketing’s 60 Second interview series, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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COVID-19: How it affected my maternity leave, my business and changed my focus!

With many returning to work in the office, and new patterns of working emerging across the employment landscape, the Director Team here at Pro-Recruitment Group are sharing their experiences and insights around the returning to work post COVID-19 Alison Humphries, Board Director, shares her experience of returning to the workplace after maternity leave, and rediscovering the unprecedented new ways of working. Alison: I am one of the owners of Pro-Recruitment, I have been in the business for 13 years and been in the working world for 20 years without ever really having time off. I went straight from education to work, even in my teen years I worked on weekends. Other than a 2-week holiday or a few extra days over the Christmas period I am admittedly a bit of a self-confessed workaholic! In October 2019 as I walked out of the office I was about to embark on a new journey through maternity leave…I was excited, I was nervous, I was scared. I was about to have a baby, my body, my heart and my head were about to be turned upside-down and on top of that I had to relinquish control of my business . To say this was going to be hard was an understatement, as i've been involved throughout the whole 'Pro-Journey', but after working with so many experienced consultants and developing and training a knowledgeable Management Team, I knew it was being left in good hands. Fast-forward to January 2020 I’d given birth to a beautiful little girl called Charlotte, everything was starting to get back to normal and I was feeling like my old self. Everything at work was going so well, I had been into the office and all of my teams were reporting success. As an owner of the business I was keen to know how the company was performing (that’s the workaholic in me), so I had committed to attend every Board Meeting from January onwards and I was so pleased that things were going so well. Maternity leave wasn’t so bad…I booked myself and my daughter onto swimming lessons, rhythm time, baby sensory…you name it we had signed up for it. It was important to me that Charlotte was sociable from day one and that I made some mummy friends in the local area. My focus slowly changed and allowed me to realign myself from the workaholic and enjoy being a mother. The Unthinkable  During the week we would stay at our flat in London and at the weekend, we would head to a place that we had recently bought in the Midlands as it was close to my family. On March the 15th I waved my other half off to work. Unexpectedly I got a call at midday, he was coming home that evening and working from home indefinitely. The UK was being hit hard by COVID-19, it wasn’t going away and businesses across the country were telling people to work from home. Luckily for us at Pro-Group, we already had the infrastructure in place for us to make that swift move without causing to much disruption to our day-to-day work. Pro-Recruitment made this decision on March 15th and then what was to follow was unthinkable. We went into lockdown on March 23rd. The range of emotions that followed included fear, anxiety and dread. I had brought a baby into the world and this was our generation's war. Were we going to survive, how serious was all of this if the world was now in lockdown. Pro-Group was impacted heavily, like everyone else in the UK, we were moved to reduce our team size, we had to think strategically, we had to act fast, we had no idea how long this was going to last and if we were even going to have a business at the end of this. I was being informed of decisions that were being made, furlough schemes that we were using and many other things that were impacting our business and we had no control over any of it. I wanted to be involved in calls, decisions, meetings that were loaded with information, but I also had a baby that was breastfeeding, teething and was struggling to sleep - finding this balance was challenging, but upon reflecting, it feels like an accomplishment to balance work and life as this extreme level. How could we make this a more positive experience? We had to make this a positive experience, it became apparent as places like Wuhan started to ease their lockdown that this wasn’t going to last forever, we would come out of the other side. I  took advantage of the time that we had as a new family of 3. My partner was there for every bath time and bedtime, he was there when we were having a bad day of crying just to ease things for me, even if it was only for half an hour so I could shower and have a cup of tea. We took advantage of the late summer evenings and beautiful weather; we have transformed our garden and I have become somewhat a pair of “green fingers”. We made time for each other and made every evening a time to cook, talk and enjoy dinner together. We became really close to our neighbours and would now consider them friends. All of these things would be interrupted ordinarily by work, travel and other outside factors. August came around, before I knew it I was thinking about heading back to work on 1st September. Our business had halved, I had relocated and life was so different. I had to put Charlotte into nursery and think of a back to work plan. Given the amount that I had been in touch with Pro-Group whilst I had been on maternity leave we started talking about my return fairly early on. I had a plan, a strategy and lots of time to think about how we could get out of the other side of this pandemic. Pro-Group had been excellent in considering my return to work I have come back to work 3 days a week and 1 day is working from home. I have the full support of my co-Directors and walking back into the office on Tuesday 1st September was daunting. It felt as if it was my first day at school again, I was nervous, had I forgotten how to do this? Turns out I haven’t thankfully, in fact I am even more focussed now than I have ever been. With only 3 days a week at work every minute counts. I have to be extremely productive on those days, I have time on the train to work and think of ways in which I can help my team, I am refreshed when I get to work and I feel like I have a new found energy and enthusiasm to help my company out of a slow market and back to winning ways. ​In Summary Maternity leave was completely interrupted by lockdown and COVID-19, but I tried to make the very best out of a very disruptive situation. I don’t feel like I have stood still for six months, the world hasn’t passed me by, I have had time to re-energise, re-focus and be in a better mindset coming out of this. Whilst it saddens me that the business I have helped to build for 13 years has changed dramatically, I have managed to better my personal life in a way I hadn’t imagined I would. In my opinion, flexible working and taking into account a good work-life balance and a happy home life is the most important thing in the world and allows you to be at your best when you leave your house in the morning ready to face whatever the world throws at you. For advice and information about returning to work after maternity leave, or for a more detailed discussion with Alison about her experience, email alison.humphries@pro-tax.co.uk or call on 020 7269 6312

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60 Seconds with: Benaifer Bhandari, Chief Executive of Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre

Benaifer Bhandari joined Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre as their Chief Executive in November 2018, prior to this she worked various roles at the breastfeeding support charity La Leche League GB. Benaifer speaks with Nicholas Ogden and Pro-Marketing about working at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre where their mission is to enable BAME women to actively participate in society and make informed decisions that enable them to achieve their aspirations. Additionally Benaifer, kindly offers interview tips, and shares her views on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed/adapted fundraising. Tell me about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre? I started as CEO in November 2018 and it was a monumental moment for me. As a BAME woman, the door to CEO roles doesn't always open easily and I fell in love with Hopscotch in my preparation for my interview. It's a remarkable organisation that is built on compassion and sound governance practices. My previous charity, La Leche League GB, was the same. I served here as a trustee and as a director of the accreditation department. This involved heaps of international work, including complex policy writing which would serve the very different parts of the world where mothers breastfeed. Now at Hopscotch I have the privilege of working with colleagues who are experts in their own fields of health and social care, domestic violence, employment and welfare advice. We also have experts working with older and young BAME women. It's inspiring to be surrounded by such high skill levels and keeps me motivated to keep Hopscotch going fiscally and keep our work growing. We have an excellent reputation locally for being a one stop shop for women who need specialist BAME support, and we are now expanding around London to be able to share our knowledge and skills to help even more isolated and underserved women and girls. How do Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre differentiate themselves in the market?  We are unique in the holistic approach we have. We run services which, individually, may be replicated elsewhere, but our centre puts all our services together and we work with each service user at her pace, according to her ability and motivations and working with the barriers she in particular faces. We move her seamlessly between services as she feels ready to disclose her needs and at all times being respectful of what it means to be a disadvantaged BAME woman in London. An example is a service user (B) who came to us seeking urgent support after surviving domestic abuse. Our advocate was there for B in her hour of need and in the weeks and months to come, making sure she was safe, fed and plugged into the statutory bodies needed. Our welfare advocate stepped in, as needed, for the housing and welfare issues which came up. In time B was able to express her desire to work (which previously she hadn’t been allowed to) and our employment development team supported her in improving her English and helped her work on her CV writing and interview skills. Eventually B was ready to step into the job market and chose to interview with our own Homecare service and was successful! She is now working flexibly as a care worker and having her own income for the first time in her life. Our Better Employment advisor is now working with her to develop her skills further with workshops which B can attend around her care work, so that she avoids the in-work poverty trap so many Londoners face and can start to dream big and live the life she deserves. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? We have a 23-person office-based team and 50 incredible care workers. We are nearly always recruiting, as grant funding comes in and we are always looking for more care workers to join our expanding Homecare service. We have a great social media presence where you will find all our opportunities and our website www.hopscotchawc.org.uk also has lots of information on how to apply. Always consider getting in touch first, have an informal chat with us so we can get to know you even before we’ve received your application. That’s a sure way of getting us excited to receive your email. How would your team describe you? This is awkward to respond to! OK, so we are accredited by various bodies like the Care Quality Commission and Advice Quality Standard. Here are bits from our last Matrix (Employment auditors) report:- “Leadership and management is another area of strength. A number of staff and partners commented on the fresh energy and new approach brought by the new CEO” “Increased networking, and with a background in counselling, an in depth understanding of women, but also how working with them can bring stresses” “A breath of fresh air, loads of new ideas, already adding things to our programme”.  “The new composition of the Board has led to a timely review of Hopscotch’s vision, mission and objectives. Staff described being given relative autonomy; but it was also clear that there is a structured framework of meetings now in place at both manager and practitioner level to oversee performance” “I think we have finally got there in terms of managing things, the right level of oversight” What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t always listen to your teachers. Absorb the positive things one or two of them said to you over those 12 years. The horrid things said to you consistently are all about them and not you. You will find yourself attracting inspiring people soon enough and they will help you find your passion for working with those in need. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Their smile and their answer to “Why Hopscotch?” Both tell me how comfortable they are expressing their connection to our charity and how they might fit into the family vibe we work hard at maintaining. How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or adapted fundraising? It has put Hopscotch and our many peer organisations at risk of closure. Through sheer hard work we have fundraised crisis money to be able to keep going until March 21 – but what happens when that money runs out? How do we replace the losses incurred in Homecare, our social enterprise, because of C-19? How do we continue our important work of reaching women who are unreachable by others? This uncertainty has meant a more ferocious fundraising strategy has been needed, including spending a lot of time thinking of creative ways to raise unrestricted income. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector (especially during this pandemic)? It’s not for everyone – you need to have a combination of empathy, determination and big picture vision. If this is you, there are lots of great platforms where jobs are advertised and then for charities like Hopscotch who cannot afford these platforms, call directly or go to the website and apply! There is crisis funding around, there are programmes starting or extending their run, so there are jobs out there right now – mostly only for the few months until the funding runs out, but it’s a great way to start. For those who can, I always say the best way to test the water and find out if the third sector is for you, is to volunteer. If you were not working for a charity or not-for-profit organisation, what would the dream be? I would work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds for whom either school let them down or isn’t the right place. I home educate my lads, so I have experience of another – non-institutional – way of learning where children are empowered and motivated and have the time to learn important skills like conflict resolution and socialising with people of all ages and abilities. Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity sector? The charity sector is filled with people who have to manage strict governance and tight finances, but who also think outside the box. Part of that is having the capacity to hire those who are passionate and have skills beyond academics. It’s a beautiful place to grow as a person, navigate life with like-minded people and have the opportunity to give hope – which could be directly to those in need or it could be indirectly by helping the organisation flourish. The third sector is surprisingly fast-paced, as funding comes and goes, needs fluctuate and people who care move about at quite a speed! Find your passion, work out what sector that fits into and then find the organisation that understands the needs of that sector. Volunteer with them until they have the space to take you on and then fly! Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I am known for my views and actions against patriarchy but LOVE ‘Say Yes To The Dress’. Sshhh, don’t tell anyone! For more information on this article, or to find out how you can get involved in Pro-Marketing’s 60 Second interview series, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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COVID-19 Lockdown Reflection – Fundraising for The Voluntary Sector

On 23 March 2020 the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a televised address that brought in widespread lockdown measures. Four months on from that, the UK has now found itself in a position where some are returning to work, organisations are exploring flexible working measures more than ever before, and the fundraising and voluntary sector had an urgent surge in demand. Here is a brief reflection of how the fundraising landscape has changed, and the effects of the pandemic on future giving. History has shown that in times of crisis people often pull together to become their best selves, this was reflected by the March 2020 recruitment for NHS Volunteers to help COVID-19 being suspended as more than three times the expected number of people signed up. These responses were impressive and Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England was “absolutely bowled over” by this. During Lockdown  Lockdown and self-isolation have enabled people to think about vulnerable people and causes in their communities. Hopefully, in turn this awareness and spirit will continue post COVID-19 to benefit the voluntary sector. Captain Sir Thomas Moore took donations in the run up to his 100th Birthday, in aid of the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. His efforts were a beacon of hope despite everyone’s hardships. With a target of raising £500,000, he had phenomenally raised almost £38million with over 1.5million donations, breaking records on JustGiving, the global online platform for charitable giving. However, research from Charity Aid Foundation found that although sentiment to give was high, 12% of Charities did not have the digital technology in place to collect funds online. As cash remains the most common way to give to charity (53%), many not-for-profit organisations who already had digital donation platforms in place, found a spike during the March and April months of 2020 found a spike in digital donations, whilst some reported a drop in donations due to lack of technical resources. Revolut  has revealed figures highlighting a swell in charitable giving among UK consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The average amount given through Revolut Donations increased across all age groups during lockdown, by an average of 59%. Those in older age brackets gave significantly more than they did prior to lockdown, with the biggest rise seen in the 50+ age group, where donation amounts soared by 147%. Those aged 41-45 increased their average donation amount by 91% and those between 46-50 by 75%. But it wasn’t just older consumers who gave more to charity during lockdown, Gen Z increased donation amounts by an average of 13%, those aged 26-30 by 8% and those aged 31-35 by 23%. Post-Pandemic  Post COVID-19 we should all continue to support vulnerable people and causes in our communities. Charities will learn a lot from this period to catalyse their efforts going forward. With 18% or charities reporting that they see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to modernise into newer technical resources, many are now accelerating their plans to shift their fundraising towards online efforts Without doubt, this lockdown has hit many financially, but research from Opinium tells us that many charitable supporters encouragingly will be providing the same level or more support going forward once lockdown is lifted and life starts to return to normality. Of those that are donating more than usual currently, 12% say they will donate more money to charity when they start to return to normality, while three in four (76%) will continue donating at the same level that they are currently. Similarly, of those that are donating more than usual, one in five (20%) say they will do this more when things return to normal, while 70% will continue to donate at their current level. Kate Whiffen, Senior Research Manager at Opinium Research commented: Charities are currently going through some challenging times due to Covid-19... Knowing how charities can adapt and move forward in these times is key. We have heard some very positive stories from the public as to what makes them support more now and what would do in the future, but it’s the challenge of communicating and educating the long term impact Covid-19 will have on the charity sector and learning from new initiatives that have been successful that would work in the future. Charities will need to think of innovative ways of Marketing to support their fundraising efforts, with many events being cancelled, and cash donations becoming less regular,  smaller charities have had a stronger recovery than the larger charities, which have been more greatly affected due to those wider event cancellations. Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving said: "Many charities have been impacted hard with reduced income during COVID-19...We’ve seen some fantastic ways people have been raising money for charity during lockdown, and there are lots of ways people are able to fundraise as we emerge from lockdown when the traditional routes are still not open to them. From virtual pub quizzes, running 5k in your back garden or taking part in a virtual 50k bike ride, we encourage people to continue to do what they can do to raise money to support the charities close to their hearts." To conclude, this period has been a pressing but eye-opening time for many organisations and people alike. NFP teams are exploring alternatives to raise funds, social media has seen a surge in charitable cause posts. Now more than ever, those who were not already regularly donating are now supporting causes closer to home and those affected by the pandemic. Who knows what else is to come in the second half of this year? However, let’s continue to pull our efforts together to help the most vulnerable in the hardest times. If you are looking for ideas or like to share your thoughts on this, please give Nicholas Ogden a call on 020 7269 6338 or email me nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Is this the end of office culture? What happens post COVID-19?

It is widely believed that conventional office culture will not be the same beyond the Coronavirus pandemic. Here we take a closer look at what experts suggest this might look like. This pandemic will eradicate the traditional working environment. Here is what some organisations, leaders and reports suggest. Jes Staley CEO of Barclays said “The notion of putting 7,000 people in the building may be a thing of the past” Colliers found in a survey of 4,000 people working from home that 73% thought that their productivity was the same or higher, while 76% thought their work/life balance had improved. 81% wanted to carry on working from home for one day a week or more Keith Froud, Managing Partner of Eversheds Sutherland stated that they will “redirect more on technology rather than office space” Research from Upwork, a US freelancing firm, researched that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. Today, millennials and Gen Z workers make up only 38% of the workforce, but in 2028, they’ll amount to 58%. So there will only be changes to come as the ‘New Norm’ makes its appearance. Organisations that operate with large corporate spaces will certainly need to think about the foreseeable future and will need to prioritise adhering to Government guidelines to keep their employees safe. However, businesses that can provide appropriate safety measures and contingency plans for their staff also have many reasons why they should continue to invest in office space and why larger organisations may need to reassess post pandemic before permanently abolishing office spaces. Why some businesses shouldn’t eradicate their office space and environments Melanie Phillips, journalist for The Times, comments that “Zoom shuts away the essence of humanity” and that senses are removed (and are irreproducible). These are key disadvantages for any businesses that are people focused Brodie Boland Associate Partner of McKinsey & Company suggests that remote working does not enable some people to get needed mentorship or help facilitate casual, unplanned but important conversations with colleagues Paul McDonald a contributor to Forbes discusses in detail in his article ‘Why A Positive Company Culture Is Especially Critical Today’ about organisations needing to create an inclusive and positive corporate culture. For many this can take the form of a fun place to work with development and social offerings that cannot be replaced remotely. Happiness is widely considered amongst many reports the most important factor for generating high productivity and therefore business leaders will need to take this into account when thinking about why their employees come to work for their business Here at Pro-Recruitment Group We are discovering in our sector that many are missing the office environment, shared working space and the buzzing team culture. As it stands, Pro-Recruitment Group is thrilled to be opening the office on a trial part-time basis in August, allowing the team the option to voluntarily come in on a rota whilst allowing for flexibility in hours. As part of this trial, Pro is generously reimbursing all employees’ travel costs and has already followed government guidelines with risk assessments and implemented strong safety measures. As an organisation we are delighted to be returning. Here is our advice to employers looking to reintroduce employees into the workplace. To conclude, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as some businesses will look to get rid of the traditional office environment whereas others will need it to continue and flourish. Regardless, the pandemic has provided a huge opportunity for change to the future of work which is exciting and interesting. For more information about your recruitment needs, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or email nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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60 Seconds With: Richard Davidson, Chief Executive at Sarcoma UK

Richard Davidson joined Sarcoma UK as their Chief Executive in July 2018, and has been working in the third sector for more than two decades. His previous roles include Director of Engagement at Anthony Nolan and Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK. Richard is Chairman of Emilia Clarke’s charity, SameYou, which is dedicated to increasing access to rehabilitation services after brain injury and stroke for young people, and he is also a board member of SPAEN, the European network of sarcoma patient advocacy groups. Richard speaks with Nicholas Ogden at Pro-Marketing about working at Sarcoma UK, offers interview tips, and shares advice for those looking to progress their career in the charity sector. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Sarcoma UK? I have worked in the voluntary sector throughout my career in public affairs, policy, marketing, fundraising and communications. I worked at CRUK, Anthony Nolan and now for a smaller organisation, Sarcoma UK as Chief Executive. How do Sarcoma UK differentiate themselves in the market?  We are the only organisation in the UK that covers all types of Sarcoma, funds research, raises awareness and provides information and support. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? We could consider ourselves to be small but mighty (22 people in total). I always look for staff who really care about the beneficiaries and want to make a difference to the lives of people with cancer. How would your team describe you? I have no idea, but I would think they would say I am supportive, energetic and creative. What advice would you give to your younger self? When I started out, I worried too much. I would now advise myself not to. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? I always think you can tell quite quickly if someone has passion and desire, which is important to me. What personal and soft skills are most important when working in the charity sector? I look for empathy and an ability to relate well to people. You need to be able to adapt to other people’s styles and approaches. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector? Do it! People from other sectors have a great deal to offer, but do not assume that things will be easier and less pressurised. Often more is at stake in the voluntary sector. If you were not working for a charity, what would the dream be? I feel I will always be connected to charities, but I would love to live in an Italian cottage with space, fine weather, food and wine. A dog would complete the idyllic scene! Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity sector? Consider what you feel passionate about and choose roles that allow you to use that energy to make a difference. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I have a penchant for a Subway steak sandwich. ​ For more information on this article, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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60 Seconds With: Ben Hawley, Marketing and Communications Director at CALM

Ben Hawley is Marketing and Communications Director at Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Ben moved from agency and joined the charity CALM in August 2017, and has since then worked with the Royals, Parliament and brands including ITV, Dave, Topman and Tesco. CALM is Pro-Recruitment Group's corporate charity partner and is leading a movement against suicide in the UK, running a free and confidential phoneline and webchat 365 days a year, and working towards breaking down the stigma around mental health. Ben speaks with Nicholas Ogden, Consultant at Pro-Marketing, about the work undertaken by CALM, the changing role of marketing and communications in the not-for-profit sector, and the personal and soft skills needed when working in the charity sector. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Campaign Against Living Miserably? I am the Marketing and Communications Director at CALM. I joined the organisation 2.5 years ago having moved from an agency where CALM was a client. I’ve worked with CALM from the days when there were just 2 people and the cause was very specific to male suicide. In 2017, I got the chance to join for a short period of time to land some big campaigns and I haven’t left yet! How do CALM differentiate themselves in the market? We deal with a difficult issue, shrouded with stigma and taboo so are unapologetic about bringing it to the public’s attention. We’re all about breaking down barriers and shifting culture, so you need creativity and personality to do that. You also need an open door. We’re reliant on a mass of enthusiasm and desire for change. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? The marketing and communications team is 9 strong. The team is a mix of generalists and specialists. We’re at the size where we need people to adapt to change and opportunity so we look for a variety of skills. Drive and desire are very important, but we also need people with tenacity and sensitivity. What personal and soft skills are most important when working in the charity sector? You need to be compassionate and empathetic, especially when working with the issue we do. So people need an element of resilience but not in the absence of support. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector? The not-for-profit industry can benefit from skills, ideas and energy from a mix of industries. You certainly don’t need sector experience to land a job at CALM, diversity is key to growing and getting better. How do you think the role of marketing and communications in the not-for-profit sector has changed over the years? It has become a lot more complicated, there are now more channels available. It is important to be aware of what each channel offers you. It’s easy to feel like you should try everything and be everywhere you can be but you need a lot more insight into performance and understand the nuance. Driving clicks is great but if you’re chasing people around the internet, is this good for your brand? We try to focus on delivering the right message to the right audience and generating the best possible engagement. If not in charity marketing/communications, what would the dream be? A professional golfer! Not because I love golf, or golfers – it just seems very cushy. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? Golf! Here at Pro, we have partnered with CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity which is close to our company. We will be working closely with CALM to create campaigns, increase awareness, and offer support through engagement and fundraising events.  For more information on this article, or to find out how you can get involved with fundraising for CALM, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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60 Seconds With: Alison Goodman, Director of Income Generation & Communications at Noah's Ark Children's Hospice

Alison Goodman is Director of Income Generation and Communications at the award-winning charity Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Alison has been with Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice for 6 years and they have recently moved into their brand new children’s hospice building – ‘The Ark’ in Barnet! The new site and facilities are amazing and will provide support for many babies, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, as well as their families. This wonderful charity covers North and Central London as well as Hertsmere. Alison speaks with Nicholas Ogden, Consultant at Pro-Marketing about the incredible work undertaken at Noah's Ark Children's Hospice and offers advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity fundraising/marketing sectors. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice? I am the Director of Income Generation & Comms here at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Born and raised in Manchester, I came to University in London to train as a Primary School Teacher. After 10 years as a teacher and Special Needs Coordinator in Islington, I took a career break before what I thought would be a Deputy Headship, then a lifelong career as a Headteacher. During the career break I took a 6 week temp Community Fundraiser role at Terrence Higgins Trust, and left there 11 magnificent years later as a Major Donor and Celebrity Manager. After three and a half wonderful years as Head of Major Giving at Ambitious About Autism, I landed my dream job as Director of Income Generation at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice – my local hospice in Barnet. How do Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice differentiate themselves in the market?  Noah’s Ark is a vibrant, young charity  - ambitious for our children and families and committed to staff development. I have a dynamic workforce who are challenged professionally and given the opportunity to shine. That’s why we were named Fundraising Team of The Year at the Charity Times Awards. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? The first thing I notice about someone is their energy…and it tells me how they will fit in with the team. Cross team working is essential and I need to feel that any new member of staff will work well with current members of staff. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? The Income Generation & Comms Team is 17 strong. The team is a mix of subject matter experts and those new to the third sector who are learning on the job. I consider anyone with the right energy, attitude and skill set  - so long as they are managed by someone with the right experience, they will be an asset to the team. How would your team describe you? My team would describe me as high in energy, a relationship builder with a keen eye for detail, and obsessed with donor care. What advice would you give to your younger self? I would advise my younger self to consider the third sector – it never occurred to me – I fell into it by chance. What personal and soft skills are most important when working in the charity sector? Anyone who has ever worked with me will know that I am obsessed with donor care and that I believe fundraising is all about relationship building. If you are a good communicator who is interested in people then the charity sector is an ideal place to use your skills. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector? I took a huge pay cut when I moved into the sector. I knew my skills were transferable but I didn’t have the experience. Be prepared to start at the bottom to get into the sector and then look around and see what area of fundraising appeals to you most: writing trust applications, staffing a school fair, event organising or pitching to a philanthropist - fundraising roles are diverse and not all roles suit everyone. How do you think the role of fundraising in the not-for-profit sector has changed over the years? Fundraising has become more professional over the years but in essence, good fundraising is as it always was: having a good case for support; finding the right supporters and then involving them at the right time and in the right way… and then looking after them. If not in charity fundraising/marketing, what would the dream be? I still dream sometimes of being a Head Teacher – but it’s really only in my dream because in reality, in this economic climate and with all the challenges and restrictions teachers have I think I’d feel very stressed and I’d hate it! Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity fundraising/marketing sectors? It’s a wonderful sector, exciting, challenging and collaborative. Find your niche and fly. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? My guilty pleasure is far too regularly checking our website for online donations… but shh… don’t tell anyone. For more information on this article, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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