Karon has been an associate of Money Tree Fundraising since 2014 and is an accomplished third sector fundraiser, coach and trainer. She has nearly 20 years’ experience leading voluntary sector organisations; and has run both local and national charities. Karon’s particular strengths are developing strong and successful Big Lottery (£2 million secured since 2010) along with a range of trust applications, change management and strategic development. Karon has a postgraduate diploma in management studies and a diploma in fundraising. She is chair of the Institute of Fundraising East Midlands Region and a board member of One East Midlands.
What was the first charity you worked for?
Northampton Council for Voluntary Services
When was that?
What was your job?
How many years have you been fundraising so far?
Fundraising was part of my role when I was the CEO of three charities (including a national homeless charity with a UK wide remit). The main focus of my work for the past six years has been supporting a wide range of charities with preparing grant applications, developing and implementing tools to capture need and impact.
How much money have you raised for the charities you’ve worked with (roughly)?
£8.5 million in grant income
And of all that experience, what would you pick as your greatest career success to-date?
Being able to share my skills and experience with the CEO and Directors of smaller charities. The result has seen these smaller charities successfully developing and securing long term funding which has supported their sustainability.
When you look around our sector, who do you hold up as a Hero?
I don’t have one hero. My hero’s are the people I have worked with (including Trustee Boards) who are willing to listen and change the way they work in order to ensure that there organisations are able to deliver sustainable and high quality services for people in their community.
And of the charities you’ve worked for, do you have a favourite, or would that be like asking you to pick a favourite child?
Like picking a favourite child.
When you look back on your career like this, does anything spring to mind that you wish you’d known when you’d started out?
How to find the help and support I needed for fundraising when I first started my management career and what tools I would need to demonstrate the need and impact of the work my organisations delivered. (This could have saved me so much time and effort). Something you’d tell your younger self? Don’t worry, you don’t get every grant you apply for. This is not because of something you did; it is just the level of completion for funding.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Olympic swimmer.
If you weren’t a fundraiser now, is that what you’d be?
A Change Manager.
Tell us something surprising about yourself:
When I was a teenager I considered becoming a nun.