In my very first fundraising job at Macmillan Cancer Support, at the tender age of 23, I was given the important task of looking after the office plant. Eager to impress with every task I was given, I set to looking after it with exceptional care. When I left a couple of years later I was given the plant as a gift (at that stage much bigger than when I started) and it has since accompanied me to every role I have ever undertaken. In each and every desk where it has sat with me I have hit my targets or even exceeded them; I have brought in money and I have strengthened partnerships.
According to the chinese superstition feng shui, a money tree, well-placed, will bring wealth into a home.
In fundraising terms does this mean that my well-placed money tree is bringing wealth into my charity home?
Rationally, I know my target-smashing is down to my hard work, fundraising skills and expertise but sometimes I fear it might all be down to the plant … either way, I’m not willing to chance it and I keep caring for my (now huge!) money tree with the same dedicated fervour more than 10 years later, bringing it with me wherever I go. It’s my talisman, and it also gives me a sort of renewed confidence in myself every time I look at it and reflect on my career to date.