Made up of volunteers, committees and fund raising groups are people who come together to organise fundraising events in the towns, cities and communities where they live.
In Scotland they are essential to our fundraising work, not only as they provide us with a valuable source of income but also because they engage with communities across the country, where Macmillan may not otherwise have a presence as a charity, to promote the work and services we do.
There are a variety of different reasons why people join committees and fundraising groups. Some sign up as they have been affected by cancer and want to give something back, others, because they enjoy hosting events and talks in their communities and want to raise awareness in the work carried out by Macmillan.
They are normally established in one of two ways. The first is organically, like our Lavender Girls Group in Dumfries. The group grew out of a charity calendar which was created to raise awareness of cancer in young people and as well as raise money for Macmillan.
After speaking with the organiser, it became clear that the group were keen to do more fundraising and awareness events, as three of their friends had been diagnosed with cancer. They became a fundraising group and hosted a ball at which their calendar was launched. They also ran a raffle and the following year they released a second version of their calendar to raise more funds.
However, we also have groups who are made up of total strangers, who come together through replying to adverts on our volunteer forum, when a group need to be created for a specific area. All new group members have to go through a recruitment process involving a face-to-face interview, before the group is formed.
No matter how groups and committees come together, we offer all our volunteers an induction and training specific to their needs.
So for example, if they specify that they want to do speaking and engagements, we will make sure they attend our course on this before they start. We also offer opportunities for volunteers to shadow fundraising managers at talks before they go around on their own.
Each committee and group is different – but what makes them the backbone of our fundraising work is that they are our representatives in their local area, and can help to highlight our services and support on our behalf.
From hosting talks to cheque presentations and fundraising events, committees and groups help to personify our work in their community. Without their support, passion and enthusiasm we would not be able to help support as many people affected by cancer in Scotland as we currently do.
By Angela McCormack
About Angela: Angela is a Senior Fundraising Manager for Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway. Her role finds her providing fundraising support, advice and ideas to individuals, groups and companies who want to raise funds. She also supports a large number of fundraising volunteers and 19 Macmillan fundraising groups and committees across her fundraising area.