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A Day in the Life of... the Head of Major Giving

Lumos voices

A Day in the Life of... the Head of Major Giving

My name is Allan, I head up Lumos’ Major Giving programme. What on earth is a Major Giving programme? It’s a way in which someone like myself works with individuals who would like to invest some of their money in charitable giving; our Founder is a key example of how someone can invest their money in philanthropy to change the world. That’s how Lumos was born!

What I love about my job is that I get to make friends with a variety of people both inside Lumos and outside through our generous supporters. There’s no typical day in my role; it’s as diverse as the people who support Lumos’ vision and mission to end the institutionalisation of children across the globe! I’m often pestering my colleagues for information on our work in Kenya for one supporter, and talking through complex financial reporting for another and then running out to catch up with another! Our supporters are all unique, and it’s my job to ensure that they feel connected to what Lumos are doing, and both understand and feel valued for the impact that their support has had on the lives of the children we work with.

I’m a fundraiser for Lumos, helping us to raise the vital funds we need to support children out of orphanage care and into care which better supports their needs. However my job is much more than that. I’m an advocate for our work and an educator; I work with donors who have previously given to orphanages, or might consider supporting them in the future, to help them to shape their philanthropy more strategically so they can help more children and enable Lumos to safely close down orphanages for good. It’s exciting to go on that journey with a supporter; ultimately nobody really wants to support an orphanage with their charitable giving, they want to support vulnerable children and think an orphanage is the best way to do that. Instead, I can help them support ten times as many children for a fraction of the cost!

What I think is unusual about this element of my role is that it’s not typical in the charity sector. At Lumos I’m not saying “Don’t support orphanages, support us”; instead I partner with donors to find a more effective route for their charitable giving, whether that’s through Lumos or another charity entirely. It means that I meet some very interesting people and learn all about the amazing work they’re doing, and help them understand the negative impact that orphanages have on children, and that even “good” ones don’t give children the love and support they need.

I’m often seen running around the office suited and booted for meetings; my diary gets pretty busy, but that’s how I like it! I’m always ready to be responsive to our supporters and support them to help Lumos reach even more children, whether that’s through giving them a call to talk through the recent successes of a project they’ve supported, or having a coffee with them to catch up on our latest research. At Lumos our supporters are what makes our work to transform children’s lives possible, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that.

Outside of my work with donors and colleagues I’m part of our charity softball team (go Lions!) and get stuck into the social aspects at Lumos which really makes our workplace feel like a community; language lunches with my grammatically challenged Español, informative lunch and learns, copious coffees, post-work drinks and fun fundraising like world cup sweepstakes. We’ve got such a lovely bunch of people working hard to safely end the institutionalisation of children by 2050; I’ve never worked somewhere where we’re all working hard to be out of a job in 30 years!

If you’re looking for a charity where your experience and expertise is valued, your colleagues are some of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet, and you can make a real difference to the lives of more than 8 million children across the globe, then you should look no further than Lumos. Come in and see for yourself!