Last week I went down to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to meet their fundraising team.

We are both Peoples Postcode Lottery (PPL) funded charities. PPL linked us up as we have been looking to ‘pick the brains’ of other charities as we undertake a review of our fundraising activities. I got to meet a bunch of really great people, passionate about the dogs and cats they help and willing to share their experiences, skills and expertise with me for the day.

As a side note, I don’t think you get this in other sectors.  Where you sit down together for a day and discuss all the internal workings and processes of your business, what is working, what isn’t and sharing ideas of how you can improve?!  Maybe you do but I love the charity sector for the fact we are willing to share and support peers regardless of competition!

The people/animals we support are different, we operate in different geographical areas (although I found out they are a nationwide charity) but some of the challenges remain the same.

We discussed how recent scandals and investigations in to charities could be affecting public trust but it seems to me like Battersea is doing really well on this.  They have a Training and Compliance Officer in their Fundraising team which means they can make sure that all their fundraising follows the very best practice, and of course, the law!  This is really good to see and shows they take the rights and wellbeing of their supporters very seriously.

Once or twice we were visited by their ‘Office Dog’.  Each day one of the rescue centre’s residents comes in to the office – sometimes it’s the canines that are feeling stressed in the rescue centre or ones that need a walk.  It is a great daily reminder for the team on why they come to work each day and how money raised is helping animals in need.

We talked about how best to communicate with supporters with new General Data Protection Regulations and how to make links with businesses that share the aims of the charity to benefit service users.  Finding new ways to share the great work of the charity is really important and the team at Battersea are doing some fantastic work.

It was a full on day and it was really energising to meet some fantastically passionate people helping the animal world.  Back at home my ‘charity world’ orbits the children and young people growing up in the north east and how we can best support them whatever problems or difficulties they face.  I definitely got some great ideas from the team at Battersea to help us on this mission.

I wonder whether my CEO will let us have an ‘Office Dog’ come stay?  You know, purely for therapeutic purposes!!