Ellie, Fundraising Manager
Ellie has been MEWSo’s Fundraising Manager for a year, but her experience goes back a long way; from fundraising for Local Authorities to working for international charities.
She got into the profession, she says, almost by accident - just by applying for a variety of different jobs and being accepted in a fundraising role.
A few years after completing her first degree, and starting working life (which included a six-month stint working for the European Commission) she gained a scholarship from the European Union to study International Development. That degree took her to Holland, Ireland and Indonesia, and included learning about humanitarian emergencies and development. She developed a particular interest in projects focused around helping women.
The experience set her up for working in the charitable sector in London, raising money for aid needed around the world. However, after a few years she decided to focus on supporting local causes.
“I gave up on working in international development because being based in London and trying to help communities in different parts of the world you need to make a connection, a real connection with those communities. But it was very difficult because often we were imposing our Western mentality onto them that didn’t fit.
“For instance, when it came to monitoring how projects were doing, the communities we were trying to help never wanted to mention the weak points, what things were going wrong etc., so that we could adapt and improve. In their culture they were too worried that if they said anything negative it would be considered disrespectful and we may decide not to continue to help them. It was difficult breaking down such barriers from so far away.
"Also, a lot of the money raised would drain away, used up in headquarters and on conferences before it could get down to the communities it was supposed to help.”
So, Ellie took a step back and decided to concentrate on her main interests and work much more locally where she could really focus on community issues. That is how she came to MEWSo.
“I wanted to support MEWSo because it’s a grassroots charity focused on supporting women, and it’s a small charity where I feel I can make a real difference - by helping the organisation grow and helping more women who need us."
As well as working to secure funding for MEWSo’s smooth transition to online services, Ellis is continually raising funds to support its campaign issues - polygamy, hymenoplasty, migrant women and LBTQ+ concerns.
She says: “Fundraising is always difficult. You can write the best application ever but then it’s up to external factors that are beyond your control as to whether you get the funding or not. But the satisfaction once funding is secured feels great”
If you would like more information about our campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you would like to support our cause, please consider donating or look at our vacancy page for volunteering options.