Our marketing team is predominantly quite young, though obviously we don't discriminate on age. There is a large spread of ages in the department, from 20 to 60.
How many marketers are there?
There are about 70 marketers based at Help the Aged's headquarters. But nearly everyone is involved in marketing in a fundraising capacity, through direct marketing, legacy marketing and events.
What's the main business challenge that keeps you awake at night?
How to attract younger donors. We need committed givers. We have recently taken on DM agency Joshua, which has been great because it is really challenging us.
Charities traditionally have to work on very tight budgets - isn't that hard?
We are extremely cost-focused and obviously raising money costs money.
Partnerships help. We have a partnership with British Gas that has been in place for six years, called 'Working together to stop the cold killing older people'. Help the Aged also merged three years ago with Research into Ageing.
What characterises charity marketers?
They tend to like the idea of doing something worthwhile. People who work for charities tend to be interested in raising funds for good causes in general, and often take part in charity events such as the London Marathon in their spare time. They recognise that Help the Aged is a good training ground. A lot of people work here and then go on to jobs in the commercial sector. We've just had someone leave us to go to the BBC.
What are the hours like?
It's a pretty standard 9am to 5pm - but we will stay longer when the workload demands it.
What about the dress code?
Casual wear is fine but there is a rule against skimpy dresses. The last Friday of every month is a dress-down day.
And the pay?
It's less than for a comparable position in the commercial world.
What are the opportunities like for career progression?
The charity puts a lot of effort into training but in terms of progression we have quite a flat structure, so people tend to come and go. That's not necessarily a bad thing.
- Help the Aged employs nearly 1800 people in the UK and has 104,000 volunteers.
- Michael Lake is director general; Anne Grahamslaw is director of fundraising and marketing.
- Adspend for the year to 30 June was £3,970,935 - £3,434,317 on direct marketing, £367,075 on press, £114,081 on TV and £55,462 on radio, according to Nielsen Media Research.
- Its headquarters are at 207-221 Pentonville Road, London N1 9UZ.
This article was first published on Marketing