Air ambulance charities ‘Sharing for Success’

Fundraisers from Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT), East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and Magpas Air Ambulance came together for a day of sharing ideas and learning.

The ‘Sharing for Success’ event, kindly hosted free of charge by Tesco in Welwyn Garden City, was an opportunity for fundraising staff from the three air ambulances in the East of England to discuss ideas in a relaxed, open and collaborative forum.

During the day representatives from all three charities talked frankly about the challenges they have faced and the successes they have achieved. EAAA talked about the importance of focussing on ‘people’, Magpas looked back at their successful ‘Further, Faster, Greater’ appeal and EHAAT shared what had been learned from developing their ‘Big Pub Quiz’ fundraising initiative.

There were also presentations from some notable ‘external’ speakers. Tori Ablard, Head of Hospice Fundraising for Sue Ryder and St Johns Hospice spoke about Community Fundraising. Amy Petterson, Head of Community Fundraising at The Royal Air Forces Association discussed ‘the role of personal branding in fundraising’. Amy Oberholzer, Head of Individual Giving at Prostate Cancer UK shared one of their successful Regular Giving programmes.

Pam Withrington, Fundraising & Marketing Director at EHAAT, said:

“We have been very good at building relationships at director level, and all three air ambulances have benefitted from this interaction.

“This has been really useful in shaping policy and discussing common issues and challenges but we were keen for our teams to benefit from the same level of sharing and communication. Everyone was encouraged to be transparent about the difficulties they have faced as well as the successes they have achieved. The response to the day was so positive that we are already making plans for next year.”

Jo Dew, Director of Fundraising at EAAA, said:

“It is a great privilege to work so closely with our partnering air ambulances. We all have one common goal of saving lives and sharing best practice, which helps us to thrive in a competitive charity market.

“The day saw us sharing ideas and discussing open and honestly the opportunities and challenges of fundraising in and around the Eastern region. Meeting people who do similar roles to us in other charities is really beneficial and I have a notebook of new thoughts and ideas!”

Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Fundraising, Lucy Chapman said:

“Sharing for Success was a fantastic opportunity to spend some time and strengthen relationships with our neighbouring air ambulance charities; between which, tens of thousands of lives have been saved across the East of England and beyond.

“To be able to openly share learning and collaborate with each other to support the success of fundraising activity for air ambulance charities across the region was brilliant, and will ultimately help us all continue to raise vital funds so our advanced medical teams can be there for even more people when they need us the most.”

In the words of one attendee, ‘It was fantastic to meet some of our neighbouring air ambulances. Great to hear some of their struggles and successes and know that we all face the same issues. I came away feeling really inspired and proud to be part of the air ambulance community.’