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Drawing inspiration from Jane Bardsley

Jane Bardsley, head of major giving at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, lost her battle against cancer recently, but she will go on living in the hearts of the fundraisers who worked with her, for her and alongside her, those who followed her on twitter or followed her story through her beautifully written blogs, including for Third Sector. 

When I interviewed Jane to join Battersea, she asked me what I was looking for. Jane always teased me that in response I’d said a special person. Well I had found one alright. A wonderful, witty, feisty, fast-paced and hugely talented person had just walked into our lives.

I have collected the thoughts of Jane’s colleagues inside and outside of the home on what they have learnt from her. Jane inspired us, and from her we can and do take so many lessons in how to be a remarkable fundraiser. We wanted to share them with you.

Think big and be inspired. As fundraisers we are privileged to change the world for the better, and create our own legacy, so be ambitious and take inspiration from this challenge every day.

Speak to everyone about your cause. Tell them who you work for and tell them your story with passion. You’ll be surprised to see how many doors (and wallets) will open.

Be honest and be true to yourself. If you do this your love of your cause will come across authentically and with impact. And with just a few words you can make people think, feel, remember and laugh or cry.

Have a no nonsense approach. All with grace and a smile. Focus on getting things done and cut through everything that might get in the way of doing your best for your cause.

Recognise your time is precious. We all have choices about how we spend it, and where we focus our energy, so use it carefully.

Never stop trying to be better. Even when you’ve done what you think is your best, reach out and go one step further because there’s always more you can achieve.

Take joy in your work. We’ve got the best job in the world.There’s no better and more special place to be than a fundraiser at a charity you love, so enjoy every moment.

Find strength in your work. No matter how you are feeling, you can draw on the focus and energy that it gives you and channel it into making great things happen.

Live and breathe your work. Fundraising for your cause should be in your heart and soul, not just your mind. That’s what makes a special fundraiser.

Jane, you really were that special person.

Jane’s family have set up a fundraising page in her memory, in aid of Beating Bowel Cancer.

Liz Tait is director of fundraising at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

  • Stephen Pidgeon

    Thank you ‘Liz, that was pretty special too!

  • Mike Wade

    Stephen got there first. Thank you Liz.

  • Jackie Ballard

    Great advice and a lovely tribute, Liz – well done.

  • Martin Jervis

    I did not really know Jane but this piece wonderfully captures the spirit of someone who was clearly both an inspiration and made a real difference. And its written with such evident fondness, admiration and respect. Good work Liz!