Before starting my 4 weeks at the K&C Foundation I had sorted a plan of action with the Foundation about how I could work with them and contribute to their existing schemes. However, this was all prior to the horrific Grenfell Tower Fire. The K&C Foundation has been instrumental in collecting funds raised to help the victims and those affected by the fire and making sure that 100% of the money donated reaches those in need. Usually in the little K&C office, there are 5 people who work and who take in under 50 cheques a month. Due to the fire this drastically changed. With thousands of donations flooding in through 5 different mediums including online and physically, they were swamped with the generosity of people globally. They had up to this point dealt with everything extremely well but obviously the staff’s usual roles were halted whilst they focused on organising the distribution of donations for the Grenfell Tower Appeal.
My first week happened to be roughly 4 weeks after the disaster. Life was just starting to get back to normal in the office, with the everyone starting to look back at their emails pre Grenfell, reorganising cancelled meetings etc etc. This however did not mean that there wasn’t any Grenfell admin left to be done, and this is where I stepped in. My first week mainly revolved around inputting the 1000’s of donated checks into the Foundation’s database, uploading CAF vouchers (which is another way for individuals to donate money), and learning how the K&C Foundation processes and keeps track of their money. What I worked on next was tackling the enormous spreadsheet of cheque donations. I divided this spreadsheet into various categories of School, Churches, Businesses, Organisations and Individuals and was able to identify the most generous of donations. I then began finding addresses and emails for donors in order to write letters of thanks from the K&C Foundation. This charity prides themselves on being personal and small enough to be able to really connect with their donors and therefore it was definitely a high priority to thank the generosity of the population. I got to have exciting trips to put in cash donations from charity buckets and go and visit ‘FRANK’ which is the franking machine using to put postage on letters.
This task took up a significant amount of time of week 1 understandably due to the thousands of people who had donated to the cause. After the cheque donations, I was taught how to update contacts in the Foundation’s database, which is a instrumental tool that they use in order to keep in contact with those that donate funds.
Having dealt with this primarily for cheque donations, I moved onto the other mediums of donation. The K&C Foundation was accepting donations not only through cheques, but also their own website, Just Giving, The Big Give and Bank transfers. I was tasked with analysing this data to find the groups of people who had donated significant amounts of money and compiling a list, so that in future weeks the Foundation can organise a function to thank these people again.
My first couple of days at the K&C Foundation have really shown to me the generosity of people. Processing multiple cheques from the same individuals shows how some humans just want to keep on giving again and again. Also being able to understand that some people have the humility to donate over £10,000 anonymously, and that they don’t donate to boost their egos and make themselves feel better, they just want to improve the lives of others, this I find amazing. I have also learnt how to work in a small office environment, and how in a small team, nothing you do is for yourself, everyone fills in to help each other where needed and no one has any qualms about being asked questions and taking on extra roles. I am very much looking forward to the rest of my time here- seeing how the Foundation normally functions on a regular basis, and how each of the roles in the office support charities and schemes in the borough.