Finding my dream job in Fundraising

Published : Fri 12th Aug

Some of us always know where we’re headed. For Helen Hoare, this was true, and she’d always wanted to be part of the National Trust. This is the story of how she built her career to be able to take on her ideal role as Head of Legacy Administration, and why she’ll always feel proud of that journey.

The National Trust is in my DNA. My parents were members, and we spent our holidays visiting historic properties and beautiful places. Osterley Park was on our doorstep, and I knew I wanted to work here because of the connections I made with the history and the architecture, and those green spaces right in the middle of London.  

I found my tribe in the 1990s when I joined the finance team as an assistant to the accountant. I made friends for life with an amazing bunch of people who were willing to spend time mentoring and supporting my ambition to gain the qualifications needed to excel in a legacy administration role. Despite learning so much, I knew I needed to go and broaden my experience. I left the Trust in 2001 and spent the next 17 years working across the charity sector in a range of roles, developing my leadership skills and growing my experience across all fundraising disciplines. But legacy administration is my passion, and I had the opportunity to come back to the Trust in 2018 as Head of Legacy Administration, my dream job!  

The legacy team was firmly embedded in the Fundraising department by this stage. It really is the perfect fit for this team of passionate and dedicated experts because fundraising is all about the connections you make with a cause close to your heart, and legacies are the ultimate way to show how much you care about making a difference. 

I am about to leave, for the second time, to go to a role at a South West based law firm to train, support, and mentor a whole new generation of legacy professionals. I know that I can do this, because learning and development of our teams is still a huge part of what makes our fundraising culture amazing at the National Trust. 

Although this might be an odd story to share to encourage people to join the team, it’s an exciting time for Fundraising at the National Trust. The team, led by our amazing Fundraising Director, Lydia Lee, are ambitious, enthusiastic and dedicated to bringing our supporters closer to nature, beauty and history. Anyone looking to develop new skills, get out and about and involved in special projects and places, shouldn’t hesitate to apply for any opportunities that come up. I’ll be looking on as a member and supporter to watch fundraising grow and grow, feeling proud that I was a small part of that journey.