Welcome to the eighth of our “Nonprofit heroes” series on the Donorfy blog, where our team interviews industry experts, successful proven fundraisers, and nonprofit heroes with stories and tips to inspire your charity to use technology to your advantage and do good, better.
The eighth interviewee in our series is Kevin Kibble, CEO at the Nurture Group Network. We asked Kevin a few questions about his career in the lead up to becoming a chief executive for a charity and what the main challenges he sees are currently facing charities.
Let’s start with some background information – who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Kevin Kibble and I’m CEO at the Nurture Group Network, a charity working to support children with social, emotional, mental health and behavioural difficulties in the education system.
What was your first job?
An engineer with Eastern Gas, we were converting the country to ‘North Sea’ gas at the time and engineers were in short supply.
How did you get into the charity sector?
Rather drunkenly at a dinner party, I agreed to buy Professional Fundraising magazine.
Tell me a bit about Nurture Group.
Nurture Groups are a specialist intervention in schools to support children and young people with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties (SEMH). We train teachers to deliver this intervention, campaign for more inclusive education, and have more recently developed a National Nurturing Schools Programme that we are rolling out across the UK. We also own an analytical tool, the Boxall Profile, for assessing SEMH issues in children and young people and in December 2015 launched this as a digital platform.
So you’re a Chief Executive and someone who understands fundraising, which is not as common as one might hope. What difference does it make when fundraising is adequately represented at senior management and even board level?
Someone once said ‘we are all fundraisers’, but getting all colleagues on board is much easier when the culture of fundraising is led from the top. Recent media coverage may make some Board members nervous, but probably not as nervous as challenging them to ask someone for money!
You’ve worked on the supply side of the sector - for agencies - and you have also worked directly for charities, as you do now. How do they compare?
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. When working on the supply side I found the most useful insight into working with charities came from being a trustee and engaging with the executive team from a Board perspective. As a CEO, I encourage all the team to treat their suppliers as partners and respect the fact that private companies need to make a profit.
Fundraising is under pressure from a number of angles at the moment. If you could change one thing to improve the public perception of fundraising, what (or who) would it be, and why?
We should stop apologising for fundraising and more actively make the link between what volunteers do and what professionals do.
How have you seen technology make a positive impact for the causes you have worked for during your career?
Communication is everything. For the small organisation I volunteer for, Facebook has been a brilliant method of communication and fundraising, allowing donors to be right at the heart of appeals.
In my own charity, we have recently launched onto a digital platform a method of assessing children and young people. For the last 47 years, the assessment has been an 8-page, A4 roll-out document shaded in with coloured pencils. Moving to a digital platform will save hours of staff time.
A few quick fire questions. Your Desert Island disc, if you had to choose one?
Life on Mars - Bowie
PC or a Mac?
Mac – it’s the old publisher in me
The most used app on your smartphone?
Finally - do you have a nonprofit hero or heroine? If so, who and why?
Fiona Duncan – one of the brightest people I know, made a massive difference in Scotland when fundraising was under attack from all sides.
Thanks to Kevin for joining us for our Nonprofit Heroes interview!
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