First in the series Neighbors ('Buurman & Buurvrouw'): Gerda Klooster working as coordinator charitable fundraising at the Stichting Steunfonds UMCG (Support Fund) and at the UMCG Cancer Research Fund on the Healthy Ageing Campus.
Where do you work?
"I work at the UMCG Research B.V.. More specific, I work at the Stichting Steunfonds UMCG (Support Fund). My job is fundraising. My work station is located in the building De Brug."
What is your job about?
“Coordinator charitable fundraising. Besides that, I am also project manager of the UMCG Cancer Research Fund. As coordinator charitable fundraising I work on getting extra funding out of the charitable market for the UMCG. That is in essence a market of private individuals and family funds. I am not chasing after the large grants from foundations, but I concentrate myself on the private market. We counsel for instance people who consider donating a part of their inheritance. But particularly for the UMCG Cancer Research Fund there are also several private individuals who donate monthly. The Beatrix Children's Hospital also has companies that donate on a yearly basis. These gifts may not strictly be charitable means, but often originate from personal initiatives within such a company."
Can you describe your job as a fundraiser?
"At the UMCG we have several funds such as the UMCG Heart Fund, the UMCG Alzheimer's Fund and the UMCG Transplantation Research Fund. It's often the patient or the patients family that want to contribute. Sometimes they want to initiate activities, and we guide these people at this or support them with promotional material. There are also patients who approach us, or family of patients after the demise of a relative, who would like to see the continuation of work on a solution for their ailment. These requests are often about research after a disease. Or more about the welfare of patients, such as making the stay in hospital more agreeable for patients and their families. So this does not involve healthcare money, that is solely aimed at curing people. Besides this, I'm always actively looking for new possibilities and opportunities.
Money for cutting edge research has to originate from external means. Such as social grants, but you also need funds from other sources. And they are essential. The benefits of our funds is that we focus specifically on a certain area. We have no need to compete. As donor you give directly to an organisation which also will distribute the money. This means that more money remains for the essence, the research itself. This adds value to both companies as well as private individuals."
Does this work compare to your other job?
"A part of the duties overlap. But I am also active in relationship management for the Cancer Fund for instance. I work 12 hours a week for them."
What does a typical work day look like for you?
"I value donor contacts highly. So I spend a part of my time on that. I also spend a lot of time on pr in the UMCG itself. This could be a presentation for several groups here within the hospital. A lot of colleagues actually don't know that the UMCG is a fundraising organisation."
So you do a lot to raise awareness within the UMCG?
"Yes, that's true. But is is also a matter of creating opportunities and spotting chances, especially across the whole UMCG. The wish of the donor is central, but keep in mind that we can not accept just anything a donor proposes. It needs to be fitted in. It is convenient if people who want to make a donation consult us. This is especially the case if it concerns goods: what is needed on a certain department? Monetary gifts are always welcome of course."
Can you give an example of the promotional tasks?
"For instance, I have given a presentation for a meeting of directors about our fundraising, and at the research department of cardiology. That yielded a nice fund by the way. I also like to give presentations externally, such as at the First Aid department of Eelde."
With whom do you work together a lot?
"I work together with other fundraisers in the UMCG, with a colleague in the Support Fund, with a colleague of the Beatrix Children's Hospital. So with people who are actively involved in the various funds and foundations. Besides this, I keep in touch with the board of the UMCG Cancer Research Fund. Finally, I spend a lot of time on communication, so I speak a lot to the people of that department as well."
Do you meet other organisations on the Healthy Ageing Campus?
"Certainly. I keep in touch for instance with the Healthy Ageing Team, where Jasmijn Wieringa works. But I also speak to Amber van der Schaaf, communication officer of Campus Groningen."
What do you like most about your job?
"The challenges. This is a job that did not exist before in the UMCG, so you have to make it work yourself. You are granted a certain period to do so and these are the things I love. The challenges lies in making the most out of fundraising in the UMCG. I am sure we ad value. I have a dream every now and then that we raise two million a year in five years time. It takes a bit of entrepreneurship."
Have a tip or want to participate in 'Buurman & Buurvrouw'?
Do you have a tip or do you want to participate with an interview in 'Buurman & Buurvrouw'? Please let us know! Send an email to Marlies Schipperheijn and we will get back to you.
|Where were you born?||"In Thesinge"|
|Where do you live?||"In Groningen"|
|What is your marital status?||"I have been married for 36 years, I have a son and daughter, a grandson and a granddaughter."|
|What is your favorite movie?||"I do not watch a lot of TV. I've seen 50/50 most recently. It's powerful that you see what someone experiences who has cancer. The movie is very divers: a lot of humor, but also a lot of grief."|
|Where do you like to drink your coffee on Campus?||"Behind my own desk, with a view on the Martini Tower."|
|How do you get to Campus?||"I take my bike"|
|What is the best advice you've ever received?||"Make things happen either way"|
Getting in touch with Gerda? No problem!
Do you have a question for Gerda as a result of this interview? Gerda can be reached by mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by cellphone (06-5741 9797 ). Gerda: "You can also use Whatsapp. Don't hesitate to approach me, I always answer!"
Who are the people that work on Campus Groningen? What kind of work do your 'neighbors' do, at what kind of organisation, and what does a typical workday look like for them? Where do they live, and what is the best advice they ever received? These and many more questions are answered in our new interview series "Buurman & Buurvrouw' (Neighbors). Follow this series and get to know your neighbors on Campus Groningen!