It is Monday lunchtime, the sun is trying to appear, and we are joining Holly for a bit of a stroll around Borough in central London. Holly seems to have the longest job title in the world, let alone at the Legion. So, firstly, we ask her what exactly a Direct Marketing Product Manager - Regular Giving and Subscription Lotteries does.
“It’s not actually the longest job title at the Legion!” Holly begins. “But essentially it’s broken down into a couple of parts. The Direct Marketing part is focused on fundraising from individuals. The Product Manager part refers to the fact that I specifically look after the Regular Giving and Subscription Lottery products, so the things that bring in reoccurring income. I actually just abbreviate it to DMPMRGSL now!”
As we turn left into a quieter street, we begin to talk more broadly about why Holly decided to join the Legion.
So, the decision to join the Legion was really about my own personal development. But as soon as I was offered the post and told family and friends, I received lots of stories about how the Legion has been there for them. My grandad had been supported by the Legion to access his war pension, something I only discovered when I was appointed. Suddenly I had this new sense of pride of who I had just joined.”
Not that Holly exactly had the chance to ease into her new role. Instead she joined right in the middle of Remembrance.
“Fair to say everything was go, go, go! I wouldn’t change that for the world though. I was thrown right into being involved in our Little Remembrance Crosses campaign and events, where we travelled the country and created fields of beautiful crosses that our supporters had sent us. This really brought home to me the importance of what we do here at the Legion, the scale of what we do and what the organisation means to people.”
Thrust in at the deep end, this was a completely fresh challenge for Holly. One which she rose to. And, as she explains her work on the Poppy Supporter, a brand-new fundraising tool, it becomes clear that this is a theme in her role.
“Whilst it’s still in its infancy as a product, the process of bringing it to market was a mammoth challenge which included relying on many different people around the organisation. There also wasn’t a how to guide or a process to follow, so it was very much a test and learn, trial and error launch. This will have been very frustrating for the people I was relying on for support, but that is the amazing thing about the Legion, everyone worked with me to find solutions to problems and keep moving forward to help me achieve the launch date expected. I hope now that everyone feels the collective pride that launching that product brought to me, as it really was a team effort.”
As we’re walking, the picture Holly is painting almost becomes visible. Collaboration and teamwork are evidently beyond important at the Legion. But it’s not only working together that they take seriously.
“We all work together, but we celebrate together too. In the wider fundraising team, we have an annual Fundraising Conference. It’s a great opportunity to get together once a year, to meet everyone in our directorate in one place and share our experiences, and discuss our strategy and plans for the coming year. We also use the conference as a time to nominate each other to say thank you and recognise the hard work we all do year round. It’s a fantastic time where we all have the opportunity to celebrate with one another”.
Collaboration and appreciation seem to come hand in hand here. Beyond awards and celebration, Holly’s hard work has earned her another type of reward. One that demonstrates how valued she really is. As we approach my tube stop, just before we depart, she explains.
“At the moment I have also been lucky enough to be included in the Leadership Development Course. It’s been transformational for me. The investment and time given to me, as well as the confidence this course has given me, have shown me that the Legion really does care about my development, as well as building the future leaders of the organisation.”