Be Inspired Series
Head of Fundraising
The Mark Pollock Trust
Piers graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2002, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information and Communications Technology. He worked for Vodafone Ireland between 2002 and 2006, which consisted of two spells split by some world travel. In 2006 he set up Pristine.ie a residential cleaning franchise, the first in Ireland winning franchisee of the year in the service industry for 2008. In 2009 he turned his hand to teaching mathematics in Wesley College Dublin having completed a post graduate diploma in education. In the summer of 2011 he decided to take on the challenge of fundraising for the rehabilitation of his good friend Mark Pollock.
Tell us about a day in your work...
The alarm goes off; I listen to the morning news and check emails in bed. That’s the joy and curse of the iphone. With the Run for Mark in the Dark (A 5km or 10km running event happening in New York, as well as across the UK and Ireland) emails may have come through during of the night which need responded to. Also a quick check of twitter to see who’s been chatting about #runinthedark
Shower, dress, breakfast – Before this process I am good to nobody! Normally a bowl of cereal, some orange juice, (strong) coffee and toast sets me up nicely for the day.
Cycle to work – Until recently the Mark Pollock Trust was based out of my home but securing a free office in the city centre is great for my sanity. A ten minute cycle to work ensures I’m raring to go.
Reply to any emails received overnight –there’s more caffeine flowing through the veins with another cuppa in hand.
I make sure to compile a list for the day, check my calendar and prioritise around the meetings that are scheduled. I find that if you don’t make a list the day can run away with you. Non critical tasks can be brought over from the day before and stare you in the face, so can’t be ignored for too long!
The great thing about the job, other than the cause, is the variety. Being in a small organisation and in the lead up to an event, I could have a number of roles to play, from tweaking the website, to marketing the event, logistic meetings, sponsorship meetings and meeting with the various authorities and stakeholders involved. I spend an awful lot of time on the phone and may have to travel to meetings. Yesterday I was in Cork all day, tomorrow I am meeting with a Dublin volunteer group.
I also need to ensure that all twitter, Facebook and email queries are handled. On the move with a smart phone really is a lifesaver. As our volunteers complete tasks that have been agreed with them, the Gantt charts for each specific event needs to be updated to ensure we are on track with all events.
A scheduled ten minute coffee break if I’m in the office. It breaks up the morning and refocuses the mind. Then it’s back to the list of tasks for the day.
Lunch is normally a bought sandwich or snack. When I am working from home I obviously raid the fridge and haven’t yet been disciplined enough to make my lunch and bring it with me.
After lunch I find is a good time to catch people on the phone if I need to speak to them. I may have to pop to the bank to lodge donations, write some thank you cards or assist people setting up their own fundraising pages for events they are doing in aid of the Mark Pollock Trust.
I will revisit the list I have compiled and ensure that everything is completed. Touch base with Mark and go over highlights/specific actions or major decisions he needs to know about.
I will normally try to finish up at 6pm, though closer to events it can run late.
Tonight I am scoping out another event to try and pick up nuggets of knowledge, although otherwise I try to get some exercise done. No matter how big the event, everybody’s first question is “Are you doing the Run Piers” so I need to make sure I can!
It’s now time for food, relaxation and wind down.
Read a chapter of my book in bed, lights out and ready for another day tomorrow....