Carnelian led a search on behalf of Wycliffe UK earlier this year. Robin Peake was the successful candidate. He started the role near the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Tell us about your new role
“I’m Director for Supporters at Wycliffe Bible Translators. That means I oversee communications, marketing and fundraising for Wycliffe as we look to grow income and engagement to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead for bible translation – the 1 in 5 people who don’t yet have bible in their language.”
How have you navigated starting a new role during lockdown?
“The challenge is that I’m leading a team of 14 full time employees and, because of the lockdown, I can’t sit down with them face to face and build relationship. I’m missing not having lunchtimes and coffee breaks and the two-minute chats about the weekend. So there has been a need for me to be really intentional about building relationships.
“85% of my first month was spent on Zoom and that has been really necessary. I’ve wanted to get one-to-one time with everyone on the team to get to know them and really understand the organisation.
“Actually, I’ve had the advantage that a number of the team are remote workers anyway, which has meant that I’ve been able to treat people with a parity across the team. Also, because the technology is now so normalised, I’ve had useful conversations with people overseas and those have felt quite normal conversations.”
What are the common misunderstandings about charity fundraising?
“I think fundraising budgets are an investment not an expenditure and should be seen in that light.
“I think, in Christian charities, there is a misunderstanding that fundraising is a secular thing. But that fails to acknowledge the biblical examples of Moses, David and Paul who asked people for money and people responded. We need to beware a false distinction between fundraising and faith.
“We fail to help our supporters play their part in the mission when we don’t let them know about the opportunities and what God has done with their generosity. So, when we’re communicating with supporters, it’s about letting them what God is doing in the world and how he has used them. Those aren’t secrets we should keep to ourselves, they’re things we ought to be sharing with people.”
What book is on your bedside table?
“I’ve just finished Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni.
“It’s an interesting book about reclaiming meetings. It proposes a model of how to make meetings more productive, effective and where more decisions are made and communicated.
“So much of my time is spent in meetings. They’re not things that get in the way of getting the real work done, but should be times where you get better solutions than you would on your own, work together and lay down your pride about what you think is the best outcome. I think we’re too quick to dismiss or complain about meetings.”
What have you learnt this year that surprised you?
“I’ve learnt to recognise birdsongs as my lockdown hobby!”