When I was asked recently by our Senior Training Manager Cathy, would I be available to deliver training on company giving in Dubai, it took me a while to realise she was serious.
I’ve been involved with the Guide to UK company giving for ten years now and I have a good understanding of the corporate sector’s community support and how substantially it has changed over that time. Our host organisation, Dubai Cares, came to us looking for expertise in corporate fundraising, digital marketing, communication and influence. We tailored a bespoke programme to meet their needs and with our expert trainers on board.
Arriving off the flight, I was still pretty incredulous – I was in Dubai, admiring the most stunning architecture and there to meet a group of people from a very different place geographically but a very similar place philosophically.
I wasn’t disappointed; Dubai Cares’ people are passionate about their organisation, its achievements and its future. Their passion must be attributable in part to an integral aspect of the induction/training process, which sends employees on field trips to see projects that they are supporting in action. I was told by one of the delegates who’d been to Senegal, that it was a wake-up call to how others live and a great motivator when she returned home. I wonder how many charities that don’t operate on the front-line, encourage their staff to meet/volunteer with/provide support to their beneficiaries?
The vision of Dubai Cares: to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring all children have access to quality education, is supported by building an infrastructure with an eye to the future. For example, when it wants to fund the building of a school, it will support the digging of a well. It works with global agencies in 38 countries and has a volunteer workforce of 38,000. It’s incredible.
I wanted to write about our visit and our hosts partly to celebrate their work, partly to demonstrate DSC’s reach – Gibraltar, Australia and now the UAE – and also to let others working in our organisation see that DSC supports innovative and imaginative (ad)ventures and encourages big thinking (thanks Cathy).