This week for the #MYCHARITY interview series, we speak to Glenn Pougnet, Director at StreetSmart, a charity that aims to support homeless organisations by providing the most personal and effective care for individuals in need.
Current job: StreetSmart Charity Director
One word that best describes how you work: Juggling
Your biggest success: Raising £7 million for the homeless
Your greatest fear: Being lonely
Your biggest dream: Opening the batting for ENGLAND
Your favourite movie: Bladerunner
Your role model: My grandmother
I was born and raised in Essex, a mixed-race family, the first member in my wider family to go to University. Growing up in the eighties, I hated seeing inequalities not just being tolerated but lauded as a good thing. I worked in Publishing for 13 years until I took over at StreetSmart in 2006 despite not knowing much about fundraising or homelessness. Been blagging it ever since.
We are a small team that run a successful fundraising campaign working with restaurants, pubs and hotels during the build-up to Christmas. The pandemic greatly affected the hospitality industry and therefore frustratingly for us it meant a huge reduction (approx. £500,000) to the funds we raised. Although communication with the team and participants was relatively easy to maintain we struggled to implement the physical aspects the campaign requires – deliveries of collateral, visits to promote. We are all very much people persons so we’ve missed that day to day contact and the constructive mixing of business and pleasure over lunch.
Huge help when it comes to communication and getting our message out. It has also helped when looking at alternative ways of fundraising We’ve tapped into the food delivery boom and had successful online raffles and virtual cook along.
We’ve been around since 1998 and started with 30 restaurants so I would say it’s been a steady growth to now 600+. Some of that growth has been organic – owners expanding, chefs from established restaurants setting up on their own but bringing StreetSmart with them. High staff turnover in hospitality means keeping a good, up to date contact list is important in order to help maintain those prized relationships with supporters. Also, the key to our growth has been our sponsors – LandAid who cover all our central costs and make it possible for us to plan properly for the years ahead which is gold dust in these uncertain times.
Keep it simple – It‘s a great idea for the right cause at the right time of year. We’ve tried to keep it consistent and sustainable and never getting greedy and I think the industry has responded to that. Good media partner support and respected industry endorsements have helped create a strong and trusted brand.
That’s probably Instagram now given the foodie world we operate in.
Play with my twin toddlers although that’s like another exhausting job so hardly unwinding. I like cooking although the lockdown has exhausted my repertoire, I still find chopping vegetables therapeutic.
Edmund Elephant from Peppa Pig, he’s a clever clog.
Learn a bit about business first – the best organisations and individuals I’ve encountered in the sector have some business acumen and operate efficiently. Add flair and enthusiasm to that grounding and you’ll make a difference, who knows you may even make the world a better place. You don’t necessarily have to think out of the box – as so many problems just require a better box.
You can follow @StreetSmartuk on Instagram
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