Inside Charity X: CoppaFeel!

Kerry Russell, director of income generation at CoppaFeel!, reveals how the charity’s small team keeps the country boob-aware

Can you explain what your charity does in seven words?

Educate (empower and encourage) young people to be boob-aware.

What’s your favourite thing about working at CoppaFeel!?

The culture. There is a “can-do energy” here which is contagious – everyone is passionate about empowering people to check their boobs – and won’t take no for an answer. For example, we recently lost the internet in the office for three weeks. This was in the lead-up to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our biggest event of the year. Through begging, borrowing and stealing we managed to find other places to work with internet so that we could keep everything on track and also launch a brand new website. I do not think many organisations can say they managed to launch a new website without internet access!

What’s the secret to CoppaFeel!’s success?

I think the key to the team being such great fundraisers and advocates for CoppaFeel! is the tribe-like community that has been created. Face to face meetings, a Facebook group and giving fundraisers the independence to organise their own meet-ups has all contributed to the group getting to know each other well and forming a tribe.

What’s the best thing CoppaFeel! has ever spent money on?

In my opinion it’s our incredible group of Boobettes. The Boobettes are a group of nearly 100 women who have been touched by breast cancer. They go into the community to deliver our boob-checking message and share their story. This year they have delivered more talks than ever before. It’s great to know more people are hearing our boob-checking message.

What would people be surprised to learn about CoppaFeel!?

People often think we are bigger than we are. We are actually a really small team – currently we are 10 full-time staff and one part-time.

What’s the most inspirational fundraising story you’ve come across?

Our founder Kris is pretty damn inspirational and it’s a privilege to work with her. She founded CoppaFeel! at 23 after she was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. She did not know you could get breast cancer in your 20s so set up CoppaFeel! to empower others in the hope they do not have the same outcome as her.

What do you like most about using Virgin Money Giving?

Supporters love that it’s run as a not-for-profit. The community pages are really interesting and helpful – a great way to learn from other case studies.

What one fundraising idea do you wish you’d had?

Christmas jumper day! It’s great to see fundraising attached to something which was already happening. I think the simple ideas are often the best.

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