5 minutes with Annie Perez from ActionAid

Name: Annie Perez

Job title: Retention Specialist

Organisation: ActionAid

What do you enjoy most in your role?

Being in fundraising is challenging at the best of times but that is exactly what I love about it! There are always niggles, from improving what’s already there to creating something new. Problem solving and innovation are at the heart of it and what really drives me is how reliant it is on the supporters. I’m able to find ways that I can listen to supporters and make their experience of the charity unique, so that they feel valued and appreciated in whatever way they are engaging with the charity.

Have you signed up to any new mail order subscriptions? If so, what and why and do you think you will stick with it after COVID-19?

I did, it was with ‘Who gives a crap’ which was canny because I did that a month or so before the Supporter Experience IWITOT event. I completely identified with everything that Leanne Howard-Dace presented on – the brand is ingenious, and I feel great buying their products while doing a good thing!

What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now?

A rather premature question because we’re in a unique situation whereby a version of normality is yet to be experienced. However, I do feel that the trends and performance – as great as they are – are equally incomparable to any other time. Therefore, I wouldn’t jump straight into assuming what we see and experience now as being something to rely on for the year ahead. Being ‘in it together’ is a great way to sail these waves of mass uncertainty. The ramifications of the economic downturn are yet to hit us. So, paddling rather than swimming in this ocean is, I think, the best way forward.

What has been your favourite act of kindness you have seen during this crisis?

At ActionAid, I have witnessed great acts of kindness coming from everyone including the CEO, the Board and the Senior Leadership Team. A favourite is hard to decide on… from my own experience of contracting Covid over Christmas, it was everyone’s kindness, understanding and trust that really helped me to take the time I needed to build up my strength again. I can honestly say that working at ActionAid has been the best experience of my professional life, and I thank each and everyone with all my heart.

As a customer how important is personalisation to you?

Without a doubt it is paramount. In fact, recently I receive an email from Bloom&Wild. They were sending me an exclusive offer. But it transpired that it was the same deal as always “15% off one thing and then £5 off other items”. So, I got in touch and shared my experience. They gave me an amazing response. They firstly listened to what I said and shared how valuable this feedback was. They also included a token of appreciation which was a more personalised and exclusive offer. I was impressed by the speed at which they got back to me and hope their customer care team on the emails were authentic and genuine. Recognising customers and supporters is vital, it builds the relationship and the only real way to sustain it is by listening, acting with consideration and sharing their impact and how valuable that is to the organisation.