How time flies. It was back in 2014 that Ed Wethered and Chris Kirkland were on a plane back from Denmark and got chatting about how they wanted to give to a children’s charity. They knew the big names but wondered if there were smaller charities out there that might need the money more.
After a bit of digging, they found there weren’t just a handful but hundreds. The more they looked, the less the situation seemed to make sense; tons of small charities doing great work but the bulk of donations going to the big names.
This wasn’t just a case of supporting the underdogs. The more Ed and Chris thought about how small charities work, the better it sounded. Small, passionate, agile businesses, experts in specialist areas, that didn’t come with the bureaucratic baggage of larger organisations.
They got talking to friends about what Raise Your Hands might look like and the same conversations came up again and again. People wanted to give but weren’t sure how well their money would be used. They didn’t want to be stopped in the street or be called asking for more money.
It was out of these frustrations, and a desire for change, that Raise Your Hands was born. A model that helps exceptional small charities have a real impact. A model that offers people who want to give a positive experience.
Ed began his career at Merrill Lynch, where he was a member of the hedge fund group. In 2008, Ed moved to Zambia where he worked for a venture capital company, starting, investing in and running a wide range of businesses. Aged 26, Ed returned to London to co-found a hedge fund as its COO.
Ed was awarded the Extra Mile award by eFinancial News in 2016 and was nominated for the Beacon Award in Innovation 2017.
Hobbies: Playing bingo, getting lost on mountains, parties on or near water
Tenuous claim to fame: Ed ran 27 marathons in 26 days (one more than Eddie Izzard)
Favourite factoid: The man who did the voice of Mickey Mouse was married to the lady who did the voice of Mini Mouse
Slaney joined Raise Your Hands as a Director with a wealth of experience in the charity sector; she started her career in South America, running a volunteer project in children’s home in Bolivia. She then worked for the national youth charity, Fairbridge, where she took on various roles; moving from the “front line” (programme delivery) as a Centre Manager to the “dark side” (fundraising!) as Head of Philanthropy Development.
In 2007, Slaney co-founded the criminal justice charity, Switchback – which has a strong track record of delivering meaningful, real impact for young adult offenders.
Hobbies: Sitting around campfires, geeking out on podcasts, escaping to the mountains and running in parks
Tenuous claim to fame: Slaney has never met anyone else called Slaney – she’s named after a river in Ireland that ran past her mum’s house
Favourite factoid: The collective noun for flamingos is a flamboyance
Tom heads up all things digital at Raise Your Hands. He’s worked for over ten years in digital communications and fundraising. Starting off agency side, Tom worked on a range of clients including Barclaycard and the COI government communications. He then moved into the charity sector, working in-house for WaterAid, Parkinson’s UK and Diabetes UK. His work has covered everything from writing digital strategies to tweets.
Hobbies: Climbing and falling off rocks, writing stories
Tenuous claim to fame: Once served gravy to Prince Philip (no spillage)
Favourite factoid: The sport with the highest death rate after BASE jumping is bowls
Our Board of Trustees meets once a quarter and guides the strategic direction of Raise Your Hands.
Chris works for a family owned construction and real estate business based out of central London. He started his career at Knight Frank where he was an advisor in the capital markets team. He then moved into development working for Landid Property Ltd on a variety of schemes across South East England.
Chris is chairman of the board at Raise Your Hands with a specific focus on wider strategy and fundraising within the organisation.
Adam is Executive Creative Director of Albion, an innovation consultancy based in London. Albion is famous for designing the Skype brand and product experience, inventing the disruptive telco GiffGaff and scaling Candy Crush from facebook game to global phenomenon.
Adam spent his early career in advertising, creating campaigns for BMW, Sky, Gov UK and Bupa. He then ran a product design studio where he led long-term innovation projects for leading brands. And he did a long stint as Creative Director working on the global rebrands of Jaguar, Land Rover and Vodafone.
Adam has sat on the digital advisory board for WPP. He’s won a Bafta and an Emmy for a real time documentary with Channel 4. And rather bizarrely had a poem exhibited at the V&A alongside poet laureate Andrew Motion.
Simon was one of the Charity Commission’s two legally-qualified board members from 2006 to 2012. Simon was a legal consultant specialising in charities with Charles Russell LLP and was formerly a partner there. He has 37 years experience as a solicitor, 17 specialising in charity work.
Simon was also a trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care, Chair of the St Martin in the Fields Christmas Appeal Charity among other trusteeships in the charity sector. He is a member of the Charity Law Association, associate member of the Charity Finance Directors’ Group and co-editor of the Charity Law Handbook.