Spotlight on Emily Peirson-Webber
11 May 2012
This week the spotlight is on Emily Peirson-Webber, Donor Relations Manager, Development and Alumni Relations Office.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am the Donor Relations Manager in the Development and Alumni Relations Office at UCL. Often when I introduce myself, people are confused by what exactly my job entails, but basically I am responsible for ensuring that all philanthropic gifts to UCL are appropriately acknowledged and reported upon.
I really enjoy my job, as every day I get to say thank you to many of UCL’s most dedicated friends and donors. I am also very fortunate in the fact that my role enables me to work alongside many different Departments around UCL, to support them in recognising the philanthropic gifts that they receive and helping them to thank their supporters.
In these challenging economic times, the role that
donor relations plays is becoming increasingly important, as more and more
donors want to know how their gifts are benefiting the institution.
This feedback is key in ensuring their continued support. I am always looking for stories from across UCL about the impact of philanthropic support from our alumni and friends, which I can share with donors via our make your mark news pages.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have worked at UCL for almost two years, but I am also an alumna, having completed my BA English here in 2007.
Previously, I worked at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, helping them establish their first donor relations programme and, prior to that, I was the Public Relations Coordinator for the London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
working with our growing number of scholarship students – helping them write
thank you letters to their donors, and also arranging the annual DARO-led Scholarships
and Bursaries reception.
I am extremely proud of this event, which provides
a forum for our donors to chat to our scholarship and bursary recipients. It is
always very moving to hear our scholars speak of the difference that the support has
made to their lives and how well they are doing at UCL.
As a former UCL student, I am all too aware of the costs of living and studying in London, and it gives me great satisfaction to help thank our generous donors who fund student support, whether through regular giving or a named scholarship or bursary.
Another personal highlight is helping Ruth Coutinho, our Deputy Head of
Legacy Giving, with the UCL Legacy Programme. It is very touching to speak to
those individuals who have chosen to leave a legacy to UCL, and this group
encompasses many current and former UCL staff members, who have a wonderful
affinity with the institution.
I personally consider leaving a legacy to be an incredibly noble form of philanthropy, and it is always a delight to meet our legacy pledgers at our annual legacy afternoon tea.
What is your life like outside UCL?
extremely interested in museums and cultural heritage, and in my free time I
volunteer for Heritage Without
Borders, a social enterprise to build heritage skills in developing
countries, led by Sally Macdonald, along with alumni from UCL’s Institute of
I am also a volunteer member of the Museums Association, a keen supporter of the National Trust and a member of the Art Fund. I enjoy collecting art and antiquarian books, and am always looking to add to my modest personal collection. Most recently, I have started blogging, which I enjoy very much.
Other than the visual arts, I enjoy singing, and studied Opera at the Guildhall many moons ago!
I live with my husband in north-west London, and we tend to spend our weekends entertaining friends or visiting family in Norfolk and Kent.
I am an
avid fan of horror films, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a personal role