#FromtheField: Giampiero in Scottish Highlands to promote social change

Giampiero Giacomel is the Director of the Master FRAME- Master in FundRaising Management in the NGOs Business Administration, Marketing, Communication, Social Media, Campaigns and a former student of the Social Change School. He tells us how he has become Development Executive at the University of the Highlands and Islands and actor of social change.

I come from the profit sector. Just a few years ago, I was a legal consultant in an Italian commercial bank, with permanent contract, Christmas bonus, severance package… nearly everything. I was lacking doing something that could make me proud of myself. In February 2012, 31 years-old and in the midst of economic crisis, I decided to quit my job. I had no alternatives then. No job offers neither an internship. I had no livelihoods. I had nothing, but I had the Social Change School.

I still remember that feeling of absolute uncertainty that opened a thousand new boundaries in my life. With a job like the one I had before, I had to be cautious, but I also knew that with that job I had no choices. Nevertheless, in March 2011 I was out. Finally!

The great Dora Lisa found me what I needed. An interview in London. I went there and they called me for an internship. From then on my professional experience as fundraiser began. Three months as intern. Hard life. No salary. A room in a shared ‘hovel’. Absolute uncertainty about the future. Three weeks after the end of my internship, I started looking for a job. I found it. I made it!

They employed me as Fundraising Coordinator for a medium NGO working in advocacy area. Permanent contract. Good salary. I stayed there for three years until I felt the need to change again, to improve. Life, job, affections. 1200 km north of London, Scottish Highlands offered me the opportunity I was looking for. Supervise a fundraising department for the university and research. I always thought that one day my job could send a man on Mars. Today I deal with the economic sustainability of technologic development, scientific research and, more generally, human knowledge.

Now I find myself in an environment where fundraising has a crucial role, but it is not essential. An environment where I can make the difference, but that could survive without me. After all, public funds are still the main source of financing for universities… but I remember that few years ago all the non-profit organizations relied on public funds.

My role is incisive. I promote a culture of social change including an increased empowerment of the private sector in the development of human knowledge. The economic goals are unimaginable in other organizations; we are talking about millions and even billions. Results are encouraging until now.

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