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Ifigeneia Damianidou

Corporate Client Executive
Charities Aid Foundation

T: +44 (0)3000 123 249
E: corporate@cafonline.org

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Spotlight on a team member – Ifigeneia Damianidou


What or who inspires you to get out of bed every morning?

I like to think of myself as an optimist, and so I treat every day as a new beginning. It’s a chance to learn something new, to help someone reach their goals, to meet someone interesting. It does help of course knowing that I have my husband supporting me and helping me get out of bed by putting my favourite music on.

What is your favourite thing about your role at CAF?

I love the diversity of the clients I work with. My role entails working with FTSE100 companies across all sectors and I am fascinated to learn their different approach to philanthropy and their priorities when it comes to their Corporate Responsibility programmes. The charity sector, although under a lot of scrutiny, is really remarkable in what it achieves. To be able to see how businesses and employees can help support great causes first hand is a privilege which I do not take for granted.

I have always believed in the power of Philanthropy - from Greek φιλανθρωπία – (oh you would expect a Greek to mention etymology wouldn’t you?) which means etymologically, the love of humanity. To be able to support our clients achieve this goal of promoting the welfare of others is quite majestic.

 Where’s the most interesting place you have travelled to?

This is such a difficult question since everywhere you travel to, you will find something unique, interesting and worth mentioning. I would say Andalucía in Spain. My husband and I went as newlyweds on a road trip to the region and stayed and explored its different cities. The remnants of its Moorish past, the interconnectedness of different cultures and of course its sublime natural beauty are not to be missed. I would not recommend it though if you are planning to go on a diet, Andalusian cuisine has become a favourite and we could not stop discovering it!

Who would you invite to a dinner party?

I often host dinner parties for our friends and family and always enjoy them. If I could invite anyone, I would invite people living and those who have passed away. These would be Sylvie Guillem, the French étoile ballet and contemporary dance icon, Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the “Ballets Russes”, Maurice Béjart, the choreographer, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Euripides and Sigmund Freud. I am not sure of the success of the dinner party – as I would be staring and listening to everything they had to say and probably forget to serve them.

 

What corporate responsibility trends do you see emerging?

Every day I see companies working towards skilled volunteering programmes that not only engage their employees to use their expertise to help the causes they feel passionate about, but to also create a broader shared value.

There is an expectation of business to be more transparent and more and more companies are refining their sophisticated CSR programmes to reflect that. Finally, there is also a huge appetite to commit to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If countries are to succeed, private sector involvement is critical and businesses need to be strategic in their selection and implementation of which SDGs their CSR programmes will focus on.