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My Story

I’m Lou Kiddier, founder and Chief Operations Officer of Always Be Content, a 21st century ad agency.


I’m also the Chair of Business Beats Cancer Edinburgh, a role that has been incredibly rewarding. Supporting research to fight the suffering caused by cancer is such an important social goal. As a business, we’ve also had several colleagues affected by cancer personally or in their families, so it’s a subject that unites people.


I was first introduced to EBBC by my friend, Issy Urquhart, who’s been on the board for a long time. They were looking for some creative & marketing support. Issy asked if I would help.


I didn’t know then, but Issy and the other board members are very good at getting people to say ‘yes’. Before I knew it, I’d said ‘yes’ to joining the board.


I became Chair in 2022 after losing my mum to cancer. It really shook me and brought it all home. She was 63. I hoped I could help others avoid what we went through.

The Board

There are 10 people on the board, and they all bring something different to the party.


Two of the board have had their own personal cancer stories and are dedicated to the cause as they want to give back. Cancer research literally saved their lives.


There’s no magic ingredient that makes a great board member. What doesn’t work is if someone thinks it’s something to put on their CV. It takes real commitment, and we don’t have much time for passengers.


We expect our board members to hustle. You do need a brass neck, and persistence. You can’t be shy about asking people for donations or prizes. We ask our board members to buy a table for their business and sell a table to their network – and get at least 5 prizes. It’s an amazing night out and great networking opportunity.


I’d also say that it’s crucial that board members are business leaders, or their company is fully supportive of them giving up time to the cause.

BBCE Achievements

The achievement we really want is breakthroughs for our scientists. We know that every penny we raise could be the key to life-saving treatments. With cancer rife in our society, you never know whose life you might save. That’s an achievement worth reaching for.


And it happens. Two of our board are cancer survivors thanks to medical science. Another two of our team members at work are in recovery too.


At BBCE, we know we may only play a small part in the CRUK story, but it’s a growing part. There are 13 boards in the UK and £2 million has been donated to date.  At this year’s fundraising dinner, we hit our highest ever total: £170k. This brought us to a grand total of £492k. We’re pretty proud of that.


In terms of achievement, the credit goes to the whole board. All I do is try to keep the board motivated, accountable and make sure we do some F2F meetings, so networking can organically happen too. All of us have different connections that help add to our success, from photographers, PR, print promo to friends of the board that assist us. So, the personal real-life side of the board is a huge thing for us. We’ve become friends and really respect each other. In our world of zoom meetings, that is a big achievement.


I’m happy with how much we’ve grown, the connections we’ve made, the scientific difference we’re bringing to our city. But my proudest moment will be when we reach half a million in total donations.

My Advice

First, have a mixed board. It’s great having like-minded people together but diversity brings different opportunities, different strengths, different connections.


Diversity means having a mix of men and women – to reflect your audience and their interests. It’s good to have people with experience in events, marketing and PR too.


I’d suggest having subgroups within the board. We came up with Showrunners who focus on the event planning; Noisemakers who aim to get the word out; and Go-Getters who hustle to get the donations and prizes in. Each is accountable for their own area. It lets people play to their strengths, while distributing the workload and decision making.


It’s also a good idea to have a fun team challenge, in addition to the main fundraising dinner. For us, it’s the 7 Hills challenge – a sponsored walk round Edinburgh’s hills that’s not as challenging as it sounds. It’s a fantastic corporate team day out and companies use it as part of their volunteering / CSR. It’s not a huge thing to organise but it keeps us in touch throughout the year and keeps the energy of the board high.


The final thing is for the Board to use their connections. For example, if your industry has an event or awards night, could they choose BBCE as their charity partner for the night? We got Marketing Society in Scotland to choose us at their annual dinner and raised about £5k.


This is what works for us. At the end of the day, there is no magic wand for fundraising. It’s about playing your part. We’re all fighting for the same cause and if you put the effort in as a board, we can create Hope for the future.


See Lou’s opening speech here – vimeo.com/alwaysbecontent/louchairbbce

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