Supporter of the Quarter: Phil Hodkinson

As one of Missing People’s key donors, Phil was our first official Luminary last year.

Over the past 10 years, Phil has been organising “challenge events” for charities close to his heart. These efforts have so far raised nearly £900,000!

Luckily, we are one of those charities and, thanks to Phil gifting us the places, more than £41,000 was raised last month in the Pedal Taiwan Eight Hour Challenge.

Here, Phil kindly answers our questions on his fundraising efforts. We’re sure you’ll agree that he is more than worthy of our ‘Supporter of the Quarter’ accolade.



What has been your inspiration/motivation to raise funds for charities and when did you first get involved with non-profits?

I was very lucky to have Lord Joel Joffe, Nelson Mandela’s defence lawyer, as my mentor early in my career, and he inspired everyone around him to contribute to a better world.  My charity “ice-breaker” was helping to decorate a local community centre back in 1985 and since then I realise my involvement with non-profits has evolved to being a significant supporter, trustee or chair of 10 different charities.

When you choose a charity to support, what is important to you?

I’m attracted to charities that have a proven track-record of making a real difference to those that they help and that are led by people with the passion and skill to sustain and grow their impact.  Missing People ticks both boxes for me.

What do you most enjoy about being part of a charity?

I enjoy the energy of working with people with different skills and knowledge who share a common goal as a team and as a result can deliver positive outcomes beyond their individual contributions.

What is your favourite memory from a time you raised money for charity?

My favourite moments were undoubtedly celebrating with participants at the finish line dressed up as Pudsey Bear for BBC Children in Need and Paddington for Action Medical Research.  Does Missing People have a bear costume I can use for next year’s challenge?

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering getting involved with a charity as a Major Donor?

Major donors are like good investors.  They know the importance of choosing well but also understand the cost of leaving their money sitting idle for too long.  My advice is to donate to a small number of worthy charities for long enough to see the fruits of your support.

What impact have you made at different charities over the years?

Being a charity supporter is a win-win.  I’ve benefited and learned more from my involvement over the years than I ever thought possible. At the same time, I know that the charities I’ve worked with will say that their supporters always underestimate the value of the skills and experience that they bring to the party.

Why did you first give to Missing People? And what has kept you connected to us?

I was introduced to Missing People by a fellow trustee of another charity.  I instantly liked Missing People’s purpose and quickly gained confidence in the people I met.

Is there a service or support which we provide that you feel most passionate about?

The service that I currently feel most passionate about is the Digital Search Hero initiative.  Who knows, perhaps one day I could help to re-unite a missing person with their loved ones … I imagine it will feel like winning the lottery.

What inspired you to gift Pedal Taiwan Eight Hour Challenge teams to Missing People?

Fundraising challenges thrive on connecting supporters with opportunities to do something different all in a good cause.   Teaming up with Missing People was a natural thing to do for both Pedal Taiwan and Victor Ubogu’s team, and I’m pleased that 2022’s challenge was a success.

What do you do for fun?

Fun is being with my family and friends, joining in with whatever they enjoy.  That has led me to hike the Andes, cycle Taiwan and drive trains in Derbyshire.  Who knows what’s next?

What is your proudest achievement?

I’m confident that my proudest achievement is still in the future.   In the meantime, I just feel privileged to be on the same journey as others that I respect.




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