Dan Rous, Scottish Conference Committee Member

15 May 2024
4 minutes
Standard Content
Dan Rous
Dan Rous
Church and Community Development Consultant

I have been involved in fundraising pretty much all my adult life, as I grew up attending The Salvation Army so was quickly dragged into the Annual Appeal with door-to-door collecting, ‘flag days’, and I also sold the War Cry on local streets. 

When I moved to Scotland in 2002, I started getting involved with social enterprise projects and my involvement has increased to both small and large projects involving revenue and capital projects, with the largest so far being a £3m community development.

Since late 2022 I have been working freelance as a Church and Community Developer, which is really bringing together everything I’ve done over the previous 20 years in setting up, developing, supporting and running various community and social enterprise projects.

Right now, my work is mostly consultancy based to help various organisations enhance what they’re doing to be more sustainable, but to still access funds from various sources both large and small.

Funding is always a key element of the work whether that’s from Major Funders, Trusts, other grants makers, philanthropists, and of course, the wonderful members of communities up and down the land who support these projects.

Although I had been around fundraising, especially in my work life for a long time, only in 2022 did I have a 100% funding focused job. I decided to join the Chartered Institute of Fundraising to give me some support, information, connections, and to ensure that the organisation I was in was receiving the right guidance to ensure it was compliant in all fundraising areas.

The information, connections, and opportunities that my membership has given me, have proved incredibly valuable. Working on your own can be a mix of bliss and despair, but knowing you’re not on your own, or that someone else is or has faced a similar issue, is a real strength of being a member of the Chartered Institute.

Getting involved with groups and events

Since joining the Chartered Institute, I have joined the Scottish Fundraising Adjudication Panel and spent time on the Fundraisers in Christian Organisations Special Interest Group. Joining the special interest group brought me alongside people specifically in my sector of work, which was really beneficial.

Neither of these opportunities would have come my way if it wasn’t for my membership and both have helped me gain more sector knowledge and to be a support to more people which is a career goal.

I first attended the Scottish Fundraising Conference in 2022. It was a fantastic experience especially as it was the largest event I had attended after the pandemic. I enjoyed the two days, gaining a wealth of information and resources, plus also meeting some fantastic people.

From delegate to volunteer to committee member

I offered to join the volunteer event team in 2023 and was accepted. Being able to still be at the event and also give something back from my membership through volunteering was hugely beneficial. I unexpectedly developed a new freelance client partly because the volunteer t-shirt gave me more confidence to speak with people and also for them to speak to me as apparently, I might have known what was going on!

Volunteering also gave me an insight into how the event was put together including all those bits that happen largely unseen. For this year, I have opted to step it up again and have been accepted onto the Conference Committee, so will be involved in even more behind the scenes elements to ensure that those attending have as brilliant experience as I have. We’re always on the look out for more event volunteers and committee members, so don’t be shy! Head to the event website and apply!

I’d really recommend joining the Chartered Institute if you are in any way involved in generating income for your organisation. Membership will bring many benefits, not least arming you with all the latest information and helping you know that you are not the only one facing the dilemma in front of you.

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