I have been really fortunate in my fundraising career to have worked for organisations making a difference to a range of causes I’m passionate about. From my time championing the protection of children at Childline and NSPCC, to helping raise vital funds in our fightback against cancer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer – it is the cause which gets me out of bed in the mornings.
Like many others in our profession, I made a career change having spent time working as General Manager for the Bloomsbury Theatre. I knew I wanted to help people, and fundraising struck me as a great way to do that. At the time, if I’m being honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew charities had to raise money, but I wasn’t aware at the time about the comprehensive range of knowledge, skills and behaviours required to deliver the best possible service to supporters.
Like many, I had to do a lot of learning ‘on the job’.
The IoF has been an incredibly useful support network for me, and I truly believe that volunteering for the IoF, attending their events and engaging in other ways has helped me develop my own knowledge, skills and behaviours and, as a result, helped me progress my fundraising career. I want all fundraisers at all levels of experience to be able to benefit from the work of the IoF as I have. I also want fundraising to have a much greater profile to help attract diverse talent to charities – small and large – to help us continue to evolve how we engage with our supporters and achieve even greater things for all our causes.
Without a shadow of a doubt, and subject to approval by The Queen, the IoF becoming a chartered body will be a milestone moment which will take our profession to the next level.
From an organisational perspective, it will give much deserved recognition for the great work fundraisers put in day in and day out, as well as strengthen a sense of belonging in the sector. Becoming a chartered profession will also give fundraising further credibility and profile to help promote it as a career of choice to young people – particularly those from diverse communities - as well as those who are thinking about a career change. Through chairing the IoF’s Learning and Development Committee, I know there are already tangible tools in development (such as a Fundraising Competency Framework) which we hope will show prospective new entrants to the sector what fundraising is all about, and also how we can all progress in our fundraising careers.
If we get chartered status, and subject to further approval by the Privy Council in a few years’ time, the IoF will also be able to award a ‘chartered fundraiser’ designation to individual members who hold IoF qualifications and equivalent experience against a criteria to be determined. How amazing would that be? This would be another way to showcase how a fundraiser can progress in their career which could help attract talent and encourage fundraisers to stay longer in the sector.
For now, let’s get behind the IoF whilst they are on this exciting journey and keep our fingers crossed The Queen approves their formal application!