Over the years the Chartered Institute of Fundraising has grown, shifted, and developed to meet the evolving needs of our members and respond to changes in the external environment. From a group of committed fundraisers discussing their vision for developing skills and supporting excellent fundraising to now being an organisation with a Royal Charter, our members are at the heart of what we do and will always shape what we do next.
During Covid and in post-pandemic recovery we adjusted our delivery model and staff team by moving all our training online, delivering Fundraising Convention virtually, and shifting from having an ‘office-first’ London location. Those changes were driven by necessity and pressures of the circumstances of the time, but with uncertainty of the future they didn’t address some of the longer-term issues and questions that come alongside a more strategic and overall review of how we work.
We know that there are areas we can do more. Your membership journey could be improved through better systems, and the connections between teams and services that you engage with should be more joined up so that you get a smoother and more personalised experience. And from listening to members, we think we can do better by bringing in new ways of working that enable us to be more agile in responding to the changing fundraising landscape and evolving needs of our members.
As a charity, we are not immune to the financial pressures that are all around us and it is right to recognise that the work we are undertaking now to reshape our team is also being done so we can best navigate a difficult economic reality. The sad closure of the FSI, and the report from 360 Giving highlighting the fragile ecosystem in voluntary sector infrastructure, are recent reminders of the hugely challenging environment.
And so, to continue to improve in the most purposeful way for our members we have been taking a considered and comprehensive look at the whole design of our structure and how we work so that we can do the most for you. Our proposed organisational redesign, which has been informed and shaped by an expert independent consultant, include:
- a slimmed down executive and staff team – we expect the reduction on headcount will be fewer than ten;
- a modernised structure where more of our work is done collaboratively;
- and the introduction of a new ‘member services’ hub which will act as a one-stop shop for enquiries, bookings, and supporting the work we deliver for members.
As part of our process, we are engaged in a genuine consultation, so the final new structure is not yet decided upon – we are talking to all staff, discussing with our Board, and listening to all ideas and proposals.
While the shape and size of our team may change, our key services and activities that members engage with, and value will continue. We have a strong and committed membership who express support and positivity on our new three-year strategy and are delighted that flagship events like Fundraising Convention are flourishing – with in-person tickets almost sold out.
Whatever the outcome of this consultation is, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of the team at the Chartered Institute. They are committed, talented, and hard-working professionals who should be proud of their achievements. They care deeply about supporting fundraising, and many have had long-standing friendships and working relationships with our members all across the UK.
Our work as an organisation and our mission as a charity has never been more important. I am confident that with a redesigned organisation we will be the best place to support our members, champion fundraising, and take forward the profession so that you can make the biggest difference to the causes that mean so much to us all.