Chartered status should lead to a more positive view of fundraising by the public

Chartered status should lead to a more positive view of fundraising by the public

Peter Lewis | 3 June 2019

Voting will start tomorrow on our plan to formally petition to become the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, explains why it is important that members have their say.

The overall feedback from our consultation with members over the last two months has been extremely positive, with fundraisers around the UK genuinely excited about the formal, external recognition of the profession that becoming the Chartered Institute of Fundraising would bring.

From the dialogue we’ve had so far through social media, by email, and at events and meetings across the United Kingdom, our members believe that this is a really positive move for fundraising. As well as conversations about cost (becoming the Chartered Institute will not increase the cost of membership!), we’ve had really constructive discussions around the experience, skills and qualifications fundraisers will need to become chartered fundraisers once we are able to charter individuals (this is a couple of years away at least, and we will consult members on the detail), continued professional development, increasing the attractiveness of the profession to a greater diversity of talent, and ensuring we create a truly inclusive profession.

Public's view

At the same time we’ve also been looking at the public’s view and perceptions as fundraising as a career, through public polling we commissioned from YouGov. This full research will cover a lot of detail: we had a sample size of over 2,600 people looking at the knowledge and perceptions of fundraising as a career, diversity and inclusion as it relates to peoples’ perceptions of the charity sector and fundraising, and peoples’ thoughts on what they want from a job and career. YouGov are still working through the detailed results now, and we should publish the full report in a couple of weeks, so watch this space. It is fascinating stuff.

However, I am able to share some findings in advance of the full publication. One of the things we looked at was the public’s view of chartered status for professional bodies. Overall, 54% of people say it is ‘very or quite important’ that fundraising should have a professional body that holds chartered status (23% not sure, and 23% say not very or not at all important). 36% say that if the professional body for fundraising had chartered status they would view the profession more positively, 3% said they’d view it more negatively, and 43% said it would make no difference either way.

Alongside what we’ve heard so far from fundraisers and charities around the UK about the value of pursuing chartered status, the fact that the majority of the public are saying that having a chartered body for the fundraising profession is important, and a good third are saying that it would lead to a more positive view of the fundraising profession, is really exciting.

Becoming the Chartered Institute of Fundraising is a really important strategic objective of the Institute. If you are an IoF member, please do remember to vote on the resolution to adopt what would become our new Charter when our papers for the AGM come out tomorrow. And then stay tuned for the outcome that will be announced at our AGM on 1 July.

If the outcome is positive we will then submit our formal petition to become a chartered body to the Privy Council, and then hope to hear their decision before the end of the year.

Peter Lewis is Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising.

Find out more about our journey towards chartered status here

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