Chartered journey: Donors, engineers, and why chartered status matters

Chartered journey: Donors, engineers, and why chartered status matters

Guest Bloggers | 1 May 2019

Virginia Anderson, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland, says that chartered status matters as the public wants to trust fundraisers, and it will allow them to do exactly that.

My dad absolutely loved his job. In many ways it defined him, and our family holidays where he took more photos of interesting roof structures than he did of us children! He was so pleased when the Institution of Structural Engineers wrote to congratulate him on achieving something only a small number do, 40 years of chartered membership.

I’m now watching my sister go through the hard slog of achieving chartered status as a different kind of engineer. It means that she can take more responsibility at work and the next step her profession has to offer. She will likely earn more too. The route is clear for those who wish to take it. Being chartered bestows on those engineers greater decision making powers and rights to sign off work. It recognises expertise and experience.

I’ve got my Diploma in Fundraising and have been an IoF member for many years. But if I’m blunt, I don’t use the MInstF Dip post nominals I’m entitled to and I don’t feel that same sense of recognition of my experience.

What’s the difference?

People trust engineers. They are ‘professionals’. The letters after their names mean a great deal not just to them but to the public and their clients who trust that those letters are hard earned after years of study and work. The engineers with their letters know what they are talking about.

Chartered status matters to me because I think our donors, our organisations and the public want to trust fundraisers too. It gives us a very clear way of letting them do exactly that.

It also gives our youngest colleagues, and colleagues to be, a clear way ahead and a community of peers.

I’m not sure the outside world or many inside charities understand that fundraising is a career. It’s a serious one too where learning our disciplines, ethics, the code and pursuing best practice is hugely important. After all, how many other people are in the business of changing the world?

I’m delighted that our Institute is on its journey to chartered status. It will start with us all being members of a chartered body – a great first step. The IoF will then be able to develop proposals for chartering individuals, which should hopefully happen within a couple of years.

I hope that as a chartered fundraiser I will be trusted with equal respect by board members, by colleagues, by donors and the public as those engineers who keep the roof on our cerebral palsy centre when the wind threatens it.

We should be proud of being fundraisers. I’m glad that there will be a road map towards being a chartered fundraiser to support structured learning and professional qualification. Importantly too, towards trust and integrity.

What does being chartered mean to you? Let us know #IoFCharteredJourney

Virginia Anderson is Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland and Head Fundraising & Communications at Bobath Scotland

Find out more about our journey towards chartered status here

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