How I gained credibility as a fundraiser
When our school first started consulting with a view to running a major campaign to fund three new buildings, I emphatically told the Chair of the development committee I was not interested at all in raising money. But as I was already heavily involved, it made sense so reluctantly, I agreed.
The consultants we worked with made fundraising sound so interesting and exciting and challenging, so to my surprise they really got me hooked from the beginning.
Soon after I got involved, I signed up for the IoF Certificate in Fundraising. The course reassured me that what I was doing was correct. It allowed me to learn new things and network with colleagues in similar situations. Importantly, it also gave me credibility – since qualifying I have been more confident in my role and I have noticed that our governors now have more confidence in me too.
Our school will celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2026 and we have a dynamic and exciting strategic plan which will culminate in the opening of three new buildings between now and 2026. The first three phases of our capital campaign are a research and invention centre; adding 50% more floor space to our science building without increasing our footprint; and updating and enlarging the facilities in our performing arts centre. The fourth phase is an ambitious bursary programme, which will be ongoing. We have a vision and commitments document which outlines our short, medium and long term aims, and from this came the case for support for our campaign.
We are still in the quiet phase of our campaign but I am itching to get to the public phase as I have several ideas and events I’d like to introduce. We discussed event management in the IoF Certificate course and, combined with my previous experience in this field, we are planning to raise almost £4 million through a few very specific projects.
Transitioning from Marketing Manager to the Director of External Relations, and being responsible for a major capital campaign has not been easy and I have had to work very hard at building confidence among key stakeholders. However, the upside of this is, having earned that respect and confidence, some of the more cautious stakeholders are now my biggest supporters.
Also, coming from a Southern African background there are just some things that are done differently in the UK so I am often having to double guess and triple inspect some of my plans and strategies.
On completion of the campaign I am involved with, and when I retire, I would like to volunteer for a health or conservation charity, either on the marketing or fundraising side, or both – as I now have that valuable experience and certification.
Moyra Rowney MInstF(Cert), IoF Certificate in Fundraising graduate and Director of External Relations at Godolphin School
Find out more about the IoF Certificate in Fundraising here, including course dates and locations