When I received a call from the IoF West Midlands Committee sharing the news that my bursary application for Fundraising Convention had been successful, I was more than a little elated. It’s been two years since I've attended Convention and with the sector continually changing, and many personal and professional growth opportunities in my role at The Haven Wolverhampton during this time too, I was eager to get down to London and learn.
In 2017, I moved from Stirling University to work for Home-Start Glasgow South, a small local charity. I knew attending Scottish Fundraising Conference would be really valuable, particularly as I settled into the new job. Money was tight, so knowing volunteers could attend for free, I threw my hat in the ring.
How often have you heard that fundraising is a people to people business? It’s about relationships, communicating, and emotive compelling storytelling, nurturing and working in and through communities. However, recent months and years have seen a sharpened focus instead on process, compliance and risk especially with the advent of, dare I say it, GDPR!
I began my role with Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home on 2 October, 2017. On my second day in the job, I attended the Scottish Fundraising Conference in Glasgow. I don’t have a fundraising background; I’d worked in financial services recruitment before joining the Home. So, if I’m being totally honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from the event.
What makes a great fundraising CV? The short answer is... one that stands out! Anyone can list their jobs and experience, but a good CV shows evidence and results.
If we are to help donors and supporters decide to give generously, we must help them feel some certainty that this would achieve something they care about.
My first job in the charity sector was for a small charity that supported isolated older people on low incomes. The cause wasn’t sexy, the charity was barely known by the public. Even the name confused people about what we did. We had no donor list and very little profile, even in our own part of the sector. One of my main roles (among several) was to be the fundraiser.
Claire Lickman, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator at Happy, looks back at how past experience of working at the National Trust, through being empowered as a staff member and having space and freedom to do her job, set the bar for success in the workplace.
At the 2013 Institute of Fundraising Convention, Lucy Caldicott, Catherine Miles and Liz Tait ran a session called “Climbing the Ladder” in fundraising. They were inundated with questions at the end which we share with you here...