Debate: Does the sector here need a US-style 'fundraising defence council'?

At the Institute of Fundraising convention, its chair, Mark Astarita, said charities should back their fundraisers better

Mark Astarita
Mark Astarita

Alan Clayton is director of Clayton Burnett

Alan Clayton is director of Clayton BurnettThere is nothing to be defensive about. Fundraising is a great profession and we should be proud and proactive in communicating its merits, not just defending it against attacks. There is a potentially conflicting duality at the Institute of Fundraising in that it is a representative body but also has a regulatory function in its setting of the Code of Fundraising Practice. My preference would be for the institute to have the same resources for representation and advocacy as it does for that regulatory function. If that is not possible, a proper representative body needs to be created, but it should be proactive, not defensive."

Beth Breeze is director of the Centre for Philanthropy

Beth Breeze is director of the Centre for Philanthropy"Watch your wallets, here comes our fundraiser!" - a jovial remark made at a cultivation event by a trustee to a friend, or a deeply unhelpful intervention from someone who ought to be supporting - not sabotaging - the fundraiser's efforts? I think we'd all agree the latter. I've come across charity leaders who believe asking for money is vulgar, embarrassing and something they want no part of. Such views should not be held by those who govern or lead our charities - do they think the bills get paid by the fairies? Fundraisers need more institutional support - or at least not tripping up by their own team.

Alan Gosschalk is fundraising director of Scope and chair of the Impact Coalition

Alan Gosschalk is fundraising director of Scope and chair of the Impact CoalitionYes, fundraisers and those beyond fundraising need to stand up and be counted. It's absolutely unacceptable to happily fundraise in a certain way but not be prepared to talk about it to journalists - who, like the general public, need to understand more about how we work and why we do the things we do. There has been informal coordination at times, but a more robust, reactive and proactive approach would really make a difference. It's one of the ideas in the Impact Coalition's latest report, which urges charities to be more transparent and accountable.

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