INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: A chance to give answers to key fundraising issues

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising

The whole purpose of the Institute of Fundraising linking up with Third Sector was to give fundraising a voice and a platform to reach other parts of the voluntary sector.

Although this page is the 'membership page' of the Institute, many of the issues relate and are relevant to trustees, chief executives, senior managers and other skills within the sector. For a large part of the sector, fundraising is just one of many hats worn by a time-pressed individual.

We have now carried out a review of how we communicate, and the result is that this will be the last time you regularly get a full column from me.

In the future, we are going to use the page to highlight the key questions and answers we get asked. Fundraising will always be at the heart of the questions, but just ask a fundraising consultant how often they get caught up in non-fundraising issues.

If the governance and the structure of a charity are not right and working effectively, then the fundraising is likely to fail, or possibly not even start.

Among the nearly 4,000-strong membership of the Institute we have the knowledge and experience to answer most questions. The "I know a man who does" quip sums this up well.

Also, the member viewpoint column will be replaced by events listings of our National, Regional and Special Interest Groups. These groups now total a staggering 28, representing different regions and areas of fundraising. (If you want to know more, visit our website - all their pages can be accessed from the home page). The information, training and, not to forget, networking opportunities they provide are a vital part of the Institute and we believe that more representation of their work on the page can only benefit all concerned.

Obviously, over the past months we have published a large variety of interesting topics in the member viewpoint column and we would like to thank all those members who have sent articles in.

We still hope to represent your views either in response to questions we will be publishing or through some other form of membership communication, so please do still keep contacting us.

Finally, I have always appreciated this page as a method of keeping you all informed of news, both internal and external, about the Institute. I intend to carry on doing this, but it will be in a more concise format. So, from next week, we will be adopting the changes. Let us know what you think.

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