INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: MEMBER VIEWPOINT - Fundraisers may risk extinction if uptitling continues unchecked

Julia Clark, the Awareness and Fundraising Manager (North England) SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Forces Help

Flicking idly through the Who's Who in Fundraising recently, I noticed a worrying thing was happening. All the fundraisers are disappearing, presumably lured by gorgeous millionaires to work in plush offices for megabucks. Or perhaps not.

It seems to me that the fundraiser is being phased out and replaced by the private appeal executive, or the legacy and higher level giving marketing manager, or even the prospect researcher. So what's happening to us members of the Institute of Fundraising (or should that be income generation)?

I suspect that there's a bit of uptitling going on, where a fancy designation is awarded to presumably improve job satisfaction and motivation. I suppose that's fair enough, but we're often reading about charity fundraisers bemoaning that no one understands what their job entails. Perhaps that's because their job title bears little resemblance to their job.

I suppose many moons ago, when I was a young and easily impressed 18-year-old, meeting anyone with "director" in their title produced a beetroot flush and downcast eyes. Now, in some charities, it seems that everyone in the fundraising team is head of something or executive of this or advisor to the other.

So are we doing ourselves any favours? I think not. All we are doing is letting vanity overtake reason. Of course we'd all like to be a director of something (even noticeboard regeneration) but let's make it easy for our donors. Let's be proud of what we do and insist on "fundraising" at least being in our job title somewhere.

Driver of ideas, take note of this. You know who you are.

- The Institute welcomes Viewpoint articles from its members. Please email the membership manager (Membership@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk).

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