INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - The fundraising inside track is just a question of other perspectives

Daniel Fletcher MInstF, head of fundraising and business partnerships, Foyer Federation

Ken Burnett (Third Sector, 26 January) wrote that Robbie Burns, had a message for fundraisers to reflect on. In the poem, Tae a Louse, there are the lines, 'O, wad some power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us'. For a sassenach like me this translates into having the ability, or humility, to see ourselves from the perspective of others.

This month, there are two opportunities to do just that. On 5 February, the Institute's Corporate Fundraisers Group is holding an event at Goodenough College, London, where corporate social responsibility managers from Centrica, O2 and Foresters will help corporate fundraisers to put themselves in a CSR professional's shoes - how do we appear through our phone calls, letters or face-to-face meetings and presentations. How well do we really understand the motivations of companies wanting to interact with the third sector? What kind of mistakes do we make, and how do we get it right?

Check the Institute's website for more information, or just turn up at 2pm.

Next week, Rodney Buse, who has just completed his report on the future of self-regulation of charity fundraising, will be presenting his findings to the Institute's London region. While self-regulation may seem a distant concept, Buse has brought a perspective to our profession that helps us to see ourselves as the public sees us. It is important to know and engage with this perspective, and to respond responsibly. The alternative is that government may impose its own perspective on fundraising. Join Rodney for lunch on 11 February at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

The Institute's national, regional and special-interest groups offer many chances to put yourself in others' shoes - visit the Institute's website to widen your perspective.

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

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