In my role as an assessor for the Institute's Certificate in Fundraising Management, I have worked with candidates from most sectors of the fundraising environment. The one thing that impresses is the great desire from those working in the more obscure fundraising jobs to legitimatise their particular form of fundraising to the standards needed for certification.
In the time I have been assessing candidates I have gained immense satisfaction and added to my own skills and knowledge base. I become excited when I come across those working for interesting causes or undertaking the task in unusual environments.
For example there is a group of individuals working with the presenters and staff of a Lancashire radio station to market and fundraise for a children's charity in the broadcast area. Their synergy has lifted annual income from £12,000 to £500,000 in a short time. Working with this group will unlock additional skills and enable us to add a new code of practice for radio fundraising.
Or there's the pilot scheme by a northern university to train 'university community fundraisers' in skills and standards of good practice associated with rag weeks, highlighting the benefits of effective training and the highest professional standards. It further demonstrates the inherent desire to gain recognition for the more obscure, but still valid, fundraising areas.
Those that achieve certification can be seen as rolling stones taking on recognition, qualification and personal development at such a level of momentum that they will demand more opportunities for development to strengthen their skills - and leave behind all those who think they have nothing new to learn. Such is the level of enthusiasm of this new breed that they do have the ability to teach old dogs new tricks.
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