INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - The role of fundraiser goes beyond securing money for the charity

Kirstie Arnould, direct marketing manager at Friends of the Earth

If you asked a fundraiser what their job is, you would probably think that the answer was obvious: to raise money for an organisation.

But is it really so simple?

Friends of the Earth recently tested face-to-face fundraising in Belfast for the first time. We were delighted when a campaigner from our Northern Ireland office phoned to ask when the fundraisers would be back again. This was because she felt that they had done such a good job of representing our work to the public. She went on to say that it struck her that as well as being good fundraisers, they were actually competent and committed campaigners.

The street fundraisers signed up hundreds of people to support us financially during their time in Belfast. They also talked to many more people who might be just a bit more likely to buy organic food, make sure they recycle, or even join a campaign to stop a factory from polluting their local area.

All of which helps bring our vision of a sustainable future a little bit closer.

Friends of the Earth could not do the work it does without the 100,000 supporters who currently currently give money and we recognise and value the part they play. But it does not end there, for them or for us. We need to be sure that, even under the pressure of income targets, when we evaluate our fundraising we also consider the other ways we help people to get involved in the organisation's work.

You can't see these contributions when you look at the return on investment column on a spreadsheet, but they are making a difference. Yes, we're responsible for raising the money, but we're also helping to change the world.

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