Economic climate and trustee support are biggest challenges for fundraisers, says survey

Poll for the Institute of Fundraising and The Guardian also cites competition between charities

Paul Marvel, director of learning, Institute of Fundraising
Paul Marvel, director of learning, Institute of Fundraising

The tough economic climate and a lack of support from trustees are two of the biggest challenges fundraisers feel they are facing, according to a new poll.

A survey of 586 members of the Institute of Fundraising and 330 sales, marketing and business development professionals asked questions about job satisfaction among fundraisers and their perceptions of the profession.

Asked to select the biggest challenges they faced in terms of generating revenue, 22 per cent of senior fundraisers said the tough economic climate was the main challenge.

Nineteen per cent selected a lack of understanding or respect from trustees and 18 per cent mentioned greater competition among charities, according to the survey, conducted by The Guardian in association with the IoF.

Paul Marvel, director of learning at the institute, said more fundraisers should volunteer to become trustees of charities in order to improve the situation.

"On an individual level, this would improve their understanding of how a board operates and makes its decisions," he said. "A fundraiser would also give the board a better understanding of how fundraising works."

Although 86 per cent of the fundraisers surveyed said they were satisfied in their jobs, less than half felt they received good support and guidance from management.

The survey found a positive perception of fundraisers among professionals from outside the sector.

Only 12 per cent of those surveyed felt the job was "mainly about tin rattling in the streets" and 81 per cent said it required the same skill as private sector sales, marketing or business development roles.

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