Institute of Fundraising: 2005 brings opportunity to raise profile of fundraising

From the Year of the Volunteer to the Charities Bills, 2005 promises to be an exciting and rewarding year for all involved in fundraising. The Institute is playing a key role in a number of high-profile activities.

Following three years of close consultation with the Government and regulatory bodies over the development of the two Charities Bills, the Institute will continue to work to ensure that the views of fundraisers are reflected in both Bills as they pass through to the statute books. The policy team is also continuing to develop the Codes of Fundraising Practice, to encourage the highest standards of fundraising across the UK.

The impending self-regulatory scheme for fundraising will be governed by an independent council, but will be based on the best practice standards built by the Institute. We have also played a role in the Steering Committee that has responsibility for designing the independent, accessible and robust structure that is vital to the success of any regulatory scheme.

Launching on 26 January, the Home Office-funded Payroll Giving Grants programme will be administered and promoted by the Institute in partnership with Business in the Community. The aim is to provide sustainable income sources for charities and we hope to see an increase in the number of employers and staff engaged in Payroll Giving.

This year sees a number of changes at the Institute. Paramount to improving our membership services is the addition of two people to the membership team: Laura Webb as head of membership and Susie Blundell as national, regional and special interest group co-ordinator.

Laura and Susie join membership services officer Joe Mathers-Murphy and membership administrator Debbie Howard, who will be working towards strengthening the range of membership benefits on offer.

The annual National Convention (11-13 July) is coming to London for the first time in a move that intends to make the event much more accessible to fundraisers. The new and extended programme offers a real price saving for members and more networking opportunities, while retaining the 'heart and soul' of the convention.

At this, the start of the year, the Institute urges fundraisers to take up three New Year resolutions: to strive for the highest standards in fundraising; to nominate your organisation or a fundraiser for at least one award this year; and to promote fundraising to the media and general public. This year brings fresh opportunities for the sector to work together, building public trust and confidence in fundraising.

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