Institute of Fundraising: Celebs thrust our new code into limelight

If you want to get ahead, stuff the hat, get a celeb! We have been amazed at the level of interest and the coverage that our new consultation on a code for volunteer fundraising has had.

Normally we have to work really hard at getting the message out that we are consulting on a new code. However, issue a code that mentions the word 'celebrity', and do so as the press goes into the quiet summer season, and suddenly you start to make the national press. We have been inundated with enquiries about the use of celebrities.

The interest has somewhat backed up the inclusion of a section in the draft Volunteer Fundraising Code on celebrity volunteer fundraising. Aware of the media attention that celebrities attract, and the positives and negatives this can bring, the working party thought guidance should be given about how best to manage these relationships.

Recent coverage suggests the press need celebrities just as celebrities need charities (as a fundraiser commented in one of the articles). It's a shame that the good work done by 'ordinary' volunteers for charities gets ignored.

If you work with volunteers - celebrities or otherwise - then please read the draft Volunteer Fundraising Code, available on our website, and let us know your views, so we can attract even more attention when we come to launch it as a new code in early 2005.

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