Many fundraisers started their careers as volunteers. Indeed, volunteers are the fundraising departments of tomorrow. One of the wonderful things about fundraising is that there are many more people doing it in a voluntary capacity than there are drawing salaries.
We need to work hard to preserve and celebrate that uniqueness while constantly being more professional in the way we work. More than 10 per cent of the membership of the Institute of Fundraising is involved in volunteering to run one of our many activities: those who run the 12 branches we have across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; those who serve as trustees, run the National Fundraisers' Convention or serve on the training, membership and standards committees; and those who spend hours sweating over the preparation and delivery of the hundreds of conference sessions run across the country.
Effective volunteering should be a two-way process and there must always be benefit for the volunteer. I really hope that all these people gain from the profile, contacts and networking that these opportunities provide.
Many thousands of other fundraisers are there because of them.
You don't have to be a member to get involved. Your char-ity doesn't have to be affiliated for you to benefit. For details of events and meetings visit www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk or call 0207 627 3436.