Institute of Fundraising: Lessons to be learned from our programme of training

It was two years ago that the Institute was invited to take part in a scheme to develop a group of fundraisers from BME organisations.

This project has become one of the most influential programmes of its type in the UK, with more than 50 people taking part in a formal programme of training designed to enable them to complete the Certificate in Fundraising Management.

To celebrate the success of the scheme and acknowledge the efforts of those that have taken part, the Institute will be throwing a party on 21 October, with the other project partners, the Black Training and Enterprise Group, the London Development Agency and the London Voluntary Service Council.

Of course the project has not always been a party. In the early days, the drop-out rate was an issue, but we learned that initial identification and induction of participants was crucial. While in some respects selection for programmes such as this is a controversial area, individuals and organisations must be able and willing to take full advantage of what is available.

Having refined the process of selection, we now expect that all of those undertaking the programme will have a reasonable expectation of successful completion.

We recognised at the beginning of the project that individual support and mentoring would be a significant requirement for the successful completion of the programme. We tried several models of coaching and mentoring before it succeeded. For this I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Gurmit Singh, Lynette Grant and more recently Tenika Ah-Wan. Their commitment to ensuring that each participant used this opportunity to develop themselves and their organisations has been a major feature in the programme's success.

So what can we as fundraisers learn from this project? We think there are two important lessons that we can all benefit from. Firstly, whenever we are considering development activities, it is important that they match our commitment and level of achievement, as well as any vision that we might have of the future. Secondly, while support from others can be a valuable addition to a learning programme, we are all responsible for our own development.

- The Institute is moving. Our new contact details are given below and take effect from 25 October.

- This page is edited by the membership manager, Institute of Fundraising, Park Place, 12 Lawn Lane, London SW8 1UD Tel 020 7840 1000 Fax 020 7840 1001 Email Website

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