INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - Fundraising depends on people wanting to make a real difference

Claire Wilson, MInstF, director of Cooper Wilson and runs the corporate fundraising unit of Charity Consultants. She is a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising

I recently had the good fortune to visit Moscow. It held all the romance and wonder of War and Peace - and much more. I was a guest of Partners in Hope and the purpose of the visit was to establish interest among the Russian business sector in corporate social responsibility.

One of the most impressive community programmes we came across was being run by an aluminium manufacturer. Employees from one of the sites had set up a self-help group to prevent drug problems among their children.

So impressed was the company that two years on it has developed a sophisticated and original social programme, partnering NGOs and health professionals to create real change.

We also visited two of the children's projects supported by Partners in Hope. They were run by individuals committed to the cause of ensuring these children had a voice and a future.

The companies and the projects all left a big impression. It reminded me of how so many of the best initiatives are the result of one person's determination to make positive change.

This led me to two thoughts. As fundraisers, we can forget all this.

In the drive to achieve targets, we can lose the point to it all. The second thought was that as more companies devolve the selection, type and delivery of their corporate community involvement to the power of the employee base - Charity of the Year, Giving Campaign, mentoring, volunteering, fundraising - we perhaps need to relearn the art of engaging the individual.

It is up to us to present the case that excites the personal interest and support. However competitive and challenging the marketplace, there is always room to be inspired.

- The Institute welcomes Viewpoint articles from its members. Please email the membership manager (

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