Professional development is important for fundraisers and the organisations that they represent. Formal training, an often neglected but nonetheless essential requirement for staff moving into the sector, enables those appointed for their "other
experience and skills to understand and appreciate the many facets of fundraising. While it is important that fundraisers are able to "cut their teeth
and learn from their mistakes, it is equally important that organisations do not take risks with donors' money or their reputation.
While some organisations have a laid-back approach to training and carry out most, if not all of it, "on the job", it is important for fundraisers to undergo formal training covering all areas relevant to their work in order to maximise their organisations potential. Other advantages of formalised training include sharing experiences and forming networks, both of which help them to keep in touch with the fundraising world.
The Certificate in Fundraising Management is one aspect of professional development which is important in terms of credibility within the sector.
Having been a licensed assessor from the very early days, I have supported a considerable number of fundraisers working towards the certificate.
Through this they have gained a greater awareness of the knowledge and skills required in their role, together with an appreciation of how their skills can be used to meet these needs.
It is pleasing to see fundraisers continue to develop and feel valued because their organisation has made an investment in supporting them to achieve this qualification.
I also see organisations continue to benefit through the work that staff undertake for their certificate, a further endorsement of the wisdom of investing in professional development.
Gill Jolly MInstF (Cert), director, Merlin Fundraising and Management Consultants Ltd
The Institute welcomes Viewpoint articles from its members. Please email (Membership@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk).