INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - Investors in People has reaped nothing but positive returns

Louise Cook

How many times have we heard or read that charities should invest in their staff and that fundraising is about people giving to people?

As a professional fundraising agency we regard investing in the training and development of our workforce as a vital. We seek to offer a quality service to charities - and often the service we provide is our people.

At Fruitful Fundraising we recently sought to measure our standards against an external source and decided the best way was to undergo assessment by Investors in People. We wanted to validate our processes, as well as compare them to a recognised national standard.

For those of you not familiar with the scheme, it is a national standard criterion, which sets out a level of good practice for training and development of people to achieve business goals. The standard provides a national framework for improving business performance by setting and outlining business objectives and developing staff to meet them. The result is that peoples' abilities match up with to what the organisation requires of them through training and development.

Organisationally it has been particularly helpful, and now all tiers of management are looking at ways to improve training and development.

This is done through processes such as skill shares, training courses and staff development. The assessment allowed a cross section of staff, of all ranks and offices, to express their thoughts in confidence on their employees. Overall it has made the company check and revisit practices - and be proud of our staff.

Investors in People is challenging but worthwhile, and I recommend others to undergo assessment not only to develop and train staff, but to enable them to be part of the company.

Louise Cook is Head of Development at Fruitful Fundraising and a member of the Institute of Fundraising London Group Committee.

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