INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - If you think it may not be working out, then consider your position

Paul Dinsdale

Funny how things happen. I was just musing an extremely significant anniversary in my fundraising career (I can't bring myself to say just how many years, but put it this way, a female British Prime Minister had been in power for just over four years when I first started out). X years in the trade - so pop your thoughts down in 300 words! And here they are:

Nurture your trustees - they hold tremendous, and often overlooked, influence over a fundraiser's professional life and yet may know very little about you, your talents and your worth. Wake up to their potential!

If you raise money for the welfare of Shetland ponies, but haven't seen a Shetland pony in months - consider your position.

If you begin to get the feeling that you are working for one of those super corporates, with its own international call centre, that we court for support, rather than the voluntary organisation you thought you were working for - consider your position.

If you work for people who have lost themselves in the morass of their own acronyms - and you have lost count of the times that you have pleaded for the use of plain English - then, again, consider your position.

Finally, if you have to re-invent yourself and/or your employer to the extent that you/they are unrecognisable - then ... well, as above.

I should stress that my reflections relate to my previous incarnations and not my current employer.

Education Extra is about to enter into an exciting merger to form one of the largest charities of its kind in the UK, working to meet the learning needs of communities across the country. Well, who goes on Parkinson without plugging their latest film, book or stage play?

Chris Dinsdale MInstF is Corporate & Trust Fundraising Manager for Education Extra

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

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