INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - Volunteer chairperson needed for the Trusts Special Interest Group

Jane McMillan, MInstF, development director, Mary Hare Foundation

I have been on the committee of the Trusts Special Interest Group for more than five years and treasurer for more than two.

As with all Special Interest Groups within the Institute of Fundraising, ours is organised by a band of committed volunteers who find time to cajole speakers, manage the finances of the group and generally think up new ways of supporting trust fundraisers around the country.

With well over 350 members on our e-group we represent a good cross-section of trust fundraisers in the sector. However, at our AGM last week, we failed to attract a new chairman to replace Claire Greenhalgh, who stood down. This is a plea to those among you who might not previously have thought about helping to organise this Special Interest Group - we need your help!

Since I have been involved with the committee of the group, I have learned a great deal about trust fundraising from my fellow committee members.

It can sometimes seem that we don't have enough time in the day to mix with our peers from other organisations, but I know from experience just how valuable this can be. For example, following a tip-off from a fellow member about a large company's charitable foundation that was changing its community support, I was able to secure a lead donation of £75,000 for an appeal - not bad for a five-minute conversation.

Carol Hicks of SKILL has offered to be acting chairwoman for a couple of months. If we don't get a volunteer to take over the role by the end of January, it leaves us in a difficult position. Whatever happens, we don't want the group's future to be threatened.

So go on, get in touch and put yourself forward. You never know, it might help you reach your targets this year.

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