Let's keep it in the sector

The sector should reflect before commissioning private sector suppliers, says Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising

Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis

Last week, I was chatting to Kevin Curley, who is a columnist for this magazine and former director of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, when I realised I was having a rant. Why, I asked him, are charities still spending huge amounts of money outside the sector, when in many cases there are fantastic suppliers within the sector? Many of us lobbied long and hard for the Social Value Act – yet, at the same time, many charities commission the private sector for services that the third sector is more than capable of delivering.

When I joined the IoF, we had a private sector insurance provider. I said that if we called CaSE Insurance, which is part-owned by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, we would get a better deal, as well as reassurance that some of the profit was staying in the sector. So we did.

Another example, of course, is my particular passion: turning to the IoF for your fundraising training. This helps to maintain vital investment in high-quality training and investing, and at the same time helps us to lobby and influence decisions that affect how fundraisers and charities grow and access the pot of available money.

I’m incredibly proud of the practitioner-led fundraising training and events programme that we deliver. It
consistently gets high evaluations, allows fundraisers to meet others from across our sector and highlights the value we should all place on our professional development and that of our teams.

If you want your whole team trained, in-house and according to your specific needs, we can do that too, by bringing in the best in the sector.

Before there’s an outcry, let me make it clear that I am not saying charities should never use private sector suppliers. Our own corporate supporters regularly demonstrate to us that many of us have raised the money we have only because of the innovation and risk-taking of private sector partners.

But we should definitely reflect before we commission.

Peter Lewis, chief executive, Institute of Fundraising

This article appears on a page edited by the Institute of Fundraising and hosted by ThirdSector.co.uk

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