Survey finds fundraisers lacking in formal training

Fundraising volunteers are not even shown how to rattle a tin, according to a spot survey of convention delegates.

The poll, conducted by fundraising consultancy Future Fundraising, asked more than 50 respondents who had volunteered as charity fundraisers before they became professional fundraisers about the training they had received. It revealed that 90 per cent did not have any formal training as volunteers.

Rupert Tappin, director of Future Fundraising, said: "A worker for St Johns Ambulance would receive first-aid training and a campaigner for Greenpeace might receive advice on what to do if they were arrested, but volunteer fundraisers are just thrown in at the deep end."

He added: "You wouldn't treat a donor in that way, but charities are asking people to volunteer and aren't giving anything back."

The survey also found that 88 per cent of professional fundraisers had not received any training before they started their jobs.

"The message is clear that training for fundraisers is an area that we must look at," said Tappin.

Respondents indicated that they felt they would have benefited from formal studies in the field of fundraising before they took up their roles professionally.

However, some felt that there was only so much studying needed in balance with on-the-job training.

Professional fundraisers who had volunteered and had not received training felt very strongly that they would have benefited from studying before commencing a career.

There was a strong feeling among the respondents that it was beneficial to develop skills through continuous professional development.

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