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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E163 - The Profession Of Fundraising With Ian MacQuillin

““…there is no excuse for any fundraiser working today not to know what’s in the code of practice, and if you don’t I don’t think you’re behaving like a professional…so learn the code of practice and stick to that, and if you do that you’ve made great strides… towards individual professional status…” - Ian MacQuillin

1. The questions fundraisers should be asking themselves

It strikes me that as a fundraiser myself, I may have been remiss in asking myself many of the questions that Ian raised.

Who have I learnt my fundraising craft from? Where is the evidence that supports my assertions about what does and doesn’t work in fundraising? How hard have I challenged these assertions?

How many of us have explored ethics in fundraising? How many of us know the ins and outs of the Code of Fundraising Practice? These are crucial questions that we must each understand and seek answers to.

Speaking with Ian, and touching on some of the fundraising scandals of the past, it reminded me, as it hopefully did you, that we cannot be complacent in how we behave as fundraisers. The world is in constant flux, and with many charities struggling to deliver for their beneficiaries and meet their fundraising goals at the moment, the pressure on fundraising and fundraisers is concerning.

2. Why fundraisers need to keep developing their skills

When it comes to how fundraisers can develop their skills and knowledge, and perhaps help to improve the perception that fundraising has among those we seek support from, there are currently many paths to take. As Ian said, with many fundraisers, including myself, falling into it, you are only as good as the person teaching you, and at the very least fundraisers need to therefore develop powers of critical reflection, and the courage for critical challenging.

3. The view of fundraising needs to change

The idea of having fundraising as a profession, to give a more formal and measurable structure to a fundraisers training, could help to develop fundraising success while addressing inconsistencies in practice that we have seen in the past.

It is also for fundraising and charity sector leaders to embrace the idea that fundraising is not just a crucial tool for delivery of services, but that it also, for many, the interface that people have with charities.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E147 - The Future of Fundraising with Ikhlaq Hussain, Richard Lee and Nick Billingham -

E140 - The Value Of Training With Mark Carrigan -

E91: The Changing Remit of Charities with Andrew Purkis OBE -


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