PR director Ian MacQuillin is seeking support for a special interest group for those who work in PR in fundraising.
He says the group will be open to PR officers especially, but really anyone who has a stake in how fundraisers and fundraising present themselves and itself to the public through the media. Fundraisers themselves are often seen as PR ambassadors for their organisations after all and need to be aware of the issues surrounding fundraising PR.
He told Third Sector: As a member of the IoF, I want there to be a group within my own institute, discussing communications issues. I don’t want to be a member of two institutes. Last year chair of the Institute Joe Saxton announced plans to create an Institute of Charity Communicators, which is still to be launched.
MacQuillin said: There are, of course, communications issues that relate to all charity communications, but the areas of charity communications that cause the most controversy are related to fundraising. There’s negative press around face-to-face and how charities should respond to that; whether it should be proactive or reactive; offensive or defensive.
There’s how you communicate how much of a donation goes on admin and fundraising and how charities play off against each other by playing down how much they actually do spend no admin, as the recent media interest in the Intelligent Giving allegations about Children in Need’s admin costs shows.
Compared to the occasional furore over a piece of awareness raising advertising that has gone wide of the mark and alienated supporters, I can’t think of any form of charity communications that has the potential to generate such controversial issues as fundraising communications does.
MacQuillin said it is essential that these issues are discussed by a group of people who work in fundraising and it makes a lot of sense to have fundraisers and those who communicate fundraising to have their own special interest group.
Anyone interested in joining should contact email@example.com.
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