The UK’s first-ever entry-level training programme and qualification for fundraisers begins taking its first students this month. Until the launch of the Foundation in Fundraising Certificate (FFC), fundraising was alone among the professions in not having any kind of entry-level training programme.
The first 40 students of the FFC, delivered by the Fundraising Academy (www.fundraisingacademy.com), will take 15 modules covering every aspect of fundraising when they begin their studies on May 30. It will culminate in a summer school in mid-August packed with practical workshops and career-development training.
The Foundation in Fundraising Certificate – devised and set up by Rupert Tappin, md of professional fundraising organisation Future Fundraising and its sister company Fundraising Recruitment – will offer a “new route” into fundraising for people who have little or no relevant charity experience.
“We keep finding that a significant number of charities experience difficulty in recruiting suitably experienced or qualified people to take up fundraising positions at the entry-level,” Tappin says. “As the sector becomes increasingly professional, so the skills that an individual must possess before being considered even for interview become broader.
“If fundraising is to become more professionalised, then there has to be a more professional route into the sector. Fundraising is alone among the professions in not have a serious entry-level training programme and qualification.
“Our vision is the creation and continual development of a training programme specifically designed for individuals wishing to enter the fundraising sector. I’ve been working in fundraising for eight years and I’ve never been able to understand why all the training and qualifications are aimed at people who are already doing the job but there is nothing for those who’ve never done it but want to.”
The Fundraising Academy, which will be run through Fundraising Recruitment, consists of 15 weekly modules – to be taught in London – covering the likes of corporate, statutory and trust fundraising, strategy skills, customer service and database and IT skills (see enclosed fact sheet for full syllabus).
Each module is being taught by a leading fundraising practitioner from charities such as Barnardo’s, the British Red Cross and Volunteer Reading Help, whose chief executive, Gill Astarita, led the development of the FFC.
“I’ve found it really hard as a small charity to recruit entry-level fundraisers in the £20,000 to £25,000 salary bracket,” Astarita says. “There are plenty of people around looking for middle level jobs, but it’s really hard to find someone looking for their first job in fundraising who can also show that they have some skills and aptitude for the job. Unfortunately they just aren’t being trained at that level.
“Without an entry-level fundraising qualification to prove that a junior fundraiser has the necessary skill, you just have to take a bit of a risk, and for small charities, that risk can sometimes be too great.”
Charities normally recruit from people already working in fundraising, commercial sector workers with transferable skills, and in situ volunteers who already have experience. The Fundraising Academy will therefore be aiming to appeal to five groups of people:
* people at the beginning of their work career who want to get a job in the voluntary sector, but who need to work full-time and cannot afford to volunteer
* people wishing to transfer into the sector from the commercial side
* face-to-face and door-to-door fundraisers wishing to step up and work directly for a charity
* people starting out their careers in fundraising who are looking to broaden their skills base
* Student fundraisers.
“Many people become street fundraisers because they see this as a first step towards a career in the voluntary sector, but once they are working for an F2F agency, there is nothing to help them make the leap to the charity side,” Tappin says.
The Fundraising Academy’s website www.fundraisingacademy.com went live at the end of April and anyone intending to register for the first intake will have three weeks to complete an online application. In the meantime, interested parties can call the Fundraising Academy’s candidate recruitment hotline on 0845 094 5923 for more info.
For further details on the Fundraising Academy or to arrange an interview with Rupert Tappin or Gill Astarita, contact:
020 8768 5199, 07977 422273
Notes for editors
Future Fundraising was launched in 2004 as a consultancy primarily to help charities to either implement or improve their regular giving income streams, primarily through face-to-face and door-to-door fundraising.
* British Heart Foundation
* Sense International
* Make-A-Wish Foundation UK
* Concern Universal.
Future Fundraising also works with charities to set up their own in-house face-to-face fundraising operation and offers the UK’s only fully-supported and licensed copy of its unique database system designed for the management and support of field-based fundraising teams.
Fundraising Recruitment was incorporated in March 2006 as a sister company to Future Fundraising. Fundraising Recruitment currently provides a pool of around 20 fundraisers to work with Future Fundraising clients.
Rupert Tappin is managing director of Future Fundraising Ltd and chief executive of Fundraising Recruitment Ltd. He has previously established two separate fundraising agency operations: face-to-face for NTT ActionAid – now Face 2 Face Fundraising Ltd, part of the Dialogue Group; and door-to-door for Front Door Fundraising. Rupert made Professional Fundraising’s ’50 most influential people in fundraising poll’ in 2006 and was shortlisted for the UK Charity Awards ‘Fundraising Manager of the Year’ in 2003.
Gill Astarita is ceo of Volunteer Reading Help and was formerly director of fundraising at Action for Blind People.
Volunteer Reading Help
Volunteer Reading Help (VRH) is a charity that helps disadvantaged children develop a love of reading and learning. Established in 1973 by founder and president Susan Belgrave MBE, VRH recruits and trains volunteers to work with children aged 6-11 who find reading a challenge and may need extra support and mentoring.
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