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Diversity Access Fund: three fundraisers share the impact of attending Fundraising Convention

Diversity Access Fund: three fundraisers share the impact of attending Fundraising Convention

Accessibility is a core principle for inclusion and that’s why offering places to activities which would otherwise be out of reach is one step among many we need to take along the journey to help make fundraising a more equal, more diverse and more inclusive profession. There is not one single solution to this, but bursaries can offer tangible benefits as we can see from the stories below.

The Access Fund aims to remove these barriers by enabling those who would otherwise have been unable to participate in Fundraising Convention to joins us for three days of learning and networking. Institute of Fundraising is seeking applications for the Access Fund Bursaries to attend Fundraising Convention.

Three fundraisers share how attending Fundraising Convention through the Diversity Access Fund benefitted their own personal development as well as strengthening the work of their charities’ own fundraising.


1. A great opportunity to learn from industry experts and network with fellow BAME fundraisers

“The Diversity Access Fund was a brilliant opportunity for me to learn from industry experts and network with fellow BME fundraisers. The workshops were not only inspiring but also hugely insightful and I can already see the difference in my approach to fundraising following the event. I have since taken on additional responsibility in my department and look forward to growing in my role.

“As a BME fundraiser the charity sector can sometimes feel alienating due to the lack of diversity so it’s great to see the IoF doing more to help promote the sector to diverse groups. I was also impressed with the organisation of the event, clearly a lot of thought and planning had gone into it to make it a welcoming and wonderful learning experience.”

Khalid Sadi, Trust Fundraising Manager at Personal Support Unit


2. The bursary helped me develop ideas for our capital appeal

“I’ve been up to so much since last year’s Fundraising Convention and have plenty more left to do! I am a sole fundraiser and the sessions I attended have given me that little boost I needed to really get our individual giving program off the ground. We’ve run a really successful membership upgrade campaign and are about to launch another regular giving product too. A few of the sessions also really helped with some ideas to explore for our capital appeal later this year to help us buy a new tall ship! This ship will double our capacity to help young people, so it’s huge for us.

“The charity I work for doesn’t have the budget to send me to convention so being able to receive this grant was incredible and we are all eternally grateful! My disability has never held me back before and thanks to this grant, it still hasn’t! I’d encourage everyone to apply for any form of help that they possibly can to progress their career, be a better fundraiser and ultimately, help more people!”

Emma Lynn, Fundraising Officer at Tall Ships Youth Trust


3. Attendance at the Fundraising Convention has helped me to develop our legacy and event fundraising plans

“Fundraising has always been a part of my career in project management, however I have recently moved into a full-time development role, working for an equalities charity that I absolutely love. We are a small charity with smaller budgets meaning that we have to be creative with training and personal development and I was so happy to be awarded a bursary to Fundraising Convention 2018. The programme was amazing and inspiring, as was the commitment to diversity that was a thread running through so many of the sessions that I attended.

“Fundraising Convention helped to demystify legacy giving, and we now plan to develop in this area. Fundraising Convention let me look closer at event fundraising and we are now planning our half-marathon team. It encouraged me to tell stories, influencing our external communications. These are small steps that I hope will make a big impact to us in 2019 and I hope to be successful with a bursary again this year.”

Zoe King, Funding & Projects Manager at Diverse Cymru


You can apply for a Diversity Access Fund bursary here.

The Diversity Access Fund is now accepting donations for 2019 bursaries. Your support will help bring more BAME, LGBT+ and disabled fundraisers to this year&’s Fundraising Convention, ensuring it truly reflects the communities we serve. If you are able to donate, you can do so here.

As part of the Arts Council England funded RAISE: Arts, Culture & Heritage programme, the Institute of Fundraising is also offering bursaries for fundraisers from the cultural sector. You can apply for those here.

David Mbaziira

David Mbaziira is a culture and communications consultant with over 23 years’ experience and a member of the IoF’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion panel. He shares why we should all encourage eligible fundraisers to apply to the bursaries currently available for Fundraising Convention 2019.

Current bursary opportunities include those offered via the IoF Diversity Access Fund and RAISE programme – the deadline for this year is fast approaching.

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