Institute of Fundraising to receive Royal Charter status

Howard Lake | 14 February 2020 | News

The Institute of Fundraising and the fundraising profession have been recognised with the Queen’s approval this week of an Order granting the Institute a Royal Charter.
Upon receipt of the Royal Seal, the Institute will legally become the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. The Privy Council is understood to be attempting to achieve this in time for the Institute to start the new financial year as the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
According to the list of business conducted by the Privy Council held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, the Institute of Fundraising joined the Royal Anthropological Institute as organisations being granted Charters of Incorporation.

SEE ALSO: Institute of Fundraising to apply formally for Chartered status (16 April 2019)

The Privy Councillors in attendance were The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg (Lord President), The Rt Hon Priti Patel, The Rt Hon Alok Sharma and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE.
The award comes 37 years after the Institute of Fundraising was set up by a small group of volunteers, and originally called the Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers (ICFM).

Why a Royal Charter?

The grant of the Royal Charter symbolises an enhanced recognition of the profession of fundraising at government level. It is formal public recognition across the UK of fundraising as a profession and of fundraisers’ specialist professional skills.
It will provide equivalence with similar professions such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, or Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
To achieve it the fundraising profession has had to secure and earn the support of each of the governments around the UK, each of which had formally to support the Institute’s petition, as well as regulators including the Charity Commission, OSCR and the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland.
Support for the move by civil servants in all of these jurisdictions has been important in the process.
Chartered status confers increased status and credibility for the Institute, and to its training and educational activities. 
Members of the Institute are expected to benefit from the external recognition of fundraising as a profession and the enhanced reputation of fundraising as a career.
Chartered status has been one of the Institute’s formal objectives for the last six years, as part of its vision for ‘Excellent Fundraising for a Better World’.

Becoming a chartered institute

The journey to chartered status has taken five years of formal work, following previous discussions on the topic.
Following discussions within the Institute, in March 2015, with the support of its Board and members, the Institute submitted an Informal Memorandum to the Privy Council. This is the first stage in the process to becoming a chartered body.
This application was put on hold within months by the Privy Council in the summer of 2015 following the public and media criticism of some fundraising methods by some charities.
The application was put on hold again until the Institute could demonstrate that it had delivered on the recommendations set out by the review of charity fundraising led by Sir Stuart Etherington over the summer of 2015. These included merging with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association in 2016 to create a single membership body for the fundraising community, and transferring the Code of Fundraising Practice to the newly established Fundraising Regulator.
Discussions with the Privy Council resumed in 2018, and in January 2019 the Institute was granted permission to proceed with a formal petition for chartered status.
This was followed by a consultation with members. In the membership’s vote on the decision to apply for chartered status, 96.8% of members voted to support the move.
The formal Petition to the Privy Council was made on 1 July 2019 to establish a new royal chartered body to be known as the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
You can read the proposed draft Charter, Byelaws and Regulations.

Inclusion, professionalism and community

The trustees have set out three principles that must be met as it takes forward its chartered status. These covered inclusion, professionalism and community.
In terms of inclusion the trustees have stated: “We must take forward chartered status in a way that contributes to our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion both within the profession and the Institute itself. Gaining chartered status should support our journey to become a truly inclusive profession where everyone is the right fit.”

Message to members

In a message to members today, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said:
“This is a huge achievement less than 37 years after a few volunteers met for the first time to form what is today the Institute of Fundraising. It demonstrates, through the Royal Charter, formal public recognition across the UK of fundraising as a profession, and of the specialist professional skills fundraisers bring to their work, making the world a better place.
“On behalf of the staff team at the Institute I would like to congratulate our members and volunteers who have created the organisation we are today. Without your commitment to the profession, to professional standards, and to your own professional development the Institute would not be receiving this public recognition.”

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