Helping you develop professionally and stay connected with your peers

20 May 2020
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Alex Xavier explains the role the Chartered Institute of Fundraising is playing in the professional development of fundraisers, and in keeping them connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many charities around the country, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising has had to quickly rethink how key services are delivered to the sector during this unprecedented crisis.

We realised, right at the very start, that keeping fundraisers connected and helping them to learn and apply new skills was going to be critical in not only overcoming the funding shortfalls being experienced now, but also helping the sector recover and be sustainable for the future.

As the sector’s newly formed Chartered Institute, it is our duty and pleasure to be there for you. We have been lobbying every day to ensure charities of all shapes and sizes are heard by decision makers in government, but we have also been working hard to create new virtual services to support members and the wider sector.

Keeping you professionally connected with your peers

Our amazing and committed National, Regional and Special Interest Groups have been and will continue to run a range of virtual networking events for members and non-members. Wherever you’re located geographically, or if you have a specific area of fundraising interest, our hard-working volunteers will be able to connect you with like-minded peers. Please don’t feel like you have no one to turn to – our groups are there for you.

Helping you gain fundraising knowledge and capabilities virtually

One of the challenges we’ve been in the process of overcoming is how to make our qualifications, short courses and leadership programmes more accessible. Many of our courses have historically been located in London, with a small number taken to other locations nationwide, and some running 100% online – notably the Certificate and Diploma qualifications. The onset of the crisis expedited our work in this area for our full programme, and we are now delighted to offer all our short courses and leadership programmes and qualifications using virtual real-time delivery. Utilising enhanced features such as break-out rooms and virtual whiteboards, our expert trainers and faculty are committed to giving you the essential knowledge and skills you need – wherever you are in the UK.

Fundraising Convention Online - accessible for anyone, anywhere

For many years Fundraising Convention, has been held in London, most recently at the Barbican Centre. It’s retained as an unmissable date in the diary for many fundraisers, organisations and sector suppliers. However, we recognise, many have unfortunately not been able to experience it, in part due to geographical hindrances and the cost of travel and accommodation.

With the launch of Fundraising Convention Online, we are now delighted to make the quality content provided more accessible than ever. This year content will be primarily in an ‘on-demand’ format, with some engaging ‘live’ virtual events across 6, 7 and 8 July. We are providing an unprecedented and incomparable volume of content in the form of case studies, panel discussions and presentations for you to learn from at your own pace over six months.

The content will take into consideration the magnitude of the challenges we as a sector are facing now, and will aim to give you insights, perspectives and best practices for you to implement to help move you and your organisation forward.

Book by 5pm on 1 June, and you will also receive access to three additional webinars in June (value of £75), with a small a small charity rate of £100, and heavily incentivised group booking discounts. We hope you are able to join the Fundraising Convention experience this year.

And, while Fundraising Convention may be our ‘flagship’ – you can find out more about our virtual 2020 conference and webinar programme here.

What next?

Whilst we have re-launched all our services to be accessed virtually and are planning some new ones, we do hold out hope that we will be able to return to some face to face activities at some point, but only when safe to do so. However, in the long term, we will want to provide a more blended approach to supporting members and the wider sector, so don’t expect our virtual services to be discontinued when we return to our new normality – whenever that may be.

For now, I hope you and your families keep safe and well, and I hope to see as many of you – albeit virtually – at one of our professional development activities in the near future.

Alex Xavier
Alex Xavier
Director of Individual Membership, Compliance & Professional Development at the Chartered Insitute of Fundraising
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