Competence framework

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The Competence Framework has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising as a resource to help fundraisers develop their skills, knowledge, behaviours and practices. 

The competencies covered include themes such as ‘Leadership’ and ‘Building relationships’, which are then broken down into smaller areas, such as ‘Decision-making’ or ‘Delivering experiences that enhance supporter and stakeholder experience’, as well as behaviours and attitudes such as ‘Compassion’ or ‘Empathy’.

Through a tiered approach which shows how fundraisers can progress their understanding and responsibility in each area, the Competence Framework is a valuable resource for fundraisers to improve their practice and develop their professional skills.

As recognised through the award of Chartered Status, fundraising is a profession which has specific areas of knowledge, skills and behaviours attributed to it. These attributes, referred to as competencies and behaviours, are essential for fundraisers to deliver positive outcomes for the fantastic causes they serve. 

Purpose of the framework

The framework can be used by existing fundraisers to benchmark their professional expertise against a uniformed set of standards so they can plan their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and can also be used by organisations to support workforce planning, recruitment and training. 

In addition, the framework is a ‘one stop shop’ for those interested in a career in fundraising so they can see exactly what kind of personal and professional development they can gain. 

Getting started with the Framework

We do not want to be too prescriptive around how you should engage with the framework, but we would encourage you to read all the headings and then the descriptors before you make a start.

The Framework is divided into two sections which have slightly different approaches. Looking at the areas of most relevance to you and your role/organisation may be a useful place to start and from there you might want to self-assess and explore what that means to you.

Have a look at the Behaviours and Attitudes section as it explores our work role in a different way but reflects a lot of the principles and values that we feel are so important.

You can then use the insights you gain to plan your learning, map out what is required for career progression and engage in meaningful dialogue with your line manager, mentor and/or colleagues.

If you are an organisation, small or large, why not ask your team to undertake this exercise? You can also use the content within the framework to help articulate job adverts, job specifications, training initiatives and as a basis for competency-based questions.

Good luck and let us know how you get on by emailing CIOFcomp@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk

Structure of the framework

The framework contains 3 core competencies and 3 core behaviours at its centre. Whilst fundraising is a broad profession, development and maintenance of these core competencies and behaviours is essential for everyone in the sector. The framework also contains an additional 7 competencies and 6 behaviours.

In total, there are 10 competencies and 11 behaviours as follows:

Competencies Behaviours
Relationship building (core) Inclusive (core)
Strategy (core) Resilient (core)
Leadership (core) Empathetic (core)
Supporter stewardship Ethical (core)
Risk and reputation management Innovative (core)
Monitoring and evaluation Compassionate
Data, research and analysis Influential
Governance and compliance Courageous
Digital integration Initiative
Financial management Creative
Responsible

Using the framework

We will be developing specific resources and guidance to help individual fundraisers, organisational leaders and prospective fundraisers best utilise the framework. Please check back for these resources and guidance soon. 

Where to find CPD

The Chartered Institute has a vast range of CPD for fundraisers to undertake in order to develop and enhance their knowledge, skills and behaviours. This includes qualifications, short courses, events and resources.  

View our current CPD offer

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