Thursday, 24 May 2012

Why I’ve thrown my hat in the ring

I’ve had various letters and emails from the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) telling me that they need new Trustees. I’ve sat and debated it with myself, discussed it with friends and thought long and hard about whether I would be willing to make that commitment.

Finally I decided I would send off my form. After all, it’s not every day that you have the chance to really guide and shape what should, arguably, be one of the most important organisations to fundraisers.

And the word ‘arguably’ is why I decided to take the plunge. I may not get elected, but as with all things election related – if I don’t say why I want it and be willing to put my money where my mouth is, I don’t feel I have the right to complain if things aren’t done the way I want them!

I’m involved with the IoF in a variety of different ways. I decided to join the Board of the National Convention two years ago as I feel it’s absolutely vital for fundraisers to be offered top quality learning and development, by peers and colleagues. I joined because I was frustrated seeing agencies talk and not hearing enough from charities. So now I help develop the direct marketing stream. And I’m happy that we now have more charities talking about their fundraising and experiences.

Then I became involved with the Learning & Development team, helping to create fundraising specific qualifications. After a lot of hard work, we’ve now produced and run our first successful Certificate in Direct Marketing. We’re taking bookings for the second, and will soon be developing the Diploma.

I’m also involved now with the IoF London Committee. This is a new area for me – but really exciting. Seeing how things are done on a regional basis – and the passion and commitment that the committee has is inspiring in itself!

When Mark Astarita was confirmed as the IoF Chair for another year he said the following: “As someone who is passionate about the profession of fundraising, I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to chair the institute for another year.”

I realised that’s how I felt. I really am passionate about fundraising and truly believe in developing the profession of fundraising and ourselves as fundraisers. I really want to be a new face on the Board and really feel I can offer the engagement and representation that fundraisers across the sector need, and demand. I am a fundraiser – I do it, day in and day out. 

And anyone who knows me will know that I will always push the Institute to work hard to deliver what is best for us as fundraisers, in terms of policy, training and advocacy.

And that’s why I decided to throw my hat in the ring and put my money where my mouth is!

Danielle Atkinson
Head of Digital & Individual Giving at Merlin

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