Institute expands and takes on sole fundraiser

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising

Institute expands and takes on sole fundraiser 5

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 16 May 2012

The Institute of Fundraising is to hire a fundraiser and six other new posts as part of its new strategy focusing on research and policy work.

The Institute has advertised for seven new positions which will expand its staff from 39 to 46. No redundancies have been made.

The expansion will see a new structure in the policy and communications team, which will be headed by one director of policy and communications. Current director of campaigns and policy, Louise Richards, is leaving the organisation but not as part of a redundancy package. New roles will also be created in the research, marketing and learning teams.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute (pictured), said that the restructure follows a management away day, member consultation and the release of new strategic objectives.

“There’s a much bigger push on doing research and policy work. We’re at a stage where we can grow our learning offer… so we will be doing 50 per cent more conferences next year,” Lewis told

“We’re basically investing in ourselves to do those things.”

Lewis said that the investment in new staff will be funded by a mixture of growing the training and learning business and by bringing in a fundraising officer to solicit grants from trusts, foundations and government for activities such as small charities' training and research.

“We’re going to have a fundraising officer at the Institute of Fundraising. How radical is that?” said Lewis.

Lewis said that the Institute research plan will be to firm up relationships with organisations already doing research into giving and the charity sector and consulting with members on research gaps and priorities. The research will be used to develop and support the Institute’s policy positions.

The majority of the roles have been advertised today, and Lewis said: “Hopefully we’ll be set up with the new team by the summer.” 

Peter Lewis
Institute of Fundraising
21 May 2012

I'd just like to respond to some of the comments. Since I joined the Institute back in October last year we have conducted a strategic review, consulted with members and are now implementing the results of that consultation on the basis that we are a member-led organisation. Which is what we are. And our Regional and Special Interest Groups do put on fantastic events, conferences and mentoring programmes. I've already attended a good few. It is a resource of which we are justly proud, and which we are committed to support more. And you will see more of me, and my team, out at these events over the months and years to come. At the same time we are indeed going to be recruiting a fundraiser, not to compete with our members, but to enable us to deliver more of what our members have asked for - more research into fundraising and giving, more subsidised training across the UK for smaller charities and more support for our volunteer groups across the country to expand and develop what they are able to do. We are also aware that in the past we may have been sending out too many marketing materials promoting our courses. Happily, having made a significant investment in our new website and CRM system we are able to make sure our members only receive information about courses, qualifications, events or policy matters that are of interest to them through the My IoF function.

18 May 2012

I used to be a member of IoF. The only thing it changed for me was the amount of publicity (for highly paid events) bombarding my inbox every week: it was enormous! I ended up unsubscribing from their mailing lists (I must have been on a number of them because I had to repeat this operation at least 3 times). Ending this relationship was a relief, to say the least.

Angie Kay
Principal Consultant
Angie Kay Associates
16 May 2012

Sadly I think the Institute head office is already too big and has totally lost track of why it exists - to support fundraisers ACROSS THE COUNTRY. The national and regional groups put on cost-effective networking and learning events that are relevant to the local members but IoF Central wants to put on more (expensive?) events to raise more money to pay for its growing infrastructure... Not right, in my view!

Tom Jones
17 May 2012
Response to [Angie Kay]

I can't comment specifically about IoF but I have seen a number of umbrella bodies, in several sectors, eventually lose sight of their initial aim until the tail ends up wagging the dog.

Rather than worrying about doing what they initially set out to do (support the relevant group), they become focussed largely on running events and producing publications to make money. Neither of which they do all that well in my experience.

Shame really.

M. McAuley
Trusts & Corporate Fundraising Manager
Fishermen's Mission
17 May 2012
Response to [Angie Kay]

It is somewhat ironic that the institute will potentially be competing for funds from its membership, especially those in the field of education, policy and research at a time when funding is already tight for many smaller charities. There is a real risk of goal displacement and IoF morphing into a self-serving bureaucracy and conference business. More resources for the regions with Head Office providing a 'lower profile' but more effective back up would be a better way to go.


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