Stephen Cotterill: Our 25 Under 35 list showcases the talent of young fundraisers

06 Jul 2020 Voices

Times are hard, but the extent of young talent in the sector gives hope for the future.

This is always a great issue of the magazine to put together; labour intensive, yes, but worth it to recognise and celebrate the young talent in the industry. And although the final 25 are all worthy of their position, the list only goes some way to representing the incredible range and talent of the more than 100 nominations we received for this year’s 25 Under 35 list. The quality of the nominations was extremely high, so if you were nominated but didn’t appear this year, don’t be disheartened. There were a lot of tough decisions made and some candidates missed out by the narrowest of margins.

Of the 109 completed nominations, around 20% were male, and this was reflected in the final list that was chosen by the judging panel. It was encouraging to see the black, Asian and minority ethnic community better represented than in previous years, which is testament to the fantastic awareness work that campaign groups such as #CharitySoWhite are doing. The 10 BAME nominations that we received were of an extremely high standard and seven went forward to the judging panel, with five eventually being selected. Fairly representative of the sector and a good start, but there is still more we can do to encourage nominations from people from diverse backgrounds.

We don’t ask about LGBTQ+ status in the nomination process but organisations working in this field were poorly represented, as were those working with the less able bodied. Again, something we need to work on moving forward.

Times are incredibly difficult at the moment and filling in nominations is obviously not a priority, so it was heartening to see how many leaders in the sector took the time to nominate and lift up their colleagues. As Ikhlaq Hussain, one of this year’s judges and head of philanthropy and partnerships at Orphans in Need, said in his comments: “Fundraising’s 25 Under 35 list is a great way to celebrate fundraising talent, especially amid a crisis such as Covid-19. Our sector needs to put extra efforts into recognising the contributions made by fundraisers.”


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