Stephen Cotterill: ‘Fundraising has a proud tradition of information sharing’

08 Feb 2024 Voices

I’ve never known an industry so willing to share learnings from successes and failures. It is a mighty benefit to the sector and a tradition of which fundraisers should be proud...

In my career as a journalist, I’ve covered a lot of different industries – politics, financial services, technology, theatre and the arts. I was even interim deputy editor for International Oil and Fats Magazine for three months (a career high point obviously, as that one made it onto the guest publication slot of the “guess the missing words” round of Have I Got News For You). Giddy heights.

In most sectors, information sharing is a rare and wondrous thing; a seldom-seen ray of light in an otherwise overcast, impenetrable fog of secrecy and tactical avoidance. Try getting a hedge fund manager to disclose the keys to their portfolio successes or learnings from a recent stock crash. Or a start-up tech guru on top tips to market a new app. Good luck with that.

Then I came to fundraising. Astonishing. Yes, there are some figures perhaps best not shared and some targets kept under wraps, but in general I have never come across a sector so willing to share information and to help colleagues – both personally and professionally. It’s a credit to the profession and the people it attracts. You should be proud.

Every issue, organisations come forward to share their experiences, future plans, failings and triumphs in interviews, case studies and thought-leadership articles. This magazine is underpinned by, and indebted to, the knowledge of fundraising professionals and their generosity in sharing those learnings. As is the publication’s associated annual event, formerly Fundraising Live now rebranded as Elevate, which takes place 20 March. A fairly shameless plug perhaps but it really is a great opportunity not only to learn from leading sector practitioners such as Unicef UK, RSPCA and British Red Cross, but also from smaller organisations that are facing the same daily struggles as you might be at your charity. Early bird rates are as low as £164 for Fundraising Magazine subscribers.

Events such as this also give you the chance to share your own experiences with other delegates and continue the proud tradition of information sharing, something so unique to fundraising. Hope to see you there.

@stevejcotterill is editor of Fundraising Magazine

Fundraising Magazine is a practical and inspiring magazine that provides fundraising professionals with the tools to unlock new revenue streams, yield better results from campaigns and boost donor income. Subscribe today to receive 10 issues per year and access to premium fundraising content on Find more information here and subscribe today!

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