The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has been granted chartered status by the Queen, the organisation has announced today.
In a message published on the IoF’s website, chief executive Peter Lewis wrote: “I am delighted to announce that at a meeting of the Privy Council held on Wednesday evening at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen approved an Order granting a Royal Charter to the Institute of Fundraising.”
The charter will become legally effective once it gets a royal seal, which Lewis said is expected to “happen within the next few months”.
The IoF applied for chartered status last year, after almost 97 per cent of members attending the organisation’s annual general meeting voted in favour of it.
IoF to rebrand
Lewis said the IoF hopes to start operating as the Chartered Institute of Fundraising in April.
The organisation is currently working on the rebrand and on a new website, which is due to launch before the Fundraising Convention in July.
Lewis said: “This is a huge achievement less than 37 years after a few volunteers met for the first time to form what is today the Institute of Fundraising.
“It demonstrates, through the Royal Charter, formal public recognition across the UK of fundraising as a profession, of your specialist professional skills and of your role in making the world a better place.”
Benefits of becoming a chartered body
On the section of its website dedicated to chartered status, the IoF says: “Fundraisers have often felt that fundraising is not recognised as a profession, either by the public or the organisations for whom they work. This is changing gradually, but many still feel some people outside the sector don’t see fundraising as a credible career, profession or even a proper paid job.
“Becoming a chartered body will give fundraising the external recognition it deserves as a respected profession that delivers public benefit here and abroad.”
Beside “elevating the status of the profession”, among the benefits of chartered status, the IoF also lists “increasing the status” of its members and “adding to the credibility” of its training and qualifications.
Members of the IoF will not automatically get individual chartered status, but the IoF says it is “committed” to consult with the Privy Council and develop the necessary procedures to grant chartered status to individual fundraisers.
This process may take two or three years, while the organisation "demonstrates success in its new role” to the Privy Council.
The IoF says that its membership will not become more expensive. Its governance structure will also remain the same, with 12 trustees eight of which are elected by the members.
However, the IoF will need to transfer all the assets under the IoF’s current name to the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. It will retain charitable status but cease to be a company limited by guarantee, as being a chartered body is a distinct legal entity in its own right.
According to its annual report for the year ending 31 March 2019, the IoF currently has 5,800 individual members and 630 organisational members.