The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has legally acquired chartered status today, after the charter’s royal seal was officially approved.
The IoF will now start operating as the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Its application to become a chartered body had been successful back in February, but the new status becomes effective today.
The IoF is currently working on a rebrand and a new website, which are expected “in the coming months”.
The change comes at a difficult time for the fundraising community, with coronavirus bringing many fundraising activities to a halt and charities facing dramatic income losses.
‘Never will excellent fundraising be more needed’
Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said: “Almost 37 years to the day that the Institute was first formed, we received our Royal Charter. It represents formal recognition of fundraising as a profession, reflecting your professional skills and your commitment to learning and development. It recognises the huge contribution you all make to making the world a better place.
“And perhaps never in a generation has this country needed your professional skills more. As fundraising activity around the UK is severely curtailed by coronavirus, it is only with your professional skills and experience that charities will be able to raise the funds they need to meet increases in demand, or simply maintain their efforts for the causes or communities they serve.”
On Twitter he added: “We had thought at first of a big celebration on becoming the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, but perhaps having it happen at this most difficult time is absolutely appropriate.
“Never has the importance of fundraised income been in such sharp relief. We are estimating over £4bn in income lost over the next 12 weeks alone as charities struggle to meet the needs of those they serve, many in more distress because of Covid-19.
“We know that sadly at this time not only are fundraising activities not taking place but many fundraisers, charity shop and other staff have been furloughed or even been let go entirely.
“But never will excellent fundraising be more needed in the days, weeks and months ahead as charities play their vital role supporting people and rebuilding communities.”
Initially not a lot will change and the benefits of being chartered will be mostly reputational. In a few years the IoF should start granting chartered status to individual fundraisers, who will be able to qualify as chartered in the same way as accountants or surveyors.