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Let’s Stop Calling Development Professionals ‘Fundraisers’

February 2021

We have to stop calling development professionals fundraisers.  We must cease to be considered hired hands who do the ‘dirty work’ of others who think raising money is basically disgusting.

We have to push back against short-termism; against a reliance on transactional, sales-like models of fundraising; and against the increasing practice of senior development officers being cut off from their chief executives.

The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS)—launched in 2017 by the Fundraising Regulator of England Wales & Northern Ireland—was practically inevitable in a climate where fast results outweighed best donor development practices.  At the same time, charities jeopardised their independence by pursuing public sector contracts farmed out by successive governments.  This ‘contract culture’ is another way for trustees to avoid the hard work of donor cultivation and stewardship.  The FPS and ever closer ties to statutory authorities remain a strike at the heart of a well-funded, respected, outspoken charitable sector

Until there is a sea change in UK fundraising culture, ‘fundraising’ departments will be pushed around by trustees and senior management, neither of which is willing to take responsibility for building warm, honest, transparent relationships with their charities’ donors or to take the time—and money—that a genuine, organisation-wide investment in fundraising requires.

The state of fundraising practice is one reason we decided to rename FundraisingPoint to PhilanthropyPoint. 

Through our consulting work, PhilanthropyPoint associates hope to demonstrate a calmer, more respectful, and ultimately more productive way of working with donors.

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