Back in December, I had a chat with the Institute of Fundraising about my time studying towards the Diploma in Fundraising award. After some coursework, a trip to London and an exam, I achieved my award.
Overall, I thought the course was very worthwhile and it gave me great insight to all areas of fundraising. My favourite part was the chance to chat with others fundraisers, and discuss the strategy and challenges used by those at different charities across the UK. My blog is available on the IoF website and below.
Ronnie Whiteside MInstF(Dip) graduated with the Diploma in Fundraising at the ceremony last month. In this Q&A he explains how he got into fundraising and what he got out of taking part in the qualification online.
1. Why did you choose to take on the Diploma in Fundraising?
I enrolled onto the Diploma in Fundraising qualification as I wanted to explore familiar and new areas of fundraising from both an academic and peer-supported perspective. I also wanted something tangible that would reflect my experience in the fundraising world.
2. Why did you get into fundraising as a career?
I studied Events Management at university and had volunteered with a number of small and medium-sized charities during this time. After a number of jobs in the private, public and third sector, I realised the latter was my preferred area and soon I found myself involved in fundraising activities, and enjoying myself while doing so.
3. What are your overall thoughts and experiences of the Diploma in Fundraising qualification?
I really enjoyed the qualification and felt the content was very helpful in understanding several areas I had previously explored, but never in a lot of detail. For me, the online only approach was an ideal way to study and was the first time I had done so exclusively without the elements of face-to-face teaching. Using the Blackboard portal and email contact etc was much more helpful than this as it was easier to construct exactly what you wanted to say or ask, and easier to be more direct and succinct.
4. What skills and knowledge have you learnt from the qualification?
I have enhanced my knowledge in the many areas of fundraising I’m familiar with and now have the confidence to develop plans for the other areas I have minimal experience in. The qualification also means I can access a network of like-minded individuals who offer support and lived experience of the things I may face in fundraising.
5. What recommendations or advice could you give to someone who is thinking of taking the qualification?
My first piece of advice would be: if you are sure that fundraising is a topic you are really interested in, then definitely go for it. I am, and did!
My second piece of advice would be: if you’re on the fence or even unsure what level of qualification you should go for, just be honest with yourself and enrol – hard work is required either way!
6. How does it feel to have graduated?
I’m very happy I achieved my Diploma in Fundraising, and delighted that my hard work has paid off.