Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

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Week 5: Introducing fundraising


All voluntary organisations need funds to achieve their aims and carry out their activities. As you saw in Week 4, funds come from a variety of sources, from donations to contracts, and many involve considerable effort, such as writing applications and nurturing relationships with individuals and organisations. Some organisations have staff and departments whose main responsibility is to carry out all aspects of fundraising, whereas smaller organisations or groups tend to involve all their staff or volunteers in planning, writing grant applications and building relationships with donors.

There are many ways in which voluntary organisations might ask people or other organisations for money; for example, through street collections, jumble sales, events, and so on. Asking people for money inevitably has an ethical dimension: the people being asked may feel a degree of pressure or obligation, and some older or vulnerable people may feel they cannot say no. In recent years, some voluntary organisations have come under the spotlight for their highly pressurised fundraising approaches. Consequently, there have been calls for greater regulation of fundraising.

Even if you are not directly involved with fundraising, this week’s topics and issues will give you a greater understanding of the importance of effective and successful fundraising to your organisation. It will also provide you with the ethical context for asking people for money.

Start by watching this video in which Julie Charlesworth introduces you to Week 5.

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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • explain what fundraising is
  • know how organisations raise money from individuals and other organisations
  • explain the ethical challenges of fundraising
  • identify the skills involved in fundraising.

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