This article was first posted on the Institute of Fundraising blog on 16 August 2016.
Never has there been a more important moment for fundraisers to consider becoming a trustee. The Institute of Fundraising’s own recent research has highlighted the vital need for fundraising expertise on Boards. And we at Reach Volunteering know of many charities looking for this expertise.
Joining a Board might be about making that mental leap from hands on fundraiser to a different kind of leadership and governance. Does it seem daunting? Do you have time?
Our experience of recruiting skills-based volunteers shows us some of the best qualified candidates hesitate when faced with the idea of a completely new context. Don’t. Your expertise and experience in the charity sector will be hugely valuable to another charity. There are also plenty of support and resources out there. Trustee roles do vary in terms of time commitment, but you can choose the kind of opportunity and organisation that’s right for you.
As a trustee, you will see first-hand how decisions are made at Board Level and put your growing leadership and governance skills to good use. You will undoubtedly bring back learning and knowledge to your day job that will support your career progression in the long term. What better way to demonstrate that you have the skills for promotion?
This is a chance to share with others your talent for raising funds. If you’ve had a career break or are considering a new direction, this might also be the perfect way to put your skills to work.
There’s probably no need to tell fundraisers about the value of supporting a charity – you do that every day! But it is worth saying that skills-based volunteering like trusteeship is making a difference to charities across the country right now.
Volunteers are supporting a range of local, national and international causes in health & wellbeing, the arts, the environment, to name a few. This is also a great way to support a cause in your local community, and one of the many small to medium charities that make up the majority of our sector.
So, where do you find a role? Reach Volunteering is the single biggest source of trustees for the voluntary sector in the UK. First, you need three or more year’s experience to register with us. And you do need to register. Don’t be discouraged by the questions – it won’t take long and we find that going through the process means we make better matches. We placed 506 volunteers in 309 charities last year alone – so it does work.
We estimate that the total value of the skills transferred to the sector by our volunteers was £7.3m last year – you could make that figure even higher and build your career at the same time.
What are you waiting for?