The Third Sector needs First-Class People

6 June 2010 | By Cause4 staff

Never in the history of modern Britain has the charitable sector been so important. We hear more and more about the emergence of social enterprises and new charities by the day (alongside the 168,000 charities that are already registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales). As Government talks about partnership with the charitable and voluntary sector, you can be certain that the pace with which new organisations materialise will not slow down.

As the charitable sector professionalises in recognition of the importance of operating like any well-run business, the need to attract and retain the services of high-quality staff is paramount. The sector might be referred (perculiarly) as the Third Sector, but it needs First-Class People, those with wit, nous and intuition, with people skills, a strategic brain and a capacity for hard work.

But who are these people and from where will they come? Most of us who have found our ways into charities and into development and fundraising, have done so by accident rather than design. While pondering our futures at university or wherever, the idea just never occurred. What’s more, we suppose that for the vast majority of the nation the prospect of a career in development and fundraising has likewise never occurred, a career which can offer the most rewarding possibilities in every sense.

But how to get started? Whilst there are development and fundraising qualifications - and also specific strands teaching fundraising within some Masters programmes - these focus, we would argue, too heavily on the theory of fundraising and insufficiently upon the practice. We believe that there is absolutely no substitute for hands-on experience that will enable a new energetic and dynamic group of fundraisers to learn how to think strategically, how to develop projects and programmes which will deliver social outcomes, how to build relationships and develop good instincts by working alongside those with a few years – and a bit of success – under their belts.

At Cause4 we believe that a holistic approach to training is required – something that provides vital exposure to both art and science. This could involve pairing up potential or novice fundraisers with a range of social enterprises and charities where they can learn on the job whilst simultaneously receiving one-to-one guidance, thus allowing a new generation of fundraisers to rise through the ranks.

We are passionate about the need for this type of scheme – watch this space for further ideas ....all coming soon.

Back to top

Blog index

“Cause4 has had a transformational effect on the Festival, at the level of innovation in organisational development, as well as in fundraising.”

Chris Martin, Trustee of Salisbury International Festival

More by posts by Cause4 staff

Cause4's Pick of the Month - August 2019

1st August, 2019 | By Cause4 staff

It's a new month and the Cause4 team are excited to introduce another four inspiring individuals that are guiding the way in charity leadership, social entrepreneurship, Trusteeship and Arts Fundraising. Read on to meet our pick of the month for August. 

Cause4’s response to: The UK Civil Society Almanac 2019 Report

15th July, 2019 | By Cause4 staff

The UK Civil Society Almanac Reports, released by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), is a crucial source of data that has been providing insights into developments in the voluntary sector since 1996. NCVO has now released its latest annual report, of which the following response will outline key findings including positive growth in terms of grants and investments, whilst public donations and fundraising decline. Diversity in particular has been highlighted as an ongoing issue within the sector throughout the report.  

Cause4's Pick of the Month June 2019

4th June, 2019 | By Cause4 staff

As we approach summer and the longest day of the year this month, we can’t believe quite how fast this year has gone – or the 10 years that led up to our birthday party in May! In our spirit of Sharism, check out our favourite Charity Leader, Entrepreneur, Trustee and Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Fellow of the Month for June!