On Friday 17th of June members of Fundraising Ireland will vote on the proposed merger of Fundraising Ireland and ICTR and a number of related resolutions.
You know me…I generally don’t offer my opinion. But a few people have asked (and I want to increase traffic to my website in an effort to generate more ad revenue)…so here it is:
I’m in favour of the merger, and I think absolutely we need a more unified sector. These are two fantastic organisations who completely complement each other.
However, there are a few points I’ll be seeking clarification on:
- Why get rid of individual membership? I see what we gain by having it, but I’m not hearing…officially…what we gain by losing it?
- I believe the overall goal is to further unify the sector. So why then exclude independents, agencies and consultancies from full membership and voting rights? Doesn’t this create a hierarchy? Exclude some? Haven’t we always seen that the best way to bring unity is to invite everyone to the table?
I have always resented the notion that agencies or consultants are any less fundraisers than in-house staff. I have previously lodged a formal complaint with Fundraising Ireland that agency staff can not be nominated for their Fundraiser of the Year award. And I have witnessed agencies spending huge amounts of time and resources to self-regulate face-to-face fundraising, while certain charities have refused to participate because it’s too much trouble.
- Does this not open us up to competition? Won’t we inevitably see the birth of a membership organisation that does fully cater for individual members. It’s not hard to imagine a new organisation or the Institute of Fundraising or The Wheel coming in to pick up the pieces.
- What if my organisation won’t join? Smaller charities like mine might not agree to pay for membership…so where does that leave individuals like me? Without a vote.
- Will this process be indicative of how the new organisation is run? The new organisation already has a name and a logo, despite the resolutions not yet being passed. I understand preparation has to take place, but not publicly. I hope this is not indicative of future decision making processes.
I expect these are all issues and questions that will easily be addressed at the EGM, and I look forward to continuing my support of Fundraising Ireland.
I also suggest reading Bruce Clark’s blog post and the comments below it. It’s a number of reasonable questions we should have all asked, with responses to most from the Board of F.I.
What do you think?