7th July 2016

“Increasing fundraising governance skills and leadership on trustee boards” – The GetRaising! Report

In early June 2016, Peridot Partners and the Social Change Agency brought together a group of professional fundraisers keen to explore the idea of becoming a charity trustee with the charities who are keen to improve fundraising skills and experience on their boards. Today sees the launch of our report, GetRaising! Increasing Fundraising Skills on Trustee Boards. Having surveyed the professional fundraising market, we knew that there was a need for this event. Of the 250 people surveyed, 81% of them said that fundraising is an unrepresented skillset on their trustee board. Coupled with that, changes in fundraising legislation alongside the continuing challenging fundraising landscape for many charities means that they can no longer afford not to have professional fundraising representation at board level. Both parties seemed in agreement that the days of purely ‘traditional’ trustee skills of finance, legal and HR were numbered, with charities requiring more modern and diverse skills at board level including fundraising, digital and comms to survive in a changing world. On a rainy summer’s day over 50 people attend our GetRaising! event, held at the premises of Baldeton Capital in King’s Cross. Teaming up with The Social Change Agency the Institute of Fundraising and […]
6th July 2016

Tom Sears joins Peridot Partners

Peridot Partners are pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Sears to develop our recruitment business in the physical activity/well-being/sport sectors. With increasing emphasis by local authorities, public health and clinical commissioning groups to look at the preventative role of well-being and physical activity, and a diversion of funding towards prevention rather than intervention, we have a new context for the future. There are also significant changes ahead in these sectors with the DCMS and Sport England reviewing their approach to sport and physical activity as well as a shift in emphasis away from traditional National Governing Body funding and delivery to alternative providers. These changes, combined with the emphasis on targeting the inactive population, is leading to significant changes in the governance and leadership requirements of many sports, well-being and physical activity focused organisations. In other words there are opportunities for growth in organisations who can secure the new sources of funding if they re-evaluate the way they are governed and led, and Tom Sears is well placed to help organisations in this sector make such a transition. Tom has 20 years’ experience in senior roles within the sports and physical activity industry worldwide. He has held CEO and other leadership positions in the UK, Europe, Australasia and […]
3rd June 2016

GetRaising! Let’s get this started.

On 7th June over 50 fundraisers, Trustees and CEOs will be at GetRaising!, talking about why more professional fundraisers don’t sit on Trustee boards, the impact this is having on the sector and what we can do about it. So, in the spirit of stoking the discussion, I’ve been reflecting on my own journey from fundraiser to trustee and wondering if part of the problem is a lack of appreciation of the high functioning fundraiser’s broader skill set.    As a corporate fundraiser in a large national charity, I remember being told that I would be judged by the amount of time my desk was empty.  Face time with donors, spent building relationships and closing deals, was prized above all else.    My focus was on building strategic partnerships with corporates, which were about more than money and required me to bring the donor into the heart of the cause to give their money, skills, time, knowledge, expertise and influence.  And, more often than not, what took up most of my time and energy was getting the charity to articulate what it really wanted to raise money for (beyond ‘meeting our fundraising targets’) and selling what my supporters could give back […]
27th May 2016

Professional Fundraisers as Trustees? GetRaising!

‘I just wish my board had more fundraising expertise, and better understood the opportunities and challenges ahead for our fundraising….. and cared more!’ I spend a lot of time working in partnership with charities to recruit Director or ‘Head of’ fundraising roles. This means I come into contact with a number of CEOs and hiring managers, many of whom, it’s fair to say, do not have boards who understand fundraising, or care particularly for it. In fact our recent survey conducted with the Institute of Fundraising, over 83% of fundraisers surveyed said that fundraising was a skill underrepresented at a board level in organisations they had worked with, or are working with.  This is not unique to fundraising (campaigners or digital teams may say the same of their boards!) but it happens often enough that we factor it into our briefing conversations with prospective candidates for the roles we’re recruiting. After all, a senior fundraiser will have multiple touch points at board level and across the organisation, so candidates will need to be aware of the board’s willingness to be involved in fundraising as well as their understanding of the role a board should play in driving a fundraising culture […]
24th May 2016

Why I’m part of GetRaising!

We are delighted to announce Iain McAndrew as our Future Shocker in GetRaising! – our second event in our beyond governance series, happening on the 7th of June. Although he is going to reveal all at the event, below Iain tells us why he is taking part, why we need a new way of looking at governance & fundraising and why you should attend this event….. How many fundraisers reading this post have expressed with frustration a fervent wish that their boards of trustees better understood fundraising? How many trustees also wished they too could command a greater understanding of fundraising thus having a greater confidence in the decisions they were being asked to make – especially around those all so important moments when essential investment is requested. Listen up! In a recent blog I observed that there needs to be a new conversation between fundraisers, their management teams, their CEO’s and, most importantly, between fundraisers and Trustees. In challenging times for the sector, it is crucial that boards of trustees fully understand fundraising. There are of course the various techniques which may or could be deployed in raising funds. However, this needs to run much deeper. There needs to be a full understanding […]
19th May 2016

Fundraisers becoming Trustees? GetRaising!

In light of changing fundraising regulations and the wake of the Kids Company scandal, fundraising and governance have never been so high in the public consciousness. The donor landscape is changing, with a new generation set to give differently, and digitally. And charities all over are faced with the twin challenges of embedding fundraising innovation and diligence in their DNA. Developing and retaining these skills at a board level is crucial for survival and growth. How can a charity build a board that is equipped to deal with changing national policy and to lead from the future? And how can fundraisers themselves develop their skills to tackle the new reality as they grow in their careers? A recent survey we conducted with the Institute of Fundraising, showed that over 90% of fundraisers believe that having a fundraiser on their board of trustees would be helpful in their day job, and yet over 80% of fundraisers surveyed said that fundraising skills and experience were under-represented at  board level. In 2009/10 there were 834,000 trustee board positions within voluntary organisations in the UK and research suggests that the number of trustees is likely to be substantially less at just under 580,000. Over […]
3rd March 2016

The Experiences and Impact of a First-Time Chair of Board of Trustees

Walsingham Support – Chair Two years ago Peridot partnered with national disability charity Walsingham Support to help them appoint their current Chair of Trustees, Heather Benjamin. Heather is a highly accomplished Senior Executive with extensive experience operating at board level in a complex, international company. Her other accomplishments include working as a Non-Executive Director (NED)/Trustee for a number of private commercial businesses and not-for-profit organisations. With Walsingham Support celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, we caught up with Heather to review her time in post, discuss both the challenges and learning she’s experienced in the role, and the impact she’s had upon the people the charity supports. It’s clear Heather finds the role hugely enjoyable and she was keen to say it has surpassed all her expectations. She thrives on and shares the energy and enthusiasm within the organisation, and its absolute focus on ensuring that the people receiving the support have the best experience is a key motivation for her. In the early stages of her role, Heather focused on learning about the organisation, working closely with the Chief Executive, fellow Trustees as well as services users and members of staff. Quickly capturing and distilling what the organisation was […]
3rd January 2016


  This an exclusive offer via Peridot Partners for Third Sector Leaders on behalf of Stephen Burke who  has thirty years’ experience working with national organisations as a leader and senior manager.  The issue Leadership is complex, demanding, lonely and pressurised at the best of times. We need to grow future leaders in the third sector as well as support current leaders, be they Chief Executives or Chairs. Often leaders and aspiring leaders find it difficult to talk confidentially with colleagues and have nowhere to turn in difficult times. The offer Coaching and mentoring can help develop and grow existing and aspiring leaders – from senior managers to new CEOs, trustees and charity chairs. Having a confidential sounding board, independent and removed from your current situation, to discuss issues with can be liberating and energising. It can give you the confidence to grow and develop and the strength to tackle the most challenging situations. Talking with someone ‘who has been there before’ can provide the experience and know how you need to test out ideas. Delivery  Meetings can be one-off as and when issues arise, or regular coaching sessions, say quarterly – at a venue of your choice, ideally neutral ground, […]