Tony Elischer Foundation opens for business this week with much emotion and a sense of anticipation of what might be achieved in the coming months and years. Amidst the last minute hub-bub of getting ready for the launch event and making sure the website is all set, I managed to find a few minutes to think about why we are doing this and what it will hopefully mean to the next generation of fundraising leaders.
As a novice in the not-for-profit world in the early 90’s, I was fortunate to be in an organisation which encouraged me to aspire to move up the ladder by creating the right culture and providing practical opportunities such as a management development programme. I also had a manager who guided me and taught me how the sector worked and the range of opportunities on offer. This broadened my professional horizons and encouraged me to try new things and take risks. I made the most of this and value the platform which it gave to my now twenty five year career in the sector.
Not everyone is so lucky and resources are often limited. However, there are talented fundraisers across the sector who, with a little extra guidance, could then reach their full potential and become successful fundraising senior managers and leaders. Our aim at Tony Elischer Foundation is to provide the support to help them achieve this.
Kevin Spacey is quoted as saying “If you are lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down”. This is exactly what Tony Elischer did throughout his time in fundraising and what our trustees are intent on continuing through the work of this Foundation.
I am extremely proud to be playing a part in carrying on delivering the things which were important to Tony and hope we can inspire, guide and support a whole new generation of innovative, challenging and successful fundraisers. Hopefully in twenty years they will look back and acknowledge what a difference a little extra support made to them and in turn made their fundraising more successful.
Applications for our first batch of programme participants open on Friday 25th May, so please think about if this might be something for you or someone you know.
We really look forward to hearing from you.