by Natasha Neill, Executive Officer at the Society of Biology
Many members will be aware that the Society of Biology recently launched our shop, a place to buy your Society branded goodies and celebrate your membership. Another element of the shop, the support it offers us as an organisation, is crucial to our work, but sometimes difficult for a learned society to communicate.
Its important for members to understand the wider work that we do. We aim to influence science education policy, ensure that advice on careers is available for students and that the next generation of scientists are inspired not scared, of biology and its wonders. I’m responsible for fundraising at the Society, so started with fact finding and researching; trying to find advice and guidance that would fit our niche.
I recently read It ain’t what you give it’s the way that you give it by Caroline Fiennes, who has worked as a charity chief executive, volunteer, staffer, researcher and trustee, and has advised a wide range of donors about effective use of their resources. Although aimed at donors, the book provides great advice to those working in the critical field of finding money for an organisation. Through case studies and user friendly diagrams and statistics you’re able to understand the best approach for your organisation, what you can work on and what you should avoid.
At first glance a book on fundraising may seem an odd fit for an executive officer at a Learned Society, but it’s important to remember fundraising is vital to meet our key charitable aim of supporting the understanding of science. Although we are different to the charities for poverty, children and cancer, we have an important role to play in society too. The ideas in this book and its analytical approach have inspired me to continue to look into ways for the Society of Biology to achieve our aims, and I would recommend the book to anyone involved in fundraising, sponsorship or funding applications.
It ain’t what you give it’s the way that you give it is available from Giving Evidence from £16.01