Della Marian, now public fundraising manager for Traidcraft, had no choice but to reach for the phone to secure her qualifications
Fundraising is my third career, and having the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Diploma has helped enormously. It has already helped me gain two promotions, but living as I do deep in the country I couldn’t have achieved it without distance learning - and the help of a really good tutor.
I work for Traidcraft, which is an organisation dedicated to alleviating poverty in the Third World by helping producers to sell their products for a fair price in international markets. We sell goods direct to the public by mail order and through a network of fair traders. We also raise funds from the public for our charitable work. This is mainly through direct mail appeals, telemarketing, inserts and major donor development. This aspect of our activities is the job of my department.
I started here three years ago as the fundraiser in a small department just before completing my CIM Diploma. After a year, I was promoted to public fundraising manager, then a middle management position.
A year later, a decision was taken to grow public fundraising considerably and my job was upgraded to a senior position, in effect head of public fundraising.
I already had many years’ business and marketing expertise - I ran my own catering business for 16 years and then managed a cookery book publishing business.
When I decided to take the course, I was working in the Lake District, and the nearest university was a two to three hour drive each way. Distance learning was the only option.
I had decided I needed a good qualification to move up the promotional ladder. I wanted to understand a lot more about business and marketing in its modern form is at the core. Twenty years ago, it just meant sales and promotion. Now it is a strategic approach to business management.
The CIM Diploma involves a three-year course split into the Certificate in Marketing, the Advanced Certificate, which is degree level, and finally the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing which is accredited as 60 per cent of a masters degree.
My first year of distance learning proved a disaster - the tutor just wasn’t qualified. As it happens, I could have had an exemption for the first year, but I had wanted to give myself as broad an immersion as possible. I did get my first-year certificate, but I kn