FSI Accredited Learner Profile: Rosie Milsom
As part of a new series, we will be profiling one of the fundraisers working towards some of our accredited fundraising qualifications. This month it is Rosie Milsom, Fundraising Executive at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Can you give a brief biography of your background?
I’m a Performing Arts graduate who fell into customer service and sales roles after finishing my degree. Following a redundancy, I refocused and aimed my career development to be within the arts – in some way or another! I got a job as Fundraising Administrator at Birmingham Hippodrome – one of the UK’s most popular theatres and an independent charity. I was completely new to the voluntary sector, and straight into working within a large scale theatre venue.
I quickly became passionate about the job and have now progressed to becoming Fundraising Executive for Individual Giving, which sees me managing the everyday running of our memberships, donations, public campaigns and fundraising events.
Why did you decide to do a fundraising qualification?
Having been new to fundraising when I began at the Hippodrome 5 years ago, I’ve learned so much on the job. But working as part of a busy team doesn’t always give you time to get back to basics, or develop your strategic thinking.
I wanted a solid base of knowledge, and a broader prospective of fundraising and the charity sector as a whole, having only worked in arts fundraising at one particular level to this point.
I considered attending a fundraising summer school, but decided that a qualification would cover more bases and be a more permanent achievement. I aim to become a Head or Director of Fundraising one day, and this seemed like a great thing to back me on my way to getting there.
Why did you choose the FSI?
I chose the FSI because the fact that the qualification could be tailored to me really suited what I was looking for.
Some of the other courses I found had compulsory modules that I didn’t feel were either relevant to my current role, or my future aspirations. So whilst the core modules of the FSI Diploma could be applied to all types of fundraising, I’ll be able to choose additional modules that best suit my interests and chosen specialisms.
The fact that they also specialise in teaching fundraising for smaller charities means the focus is on more personal, individual tailored goals and methods.
How have you and your charity benefited so far?
So far I’m only a couple of modules down, but already I’ve been able to use what I’ve learned to begin analysing our fundraising practices, and of the competitors around us. It has also changed my approach to forming our fundraising campaigns, allowing me to better shape a clear case for support, which was noted by colleagues within the organisation during a recent campaign.
I’ve left the training sessions with some takeaways that I can easily action, rather than taking notes that always leave you with a sense of purpose at the time, but quickly fades once you get back to the office routine! I look forward to completing the rest of the course and seeing where it takes me.