Damian Chapman

Head of Fundraising

Police Care UK

1. Why did you decide you wanted to be on the Board?

I have attended Fundraising Convention in the past as a volunteer, delegate, and speaker. I have heard from many outstanding speakers, all with fascinating stories to tell, but rarely did I find someone like me on stage. 

There were plenty of white men don’t get me wrong, but they were more often than not older, working for (or used to work for) giant charities, and talking about campaigns and initiatives in the multi-millions. I remember one particular session, delivered in what seemed like code, talking about a campaign where the target (which they exceeded by the way) was £10m. The charity I worked for at the time could have run for almost 11 years with that kind of figure, and the charity I was a trustee of at the time would have been able to operate for 27 years! It left me questioning whether what I did mattered, wondering whether Fundraising Convention was really for me, and whether there was anything I could learn from hearing about it, fascinating as it was. 

I firmly believe that Fundraising Convention should be for every fundraiser, from all backgrounds, and from all causes irrespective of size, standing, and stature. There is some fascinating and truly inspirational work from agile, creative, and passionate teams in large AND small charities - these are the stories that I want to hear, so when I was asked to consider joining the Fundraising Convention Board, I knew what I had to do.

2. What are you going to bring to the board?   

I’m a story-telling, Ken-Burnett loving, partnerships-driven fundraiser, with a history of working for small and niche charities (gender equality, local homelessness, youth social action, a museum, and now Police Care UK), with four protected characteristics and a flair for loud shirts.

Fundraising is what I do, and I love it, and I’m looking forward to bringing a big voice for small charities at THE fundraising convention.

3. What are you looking forward to about this year’s convention?

I’m really excited by some of the submissions – there are sessions about ignoring the traditional conventions of fundraising, embracing transparency and accountability, and playing to your strengths in the marketplace. I’m very pleased to see a much more diverse range of subject-matter experts talking about their skills and experience rather than their protected characteristics, and of course I’m delighted to be curating my own session on small charity corporate partnerships that are doing things no-one believed possible. 

But I’m most looking forward to seeing more fundraisers from smaller charities taking advantage of the bursaries on offer from across the Institute of Fundraising and their sponsors and partners to attend Fundraising Convention as delegates. 

Fundraising Convention is a special place – it’s a chance to be truly inspired, to make new friends, and to really discover the power of what we do and how we do it. But, for me, it’s a chance to say I’m a fundraiser, what I do matters, and this is where I belong.