The FSI wins Lifelong Learning Centre Award at SQA Star Awards

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SQA Star Awards 2019 Pic Peter Devlin

The FSI (Foundation for Social Improvement) has won the Lifelong Learning Centre Award at this year’s SQA Star Awards.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)’s annual Star Awards is a celebration of achievements in education and training in Scotland as well as throughout the UK and around the world.

In 2017, the FSI approached the SQA to develop a fundraising qualification specifically for the Small Charity Sector, to ensure that charities were ready to meet the increasing demand for skilled and experienced fundraisers in the sector.

Over the past two years, the FSI has worked with the small charity sector and moved over 60 learners onto their qualifications. Monitoring and evaluation of all FSI members undertaking their fundraising courses in 2018 found that 95% felt their knowledge had improved, 96% felt their confidence had improved and 89% felt their skills had improved.

With funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2017 – 2019, matched by a donation from the FSI, the FSI was able to jointly invest in 30 small charities with an income under £100,000, who would not ordinarily undertake a qualification due to funding, and offered bursaries to the Introduction to Fundraising Practice course.

Over the two years, the FSI also introduced new technology such as webinar software and a Learning Management System to improve the experience and delivery of the qualification, from delivering ad-hoc out of hour webinars through to developing two E-learning modules including Developing Your Fundraising Strategy, which is one of the main modules for the qualification.

New e-modules continue to be developed with webinars and e-learning helping to make delivery accessible, especially for rural charities. The e-learning development also enables the FSI to expand the audience for qualifications beyond its core small charity audience to larger charity fundraisers and fundraising teams, in a resource-effective way.

Based on feedback from learners, the FSI is continuing to explore ways of improving the learner experience, including currently looking to develop an online community using Facebook or similar for learners to connect online, chat and share experiences.

CEO of the FSI, Pauline Broomhead CBE, said:

“We are thrilled to have been named a Lifelong Learning Centre winner at the SQA Star Awards.
“We founded the FSI because we are passionate about enabling small charities and community groups to fulfil their potential and increase the grass roots support they give to millions of individuals in the UK and across the globe. The FSI’s Fundraising Qualifications enable many small charities to gain fundraising expertise at a heavily subsidised cost, and to enhance and develop their vital support to beneficiaries.”

To celebrate winning the award the FSI is offering for a limited period:

  • A 20% charity discount to any sized organisation booking the Certificate or Diploma level Fundraising Qualification quoting ‘Star Awards Discount’
  • 30 x free trial places on a first come first served basis on the FSI’s E-learning courses to charities of any size interested in signing up to the qualification.

To take up either offer, contact development@thefsi.org.