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Susanne Williamson asks why marketers are taken so seriously that they are involved in the strategic planning of organisations, yet fundraising professionals aren’t considered ‘quite up to scratch’.

This article was originally published in August 2017.

During my 30-plus year career I have worked as both a senior marketing professional and a senior fundraising professional. I have always been intrigued by how differently these roles are regarded by my colleagues, managers, directors and boards.

In my marketing roles (both in the for-profit and for-purpose sectors), there was no doubt that marketing was considered a profession. After all, there were university courses, independent research, academic articles, and national and international conferences all reinforcing that the marketing discipline is a profession supported by evidence-based rigour and underpinned by extensive professional development, often presented by highly regarded education institutions.

It was accepted that the senior marketing professional would contribute to the strategic planning of the organisation and would have a place at the top table. No-one questioned that, as a marketing professional, I would and should be offered professional development opportunities.

Where is the gravitas?

Despite a notable increase in fundraising-related university courses, independent research, academic articles, and…
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