Sharing expertise

Impact of COVID-19 on UK schools’ development offices
July 2020

Working with corporate partners, Marts & Lundy UK, IDPE surveyed members to explore the impact of COVID-19 on schools’ development. What were the key takeaways from the survey and how is ​​​​​​​IDPE continuing to support members to overcome the challenges they face? Read our summary here, or read the full report from Marts & Lundy (UK) on the Impact of COVID-19 on UK schools’ development office.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising publish new guidance to support fundraising
July 2020

The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising (IoF) have published two pieces of guidance to support charitable organisations to return to fundraising activities, as restrictions are eased across the UK. This guidance intends to aid good decision making and sets out a framework for safe and responsible fundraising moving forward. Find out more about this guidance or read IDPE’s summary of the over-arching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods now.

Living in lockdown
May 2020

‘We may not know exactly what the future holds, however, we can take practical steps today to boost our mood and help ourselves adapt. Now is the time to master our minds and build our levels of self-awareness and resilience so that we can function and feel better.’

IDPE Joint CEO Jo Beckett explores the uncertainty caused by our current lives in lockdown and some practical steps to respond to the uncertainty in a positive way and boost your mood. Read more...​​​​​​​

IDPE consultation response to the direct marketing code of practice
March 2020

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a public consultation on the draft code of practice for direct marketingIDPE has responded on behalf of members to the ICO’s consultation on its direct marketing code of practice highlighting the concerns of members and seeking further clarity where needed. Read the full response.

Transforming young lives: fundraising for bursaries - chapter 1
‘Accessibility is an issue of great importance and this is a critical moment when there is change and the need for more change.’ John Claughton, former Chief Master, King Edward's School, Birmingham

Chapter 1 of the recent bursaries publication Transforming young lives: fundraising for bursaries sets the scene and asks why accessibility and bursaries matter. Find out more about some of the key takeaways from chapter 1. To order a hard copy of the publication (£4.95 P&P), please contact the IDPE office. A 
downloadable PDF is available here.

The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 7

February 2020

When schools work with external organisations to fundraise, it is important that there is a common understanding of what this arrangement means in practice. The next section in our series on the Code of Fundraising Practice, looks at what details to include as part of your fundraising agreements with third parties, to make sure expectations on both sides are clear. Find out what you should know about professional fundraisers, commercial participators and partners.

Transforming young lives: Fundraising for bursaries​​​​​​​

January 2020

The ISC, in partnership with IDPE, Graham-Pelton and ISBA, is pleased to announce the publication of Transforming young lives: Fundraising for bursaries, by John Claughton, former chief master of King Edward's School, Birmingham.

This book shines a spotlight on bursary fundraising in independent schools – the opportunities available to schools, what approach is best suited to individual circumstances and ways of working they may be able to replicate or adapt. It features inspiring conversations with a wide range of people about their experiences in this important field of work and the power of education for all pupils opening access for societal change. The publication will be of particular interest to heads, development office staff, bursars and governors but we encourage schools to share it with anyone in their community who is engaged in fundraising.

You can read a digital copy of the book online. Alternatively, a downloadable PDF is available here. Please contact the IDPE office to order a hard copy (£4.95 P&P).

Beyond the ICO fine: the true impact of a data breach on your alumni

January 2020

​​​​​​​‘Lose their data and they won’t [trust you]; whether they are a famous actor or a bank clerk from Tooting, a data breach, even if inadvertent, will impact on your relationship with your alumni.’

John Rux-Burton, Founder and Managing Partner, Rux Burton Associates, reflects on the affect that a data breach can have on your relationship with alumni in his thought piece, Beyond the ICO fine: the true impact of a data breach on your alumni.

The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 6

January 2020

As schools, we are likely to involve, and actively encourage our pupils to fundraise, either for the school itself or for another charitable cause, and our pupils will be the focus for our own fundraising. It is therefore integral, that you take particular care when involving children in fundraising, whether as fundraisers or as donors. The ‘Fundraising involving children’ section of the code is a must for all schools’ development offices to read! Find out what you should know about fundraising involving children.​​​​​​​​​​​

Bursaries, in changing forms, have been a cornerstone of British education

January 2020
‘This virtuous circle, of beneficiaries giving back to their old schools, helps to secure the future of bursaries and continue to widen access to private education - a trajectory that’s set to continue as more UK schools step up their fundraising efforts in 2020.’

Kate Jillings, Co-Founder of ToucanTech, discusses the role of bursaries as a cornerstone of British education.

Now that Christmas is over, what do our donors want to give us?

January 2020

​​​​​​​‘Do we as development professionals […] make assumptions about what people want to give to and ask for that when, actually, not only do they want to give to something else, that "else" is really what we would, if we could, ask for in the first place?’
Read our latest thought-piece from John Rux-Burton, Founder and Managing Partner of Rux Burton Associates, on Now that Christmas is over, what do our donors want to give us?

Philanthropy is at the heart of our moral compass

December 2019

On the brink of another general election, John Rux-Burton, Founder and Managing Partner of Rux Burton Associates, headline sponsors of the IDPE 2020 Annual Conference, explores the role of educational philanthropy today in his latest thought-piece, 'Philanthropy is at the heart of our moral compass'. Read more...

The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 5

November 2019

Continuing our series on the new Code of Fundraising Practice, this month we look at section 5 - volunteers. Volunteers play an important role in schools' fundraising, but how should your school work with volunteer fundraisers? Find out what you should know about volunteers.

Changing lives with bursaries

November 2019

Based on the recent benchmarking report, 66% of schools who participated in the survey fundraised for bursaries. HMC, IDPE and AGBIS 2020 School Bursaries Conference headline sponsors Graham-Pelton reflect on the different ways that you can fund bursary places, focusing on the audience to appeal to, the case for support, and the overall impact. Read more…

Join us at the HMC, IDPE and AGBIS 2020 School Bursaries Conference to find out more about how your school can change lives with bursaries.

The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 4

October 2019

Next in our series on the new Code of Fundraising Practice is section 4 which focusses on processing donations. Clear policies and processes for dealing with both one off and ongoing donations, and for processing Gift Aid, reduce risk and make sure that your school benefits from all of the money it is entitled to. Find out more…

The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 3
September 2019
In our third article in our series on the new Code of Fundraising Practice, we look at section 3 which focusses on processing personal data. The code does not try to replace guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), but instead provides specific information about what to consider when processing personal data for fundraising purposes. Read more...

IDPE responds to consultation on Data sharing code of practice

Following member feedback, the IDPE has submitted a response to the ICO’s consultation on the draft updated Data sharing code of practice.

The ICO’s Data sharing code of practice is a practical guide for organisations on how to comply with data protection legislation when one or more data controllers share personal data. To find out more about what’s covered in the code and how your school can ensure it complies with legislation on data sharing, read our
summary of the code now.
The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 2
July 2019
In our second article in our series on the new Code of Fundraising Practice, we look at section 2 of the code which focusses on responsibilites of charitable institutions and those who govern them - essentially your governing body.

Are your Board of Governors aware of their responsibility for fundraising? Do they know that there are certain legal obligations which they must comply with? What are the key areas of the code that you should share with them? Find out more...
The Code of Fundraising Practice - is it relevant to schools' development? Part 1
June 2019

Following a consultation towards the end of last year, the Fundraising Regulator has now published a revised Code of Fundraising Practice, which comes into force in October 2019.

In our first article in a series on the new Code of Fundraising Practice, we consider what the purpose of the code is, how relevant it is to development professionals and how schools should be using the code. Read more...
Streamlining your fundraising data to make an impact
April 2019

‘If you want your fundraising to have the biggest impact in the future you need a streamlined database to help you plan, segment and execute your campaigns.’

Sam Bellringer, Data Director at ToucanTech, sponsors of the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference delegate bags, shares his advice on how to store and streamline
your data to make the biggest impact in the future. Meet the ToucanTech team on stand 2 in the exhibition hall at the IDPE 2019 Annual ConferenceRead on...
What does the last year in Parliament teach us about fundraising?
March 2019

‘Getting out and talking to people is NEVER a bad idea. Engagement is the only way full-scale fundraising will ever work. And engagement means asking.'

John Rux-Burton, Global Managing Director and Founder of Rux Burton Associates, headline sponsors of the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference, reflects on how you can maintain momentum for fundraising when you are told ‘we’re not ready to fundraise yet’. Read more…

Don’t miss Rux Burton Associate’s session ‘No time like the present’ at the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference, which will continue the discussion on how to make sure nothing gets in the way of building a culture of giving.

Book now to join us at the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference.
Network, reflect and celebrate - why you should attend the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference
March 2019

Nick Pettingale, Director of External Relations for Ellesmere College, shares why the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference is a must attend event for development professionals at any stage of their development journey:

'There are two things that are of great importance, in our work in Development and, I guess, in life generally.  
Firstly, relationships which lead to trust and then, trust which leads to influence. As the IDPE celebrates 20 years, serving us and our schools, one of the main lessons I have learnt is that this forum and network of fellow professionals, enables us to build some great and longlasting friendships. Equally, we as a national institute we are bringing such a positive influence to bare on education, both in this country and, more recently, internationally. Reminding our alumni of the great privilege they had of attending our schools or indeed, taking this premiere, world class product of British education into the international market place. We, they and you, are making a difference. We have one of the best jobs out there, we are paid to eat and drink with some amazing, interesting and occasionally ‘unique’ people. 
No matter whether you have been in development for all of the IDPE’s 20 years or just started last week, this is one of the best conferences you will attend.'

Book now to join us at the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference.

New to development? Why the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference can kick-start your development career
March 2019

‘The [conference]
is a coming together of people who […] are not rivals. There is a genuine sharing culture which is most enlightening and reassuring. […] I wholeheartedly recommend the conference for those new to the development profession.’

Roger Howard, Foundation Director for Woodhouse Grove School, relates his experiences of being a first-time conference delegate at the IDPE 2018 Annual Conference.

For those new to development, this year’s conference includes:

  • Tailored sessions, including our new ‘how to’ sessions, providing step-by-step practical guidance
  • Specific networking opportunities for those new to conference to connect with other development professionals, sponsored by Graham-Pelton
Find out more about what is on offer for those new to development and book now.

IDPE 2019 Scotland Conference - the importance of collaboration
February 2019

‘When a Development Office is set up, the immediate reaction is that the money will start rolling in. […] But the first question has to be, what are we raising money for? “Where is the greatest need?”’

Caroline Notman, Director of Development for St Aloysius' College, shares her experience of setting up a development office and the importance of collaborating with senior leaders to manage expectations and achieve development success. Join us for the IDPE 2019 Scotland Conference, where Caroline will be chairing a session on the partnership between institutional leaders and development teams to drive growth and sustainability.

Just take the money...? By Marc Whitmore, Partner at More Partnership
February 2019

‘If you take my son, I’ll make a gift of £50,000. Here and now.’ […] I’d never really encountered this situation before. […] we were at the beginning of a large capital campaign, and … under a great deal of pressure to bring in those early gifts.’

The fundraising stream at the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference is sponsored by More Partnership. Marc Whitmore, Partner at More Partnership, discusses some of the ethical dilemmas faced by development professionals in his thought piece ‘Just take the money…?’, including his own experience as a new Director of Development, turning down the donation above. Read more...

For more information on the fundraising stream and the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference as a whole, see our conference homepage.

Ten things we need to help legacy giving flourish
February 2019

Chris Millward, Founder of, describes ten things we need to help legacy giving flourish. Hear him speak at the IDPE 2019 Scotland Conference on legacy giving essentials: what are the key building blocks to a successful legacy giving strategy and what can you do to optimise the legacy gifts left to your organisation. Don't miss out, book your place at the conference now.

IDPE presents at HMC New Members’ Induction
 February 2019
‘Development should be on every Head’s agenda’
Deputy Chair of IDPE Trustees and Director of Development at Warwick Independent Schools Foundation Phillip Rothwell, explored the importance of development with 25 heads at the recent HMC New Members’ Induction. See Phillip's presentation here.

What is the value of a development office? By Becki Mckinlay, Managing Consultant for Graham-Pelton Consulting
February 2019

‘Sustained and sustainable investment is vital to build meaningful partnerships with the community. Over time, this will result in philanthropy becoming not just a growing, alternative income stream, but a process which aligns all members of the school behind a shared vision’

The strategy and leadership stream at the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference is sponsored by Graham-Pelton Consulting. Becki Mckinlay, Managing Consultant for Graham-Pelton Consulting, shares her thoughts on the value of the development office to the senior leadership team and the school as a whole.

For more information on the strategy and leadership stream and the IDPE 2019 Annual Conference as a whole, see our conference homepage.

Register now for Rux Burton Associates' regular giving webinar series
February 2019

Regular giving is so simple a child could do it. Run out and get me a child; I can’t make head nor tail of it.’ Groucho Marx (allegedly)

Call it regular giving, annual giving or what you will, it’s a deceptively simple activity.  All you need is someone to ask, something to ask for and some way of doing the asking. But a great case can be constrained by poor data or great data can be wasted on unfocused asking. This series shows where to start, how to set ambitious but achievable objectives and how to get all three essential elements operating together as a well-oiled machine. Find out more and register now.

Book now for the IDPE 2019 Scotland Conference in partnership with SCIS
February 2019
Leading the way to success – heads and fundraisers working together

Collaboration between development teams and their senior leadership is a key part of a school’s fundraising success. At the IDPE 2019 Scotland Conference, Lisa Kerr, Principal of Gordonstoun School and Cairney & Company’s President Karen Cairney, and Partner, Colin McCallum, Cairney, will be exploring how the partnership between institutional leaders and development staff can drive growth and sustainability for your school.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • How can senior leaders’ limited time be best used so that development becomes an integrated part of their external activities rather than adding to their busy schedules?
  • What support should fundraisers be giving to leaders to make sure that fundraising is successful and grows?
  • How does the growing need for fundraising across the sector change the nature of the role of heads and boards of governors and how do we carve out the resources to achieve success?

To find out more about why you can’t afford to miss the IDPE 2019 Scotland Conference here.

IDPE and Parentkind Announcement
January 2019
In response to the growing importance of the parent community to schools, IDPE and Parentkind are working in partnership to develop a guide to support both development professionals and parent volunteers, on working together to maximise parent engagement and fundraising.

IDPE's response on behalf of schools to the ICO's call for views on the code of direct marketing
January 2019
As a part of our commitment to members, we pledged to champion schools’ development.  The ICO recently sent out a call for views asking how it could develop its previously published direct marketing guidance to address aspects of the new data protection legislation.  Following feedback from members, we have responded to the ICO’s consultation on the code of direct marketing, requesting further clarity and guidance on specific areas, as summarised here, or view the full version here.

IDPE's 2018
December 2018
2018 was another fantastic year for the IDPE community, with over 150 members volunteering. Thank you for your support. Find out what we've been up to...
IDPE and ISC bursaries fundraising announcement
December 2018
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) and IDPE have formed a partnership to produce a publication that will raise awareness and support strategies for effective fundraising for means tested bursaries in schools. Read more...
IDPE’s response to the consultation on Code of Fundraising Practice
November 2018
As part of IDPE’s commitment to members to champion schools’ development, we have responded on your behalf to the Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on the new draft version of the Code of Fundraising Practice.
IDPE members welcome the Fundraising Regulator’s suggested changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice. Read IDPE’s full response to the consultation now.

IDPE presents at the Girls’ Schools Association Inspiring Futures’ Conference
November 2018
Earlier this week IDPE addressed Heads in London at the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) Inspiring Futures’ Conference.

In a session entitled Working to your strengths to engage your school’s community to give, we emphasised the importance of the role of the Head in engagement: ‘giving is a natural outcome of good relationships and as leaders we play an integral role in the engagement process.’ (Jo Beckett, CEO, IDPE).

The IDPE and Graham-Pelton Consulting’s Schools’ Alumni Relations and Fundraising Benchmarking Survey 2018, demonstrates that the involvement of the Head in development is critical. In the session at the GSA conference, we discussed:

  • the role of listening in understanding the school’s community better
  • the need to build relationships with individuals within the school’s community to develop deeper life-long loyalty
  • the impact of Heads personally connecting and championing the case for support

‘In these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times, one thing is certain. Working together to engage the support of our communities is essential.’ (Jo Beckett, CEO, IDPE).

IDPE presents at the 2018 Graduway Leaders’ Summit (GLS) in Oxford
November 2018
IDPE Chairman and Director of Development at Pangbourne College, Karen Hartshorn, joined Chris Marshall, Graduway’s President, North America and JT. Forbes, CEO at IU Alumni Association, Indiana University to discuss the future of alumni relations.

‘Whilst schools and universities may seem like two ends of a spectrum - JT Forbes has 65 FTE staff to engage with their 650,000 alumni – the challenges schools and universities face are not so dissimilar. The need for creating meaningful relationships with alumni which respond to their motivations, is important for alumni from both schools and universities.’ (Karen Hartshorn, Chairman, IDPE)

The ‘fireside chat’ at GLS focussed on:

  • creating meaningful relationships with alumni who want to get involved rather than trying to engage with all your alumni
  • catering for multiple levels of engagement, from the more passive alum receiving your magazine quarterly, to the one actively involved in volunteering – it is crucial to understand who you are talking to and to tailor your relationship both to an alum’s desired level of engagement and their stage of life
  • the 'community' aspect: it's not just about your former pupils, don’t forget your former staff, parents, governors, friends of…
  • the importance of good data, both in terms of contact information and in knowing what your alumni want

‘Like IDPE with its membership survey, we must ask our alumni what matters to them, how they want us to communicate with them, to engage with them. By understanding the needs of your alumni membership, you can focus on delivering what adds value to your alumni.’ (Karen Hartshorn, Chairman, IDPE)

IDPE presents at bbcon UK on the future of advancement
November 2018
IDPE Deputy CEO Louise Bennett joined Tricia King, Vice President Global Engagement at CASE, for a discussion on the future of advancement, chaired by Susannah Baker, Director of the Waynflete Office, Magdalen College School, and IDPE member.

The discussion, which given the conference was held on 31 October, took on a Halloween theme, focussed on the opportunities and challenges facing the sector - are these perceived as ‘trick’ or ‘treat’:

  • engaging with internal stakeholders, the Head, governors, teaching staff, is just as important as engaging the wider school community - development is not just about the development department, it requires whole school ‘buy in’ for success
  • technology can support development, it can facilitate personalisation and enable schools to tailor their communications and engagement to different audiences
  • telling our story is key, we need to demonstrate to our school communities why we need their support, but we need to shout louder about the incredible difference we are making

‘Part of IDPE’s role is to demonstrate the impact of the schools’ development sector – we do this through being a voice for the sector, through regular benchmarking, and through celebrating fundraising success.  We need to demonstrate the collective difference the sector is making; to tell our collective story and to be proud of the impact we are making on young people’s lives.’ (Louise Bennett, Deputy CEO, IDPE)

Engage your contacts by giving them the information they need

Senior Business Consultant, Joel Trotman from IDPE’s corporate partner, The Access Group shares his insight into the importance of personalisation, and how you can avoid the dreaded unsubscribe from your mailing list, through ‘focusing on what you know about your community, … to create relevant, engaging updates. In doing so, you are sure to have longer, more successful relationships with those who can really make an impact on your school.’
__ IDPE publishes it's renewed 3-point commitment to it's members following the results of the IDPE 2018 Membership Survey
October 2018
As your professional body, IDPE’s vision is to enable all schools to develop a culture of giving.  We exist for our members and our services are determined by what you ask for.  We want you to feel proud of being part of IDPE, to feel included in IDPE’s extensive network, and to make sure you have access to the support and best practice in schools’ development that you need.  And, we promise to continue to listen to you.

Following the results of our 2018 Membership Survey, this is our renewed three-point commitment to you.

Naming rights and gift aid: do you know when you can and can't claim gift aid
October 2018
Sherborne Girls are currently running a capital campaign to raise £2.5 million for a new performing arts centre.  With £2.1 million already raised, the Take a seat campaign was introduced asking the school community to donate £1,000 in return for naming a seat in their newly built centre.  With such an engaging slogan, the school community got behind the campaign.  However, when Director of Development and Marketing, Katherine Massey, submitted their gift aid claim – HMRC challenged the school saying that the donations received as part of the Take a seat campaign were ineligible for gift aid.

IDPE members:  log in and access to read the full article.
Launch of the fourth national schools' fundraising survey

26 September 2018
IDPE are delighted to announce that our successful  partnership with Graham-Pelton Consulting will continue into 2019 with the launch of the fourth survey of fundraising and alumni relations activity in UK schools.

The 2018 survey opens in December 2018 and the final report will be published in the autumn term, 2019.

Find out more about the 2016 benchmarking report, how you can use it to empower and enable your development office, and how to get involved in the 2018 report.  


2018 - 2021 partnership between IDPE and More Partnership

21 September 2018
Two long-standing organisations in UK education – the Institute of Development Professionals in Education and consultancy firm More Partnership – are joining forces to offer schools new resources, support and ideas that will inspire and enable them to take their philanthropy to the next level.

This three-year major partnership, focussed on sharing knowledge and expertise in schools’ development, will see both organisations design and deliver a series of workshops and webinars, collaborate on the fundraising stream of IDPE’s annual conference, and co-write a guide on best practice in managing internal relationships and expectations of governing bodies.  Find out more...


Welcome to our new Corporate Partner - Gifted Philanthroy

July 2018
Gifted is one of the fastest growing fundraising consultancies in the UK, with our Directors managing some of the most successful partnerships with charities and not-for-profits across the Third Sector. With offices in Leeds, Leamington Spa and London, we have nationwide coverage and specialists close by to support clients in their fundraising challenges.

We advise schools and colleges on all aspects of the fundraising mix, from undertaking feasibility studies and delivering capital campaigns to guiding development professionals and volunteer leaders in making approaches to national grant makers and major donors. We also bring decades of experience to the challenges of building endowment, scholarship and vital bursary programmes.
Find out more about them via our Suppliers Directory.

IDPE new Chairman announcement

July 2018
We are delighted to announce that Karen Hartshorn, Director of Development at Pangbourne College, has been elected by the board of trustees as IDPE's new Chairman.  This follows the decision by Glen Fendley to step down as IDPE's Chairman.

On behalf of the board, IDPE team and members we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Glen for leading the organisation through a period of significant challenge and growth.  His strategic thinking and representation of IDPE within the sector has enabled IDPE to flourish. 

Karen has been actively involved with IDPE over a period of many years.  She has made an impact at a number of levels, initially as Regional Vice President for the IDPE South West region, and then as IDPE's Conference Co-Chairs.

For the past two years, Karen has played an integral role on the board of trustees.  She has made a significant contribution to IDPE's development as the professional membership organisation for schools raising funds.  In her more recent role as Deputy Chair she has worked closely with the Chairman and myself on the development of IDPE's strategic plan and I am thrilled to be continuing our work together. 

'It is a privilege and an honour to take the reins from Glen Fendley and serve as the next Chairman of IDPE.  I very much look forward to working with my fellow IDPE trustees, staff and volunteers to improve our member services and help create a culture of giving in schools - all ultimately aiming to positively transform educational opportunities for young people.' [Karen Hartshorn, IDPE Chairman and Director of Development at Pangbourne College]

Navigating the politics of planning! by David Pugh, Facultas Associates
July 2018
‘Planning requires planning and early stakeholder engagement. A school needs to undertake early research to establish whether its plans for development would gain local support or face local opposition.’
Beyond the challenges of fundraising, the local planning system can all too often be one of the biggest barriers to a school’s successful development programme. Whilst nothing in planning is guaranteed, Planning & Development Director from Facultas Associates, David Pugh talks about how your school can maximise on its chance of receiving planning consent for its next project. Read on…

Relationships last a lifetime, so they are worth looking after! by Jonathan Bunce, The Access Group
June 2018
‘The experience for the majority of pupils is positive, as a school, if you want to see your future, look back. These relationships last a lifetime, so they are worth looking after!’

The external relations stream at this year’s annual conference is sponsored by The Access Group. In our latest thought-piece, Jonathan Bunce, Head of Marketing – Access NFP, shares his thoughts on the importance of databases in building a picture of the relationships that define your school and how they can support effective engagement of your alumni. Read on…

IDPE talks to three member schools about complying with the GDPR
May 2018
The art of privacy notices - We talk to Lorna Stoddart, Director of Development at Winchester College about developing their privacy notices, and why this 'once forgotten, hidden away somewhere on a website' policy now has such an integral role to play in complying with the GDPR.   Read more...
To consent or not to consent Simon Jones, Director of Development at The Manchester Grammar School (MSG) tells us about MSG's consent campaign and the unexpected benefits of choosing to 'opt in'.  Read on...
Who owns your data? Matthew Dear, Executive Director of Oundle School shares with us how Oundle School approached data sharing with their alumni association, the Old Oundelian Club.  Read on...

Unexpected consequences by John Rux Burton, Rux Burton Associates
May 2018
Rux Burton Associates, Headline Sponsor of this year’s annual conference, share their thoughts on how as a result of the data regulation earthquake of the last two years, phoning has become even more central to the solicitation mix of every school.  Read on...

IDPE and ISBA publish "GDPR: A Practical Guide for Schools"
May 2018
Working in association with ISBA and Farrer & Co, IDPE is delighted to announce the publication of "GDPR: A Practical Guide for Schools" which provides sector guidance on all aspects of GDPR, tailored to the specific needs of schools.  Read on...

As a key benefit of IDPE membership, IDPE's members can log in and visit to access this guide now.

IDPE Trustee, Clare Atkinson talks to FundEd about the impact of GDPR on fundraising in state schools
April 2018
Clare answers questions from FundEd magazine, around the practicalities of implementing GDPR in relation to fundraising and community engagement activities. Read on...

IDPE members - log in and read further GDPR updates on IDPE's GDPR resources page.

The ICO Data Protection Practitioners Conference 2018 
April 2018
IDPE is attending to hear the latest updates and developments and will be reporting back to our members.  For information on the speakers, sessions and content and to follow the conference live visit:
Why the IDPE annual conference is a must for those working in development or alumni relations
March 2018

‘I attended my first IDPE conference in 2011 and have been back every year since. … the conference presents a wonderful chance to catch up with colleagues, both to compare notes on the previous year and also tap other experienced brains for advice and insight.’ Karen Hartshorn, Director of Development at Pangbourne College and IDPE Trustee, shares how invaluable the IDPE annual conference is to her, and why despite over 10 years’ development experience, she always finds the time to attend the conference. Read on…

Why the IDPE 2018 Annual Conference is a must for your professional development as a first time delegate
March 2018
Kirsty Hassan, Director of External Communications, shares her experience of last year’s IDPE Annual Conference, and how as a first-time delegate, the conference provided her with increased confidence and knowledge, when considering the school’s approach to development and alumni relations.  Read on...

Telling our story, by Marc Whitmore, More Partnership
February 2018

‘The very best UK schools are performing as well as some of the very best US schools in terms of fundraising. In doing so, we are having an ever greater impact on the lives of individuals and in the wider communities they serve.’

Marc shares his insight into the history of philanthropy in UK schools, and how the fundraising stream at this year’s annual conference will be an opportunity to ‘Take a moment to connect to some of the astonishing stories of transformation being effected in institutions across the country.’

‘Come, celebrate, and help tell our story.’ Read on... 

IDPE Spring regional meetings welcome new members and are a great success

Over 30 members met at Fettes College, Edinburgh on Tuesday 21 February.  A big thank you to our host school for accommodating such a large number.
Topics on the agenda included:

  • Social Media and the use of messenger and other communication platforms
  • Campaign board planning

North West
The North West meeting on Thursday 1 February, was kindly hosted by Bolton School, and included an open discussion on the subject of ‘Increasing regular giving and young alumni engagement’.  Feedback from regulars and new members was really positive.

‘Thank you both for arranging a really good meeting yesterday. Certainly, the best I have known for a long, long time. It attracted lots of good and open discussion. Thanks once again. ‘

‘This was my first meeting and I have really enjoyed every minute of it – it was like joining an AA group without the alcohol – everyone has been so helpful.’

The meeting was held on Thursday 1 February at St Margaret’s School, Hertfordshire.
Topics on the agenda included:

  • Talks by IDPE members on current alumni software being used at their respective schools
  • Using social media to develop alumni relations followed by discussion of what works for other schools

Our thanks to Rose Hardy, Headmistress of St Margaret’s who spoke to members about her experience of working with alumnae and the importance of keeping them informed and included as you make changes to your school.

If you wish to read the notes from the meeting please visit IDPE’s regional meetings page.

Thank you
A big thank you as always to our volunteers in the regions for making these meetings happen. Without the support of our Regional Vice Presidents and Regional Co-ordinators, as well as our host schools, this valuable opportunity for members to network, support and learn from each other would not be possible.

The importance of a school’s history in how a school engages with their alumni, by Chris Marshall, Graduway
February 2018
‘The history, traditions, and the unique cultures of your institutions should continually inform what you do going forward. … Know the history of your school, share it with others, leverage what is good and still working, and have the courage to stop what is outdated and past its time.’

Chris will be joining us at this year’s annual conference to discuss the value of alumni relations. Here, he explores the importance of a school’s history in how it engages with their alumni community. Read on...
IDPE announces new partnership with Marts & Lundy
February 2018
Together, IDPE and Marts & Lundy will survey thousands of alumni relations and fundraising professionals working in schools’ development to gather their views and opinions on the sector and IDPE.   IDPE’s 2018 Membership survey will evidence the real time needs and challenges of individuals working in this growing and emerging sector so that we can develop our services and invest in support to empower all those working in schools development. Read on...
GDPR - when will we receive definitive guidance?
February 2018
IDPE continues to work with the ICO to ensure we can keep our members informed on GDPR progress – read on to get the latest information from the ICO on GDPR guidance. Read on...

The integral role senior leaders play in the success of a development office, by Andy Wood, Graham-Pelton Consulting
February 2018
‘Successful fundraising can, and does, make a big difference to the vast majority of schools. … Development and fundraising will work if, and only if, the school is willing to set in place four key elements, four pillars. … The first of those pillars is leadership: the head and the governors have to decide what they want to do and be totally committed to that purpose.’

This year’s annual conference includes a dedicated stream for Heads, Bursars and Governors concentrated on the Monday. Andy shares his thoughts on the integral role senior leaders play in the success of a development office and why heads, governors and bursar should attend the conference this year. Read on …

Well begun is half done: campaigns and planning
February 2018
‘The IDPE Benchmarking Report shows that those schools in a campaign raised more money than those that were not. A campaign can … galvanise your supporters to give, give more, and keep on giving. … if it is well thought through, strategic and supported by your school leadership.’  Rachel Magee, Consultant of Graham-Pelton Consulting, IDPE corporate partner, explores the key components for your school to consider when planning a campaign, to ultimately achieve success. Read on…

IDPE represents members at the Fundraising Regulator’s roundtable discussion
January 2018
On Tuesday 23 January, IDPE attended a roundtable event hosted by the Fundraising Regulator. This event focused on how the Fundraising Regulator can support regulatory compliance across smaller charities who are fundraising. Read more about the key messages we shared on behalf of IDPE members.

‘Bursaries matter…they help us make the world better; a fairer society.’ (Shaun Fenton, HMC Chair-elect and Headmaster, Reigate Grammar School)
January 2018
Bursaries are a driver for societal change - this was the key message at this year’s HMC and IDPE 2018 School Bursaries Conference on Monday 22 January 2018. Nearly 200 development professionals and senior leaders from across the independent sector came together to learn more about the latest innovations in bursary provision. Read on...

Latest benchmarking report confirms all schools can achieve fundraising success
January 2018
As the UK’s largest fundraising benchmarking survey in the education sector, the IDPE and Graham-Pelton Consulting Schools’ Alumni Relations and Fundraising Benchmarking Report 2016, enables you to compare your school’s performance with schools of a similar profile, and through this, better understand what best practice looks like for you and your school.  Download your copy of the benchmarking survey now…

How is your school preparing for GDPR?
January 2018
In the summer 2017 we shared how three schools; The Manchester Grammar School, Oundle School and Winchester College were preparing for the changes to data protection legislation.  Find out how these schools are progressing six months on in our interviews with their development directors and senior management. 
Log on as an IDPE members and read the case studies here:

IDPE presents on generating income beyond fees at the ISBA Finance Conference
January 2018
IDPE’s CEO, Jo Beckett, IDPE Lead start-up mentor, Jenny Hipwell, and Mark Taylor, Bursar at the King’s School Canterbury presented on generating income beyond fees at the ISBA Finance Conference on Wednesday 17 January 2018.

IDPE to attend Fundraising Regulator Roundtable to discuss supporting smaller fundraising charities with regulatory compliance
January 2018  
On Tuesday 23 January, IDPE has been invited to attend a Roundtable event hosted by the Fundraising Regulator. This Roundtable event will focus on how the Fundraising Regulator can support regulatory compliance across smaller fundraising charities. We are looking for members feedback on how the Regulator can support the schools' development sector with regulatory compliance. Forward your comments now to our Director of Content, Louise Bennett

IDPE and Graduway Announce Major Partnership
January 2018  
This collaboration will bring cutting edge alumni relations intelligence, technology and best practice to IDPE members, taking alumni and parent engagement in UK schools to a new level. IDPE members will have access to a range of thought leadership material, best practice and  exclusive benefits as a result of the partnership with Graduway.  Read on...

No such thing as an "average" school 

January 2018 
Understanding the make-up of the various audiences within your school will allow you to ascertain how much could be raised by your Development Office, and the resource and structure required to deliver that potential.’ (IDPE and Graham-Pelton Consulting Schools’ Alumni Relations and Fundraising Benchmarking Survey 2016)

Christian Propper, Senior Consultant and Director of Business Intelligence at Graham-Pelton Consulting, IDPE corporate partner, explores the importance of understanding your data to inform your school’s development strategy. Read on…
Hardcopies of our benchmarking report are available for a nominal cost of £25 including postage and packing.  Please contact to arrange for us to send you a copy of this report. 

Creating a step-change through major gifts

January 2018 
‘The school sector has raised some transformational gifts and the benchmarking report shows overwhelmingly that to secure a major gift, it takes time, investment and management.’  Becki McKinlay, Managing Consultant of Graham-Pelton Consulting, IDPE corporate partner, summarises the key take-aways from the IDPE and Graham-Pelton Consulting Schools’ Alumni Relations and Fundraising Benchmarking Survey 2016 on creating a step-change in fundraising through major gifts.  Read on ….

Hardcopies of our benchmarking report are available for a nominal cost of £25 including postage and packing.  Please contact to arrange for us to send you a copy of this report. 

IDPE responds on behalf of schools to the Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice

December 2017
IDPE, in association with ISC and ISBA, has submitted a response to the latest consultation on data protection within the Code of Fundraising Practice. Thank you to all members who took the time to read and comment.  Read IDPE's final response...

What do you need to consider when sharing your data - IDPE latest guidance
December 2017
IDPE continues to work in association with ISBA and Farrer & Co to support members to become GDPR-ready.  Our latest guidance is on data
sharing agreements.  The new GDPR Data Processor Guidance Note and Template Agreements will support your school in considering where your school is sharing data and how to manage this moving forward under GDPR.  Go to IDPE's GDPR page within member resources to download these documents.
IDPE's draft response to the Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on data protection within the Code of Fundraising Practice
December 2017
The Fundraising Regulator has launched its consultation on data protection within the Code of Fundraising Practice.  The new version of the code has been updated to ensure it will comply with GDPR. 
The consultation is open until Friday 8 December and the IDPE is responding to the consultation on behalf of our members
Thank you to members who have already shared their comments.  Please send any further feedback on our draft consultation response to our Director of Content, Louise Bennett by Thursday 7 December.

How to ensure your privacy notice is GDPR – ready - IDPE latest guidance
November 2017
IDPE continues to work in association with ISBA and Farrer & Co to support members to become GDPR-ready. Our latest guidance is on how to develop your school’s Privacy Notice. The new GDPR Template Privacy Notice and Guide will support your school to design your own Privacy Notice to the standards now expected by GDPR based on your completed data audit and your school’s use of personal data.
Go to IDPE's GDPR page within member resources to download the guide.

Top Tips for developing your major gifts programme
November 2017
The impact that a major gifts programme can have on your school can be truly phenomenal. 
Rachael Magee, Consultant for Graham-Pelton Consulting, shares her top tips in advance of IDPE's workshop: "Major Gifts for Schools - sharpening your skills and measuring success."

The danger of becoming an average fundraising school
November 2017
‘The overriding finding of the report is that investment in development over time positively influences fundraising performance.’  Andy Wood, Managing Director of Graham-Pelton Consulting, IDPE corporate partner, shares his thoughts on the importance to the sector, of the recent IDPE and Graham-Pelton Consulting Schools’ Alumni Relations and Fundraising Benchmarking Survey 2016. Download now…

Hardcopies of our benchmarking report are available for a nominal cost of £25 including postage and packing.
Please contact to arrange for us to send you a copy of this report. 

The HMC and IDPE School Bursaries Conference

November 2017
The bursaries that RGS have provided for myself and my two brothers … have undoubtedly changed our lives for the better. … I think that this level of varied education should be available to everyone, not just to those that can afford it, it is vital that this incredible support is continued and developed.’  Matt Burns, bursary recipient, Reigate Grammar School

HMC and IDPE will deliver our third School Bursaries Conference, supported by ISBA and IAPS, on Monday 22 January 2018 at The Amba Hotel, Marble Arch, London. Download the programme.


IDPE is working across the schools’ community
November 2017 
IDPE hosted a Thought Leadership lunch for heads of the school associations to discuss the role of development in creating sustainable communities of giving within independent schools. 

'The importance of non-fee dependent income has never been higher and the work of IDPE with all schools' associations is ever more significant.'  Vivienne Durham, CEO, GSA

David Woodgate, CEO,  ISBA; Mark Taylor, IDPE advisor and Bursar, The King's School Canterbury;

Alison  Shakespeare, Chair of ISBA and Business Director at Leicester Grammar School

Wealth Screening in Higher Education - IDPE's Reponse
November 2017
Many of you will have already seen today’s articles in the Daily Mail and the Guardian about the ICO’s examination into fundraising practice within the University sector. This article does not refer to wealth screening in schools, and independent schools are currently not subject to freedom of information requests…
Read IDPE’s position now.
Write it Right Workshop is a Great Success
November 2017
Since presenting at the IDPE 2014 Annual Conference, IDPE has received numerous requests for Elizbaeth Louden, Director of Prospero Partners, to deliver a full day's workshop for IDPE Members. "Write it Right - a writing workshop for advanced development professionals" was a great success. The one day workshop was an opportunity for all those attended to review actual appeals, letter, emails, proposals and case statements, including their own, and to practice the high-level editorial skills that can sharpen a team's writing.
The IDPE essential development toolkit for schools 
October 2017
A great day bringing together delegates new to schools’ development with experienced Development Directors.   The day was designed to help and guide both;
  • Heads, Bursars and Governors who are thinking about setting up a development office or getting involved in their existing one
  • Development and alumni professionals who are new to the field
2017 delegate feedback:
'A very worthwhile experience '
'I thought the course was excellent and covered what I needed to know, it was very timely for me too as I have just started in the Development department.'
'Excellent- I would definitely recommend the course.'

Rebecca Ting, Director of Development Alumni, St Edward's Oxford speaking at the event.

Congratulations to all those who have achieved the IDPE and IoF Certificate in Fundraising! 
November 2017
For more photos from the graduation ceremony click here.  For further information on the Certificate in Fundraising please click here.

IDPE 2017 Scotland Conference - Dunkeld House
October 2017
A summary of the news and some feedback from the one day conference is available to view here with copies of the presentations given also available.

Stewardship in Schools: 6 questions to ask yourself

September 2017
Moss Cooper and Marc Whitmore from More Partnership examine why looking after your donors matters, and how we can all do it better.

Stewardship, or donor relations to some, has for a long time been a Cinderella subject in schools fundraising. We spend so much time and effort securing the donation and are understandably relieved when the donor finally says yes. “Thank goodness,” we think to ourselves “We’ve got the gift. Time to relax.” We send a Christmas card, write a little note to say thank you, include the name in the donor report (bigger font size for a bigger gift, of course) and perhaps arrange a special dinner for the donor with the Chair of Governors and Head. Job done, right?
Read on...

Building a career in schools' fundraising
September 2017
IDPE major partner, Execucare, share their experience and expertise on beginning and progressing your career in schools' development. 

At a time when there is an increasing demand for fundraising professionals in schools, how do you find the role that’s right for you? What experience and skills are a school’s senior leadership looking for? And how do you secure that all important ‘top job’ within a school’s fundraising department, the ‘Director of Development’? 
Read on...

IDPE Chairman Glen Fendley presents at VWV Practical Strategies Conference - exploring the impact of the current fundraising landscape on schools
September 2017
Schools’ development is an emerging market.  Funds raised by schools have almost doubled since 2011 from £100 million to £190 million in 2016.  Like charitable organisations, independent schools must adhere to fundraising regulation and through demonstrating a commitment to best practice, donors (and potential donors) will have increased confidence in schools spending donations responsibly.

Following the negative media coverage of charitable malpractice in the summer of 2015 and a decline in public trust of charities, the government commissioned Sir Stuart Etherington to review fundraising practice and this led to the establishment of the Fundraising Regulator.  Read on...

Data Protection & Cyber Security Conference 
14 October 2017
IDPE are delighted to work, in association with ISBA and AMDIS, supported by ISC, to present a session on how GDPR will impact on development and marketing at the Data Protection & Cyber Security Conference on Tuesday 17 October 2017 at the British Medical Association, Tavistock Square, London.  

For more information and to book visit ISBA's website or email

IDPE and ISBA working in association to support schools preparing for GDPR
July 2017
Whilst we await the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) publishing its final guidance on, amongst other things, consent and legitimate interests, we would suggest schools continue to work through the process of assessing what data your school holds using our Data Protection Review 2017: Audit Grid (log in to view), and review and update where necessary your current policies and procedures.  We have also worked with three of our member schools to share with you their preparations for GDPR....  Read on...
Case Studies - how can your school prepare for GDPR?
July 2017
IDPE have been working with three of our member schools to share with you their preparation for GDPR. 
(awaiting link)
The New Fundraising Preference Service
July 2017
What does this mean? How will your school know if an individual has submitted a request to cease communication from your school? Why has the FPS been introduced? How will FPS affect schools' development?  Read on...
Announcement: IDPE is working in association with ISBA to provide schools with consistent guidance on preparing for GDPR
June 2017
Read on..
The IDPE and Graham Pelton US Study Tour April 2017
The tour took place between 24-28 April 2017. This tour provided a small group of development directors and their heads with a unique insight into US schools’ fundraising, through visits to a variety of schools in the New York/New Jersey area.  Read on...

For more historic items please contact the IDPE team -
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