IDPE’s vision and purpose
IDPE was established 20 years ago with a vision to enable all schools in the independent and state sectors to develop cultures of community engagement and philanthropic support so that they can provide the best educational experience for children and young people.
IDPE aims to support member schools to:

  • improve learning environments and resources for pupils
  • improve access to independent education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • improve mentoring and careers support for young people
  • improve partnerships between state and independent schools

IDPE does this by championing best practice in schools’ fundraising and engagement through providing training, guidance, support, benchmarking and partnership work across the schools’ sector.




‘Development (alumni relations and fundraising) has become one of the most significant areas in the strategic purpose of schools in recent times, but it isn’t always easy to find the right purpose and path. IDPE is doing vital work in providing guidance and their conference is an ideal place for everyone to learn and share their travellers’ tales.’ John Claughton, Former Chief Master, King Edward’s School, Birmingham

IDPE’s Professional Development Programme
IDPE is committed to educating all schools to develop community engagement and philanthropic support. Our comprehensive and accessible training, support and guidance is designed specifically to meet the needs of professionals working in schools' fundraising and engagement, from beginner level to the most advanced practitioners.
IDPE runs a two-day annual conference, as well as regular specialist forums and regional meetings, webinars and seminars, expert guidance and checklists, and a qualification for professionals directly involved with fundraising and engagement in schools - the IDPE and IoF Certificate in Fundraising.

IDPE research
IDPE is dedicated to carrying out research to drive forward best practice in schools’ development, for example through our regular benchmarking of fundraising and engagement practice in schools nationwide.

IDPE best practice
Through our partnership work with schools’ associations and corporate partners, IDPE plays an increasingly prominent role in supporting and educating senior leaders from all schools to advance development, through:

  • delivering joint training and guidance
  • presenting at sector conferences and events
  • sharing relevant news and information
  • recognising excellence through our annual awards

IDPE champions best practice to advance fundraising and engagement across the sector. IDPE gives schools a voice, advocating on behalf of schools with the ICO and Fundraising Regulator on changes to legislation and regulation that will impact schools’ fundraising and engagement.