Freelance Fundraiser’s Jottings

9 May 2008

The Media Trust – no sense of geography?

Filed under: charity,fundraising,media — freelancefundraiser @ 1:15 pm
Tags: , ,

My weekly copy of Third Sector magazine arrived as usual this week and with it came a fold out flyer from the Media Trust, a charity that claims it: “covers all aspects of media and communications training for charity and voluntary organisations across the UK.” It was a list of their forthcoming training events.

I eagerly scanned it to see what they were putting on for all the charities in the north of the country, but out of 19 courses, only one on Podcasting was being held north of a line from London to Cardiff (via Bristol). Given the number of fundraisers and charities based in the north, that seems a rather poor share, when London has 16 of the 19 courses based there.

As well as the cost of the courses, northern fundraisers would also have to add the cost of travel and considerable time (plus the possibility of overnight accommodation if the course starts in the morning and they want to try and get cheaper travel tickets which are not usually available until after 09:00). It makes it much harder for those of us in the north to take advantage of such training.

This southern bias was confirmed recently, when one of the Yorkshire Institute of Fundraising Committee rang the Media Trust, to ask if they could provide someone to lead a training day on working with the media for us. They were told by the person at the Media Trust who answered the ‘phone that this was not possible, because they only run courses in London!

Now it seems to me that this is not only an insult to the hundreds of fundraisers and the charities that employ them “up North”, but is also a slight on the many excellent media industry people who run newspapers, TV companies and radio stations in the north. Are the Media Trust so London-bound that they don’t recognise or know media people in the north who would probably jump at the opportunity to engage with the voluntary sector?

Come on Media Trust, get your act together. There are people up here chomping at the bit for some decent media training opportunities.

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