The fundraising profession struggles with the concept of diversity and has consistently failed to reach out to people of black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, a leading black fundraiser has said.
Paul Amadi, executive director of fundraising at the MS Society, says in this month’s Fundraising Magazine that charities are not making enough effort to encourage people from BAME backgrounds to apply for fundraising jobs. He says that because of “complacency and a lack of ambition” he sees “limited scope for optimism” that the situation would improve.
“As a sector, it is obvious we still struggle with the concept of diversity,” he writes. “Given our values, the intrinsic goodness of the people in the sector and the causes we espouse, this is surprising.”
He writes that previously he was kept back from meeting certain donors because of the colour of his skin, and expected to laugh at a joke about a “n****r in the woodpile”.
Amadi says that the business case for diversity in the charity sector is compelling, because it allows access to greater talent, and because diverse teams produce better results.
In the same issue, Jaz Nannar, managing director of fundraising consultancy Burnett Works, says that charities are missing out on income by not targeting donors from non-white backgrounds, and are missing out on talent by “hiring clones of one another” to manage them.
“If we, as a sector, can’t be properly representative, then who can,” she writes.