Chartered Institute of Fundraising has ‘lost its way’, some members say

16 Dec 2021 News

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIOF) is “disconnected from the wants and needs of members”, according to feedback at events this year. 

The CIOF has published a summary of the feedback it received at roundtables that were organised to learn from the frustration and anger members felt at how sexual harassment allegations were handled and communicated. 

Around 300 people took part in roundtables between October and December, which the CIOF says were “organised as a response to the public scrutiny, challenges, and questions from members”. 

CIOF has ‘lost its way’ 

In response to the question about what is not working, the CIOF said: “Some members feel that the Chartered Institute has lost its way. Why does it exist and who is it here to serve?”

Others suggested it has become “disconnected from the wants and needs of members, does not have a compelling proposition, and doesn’t consider the member experience”. 

Respondents were concerned about the support for volunteers, which was described as “inadequate”. 

Members also told the CIOF that there was “insufficient leadership on cultural, safeguarding and EDI”. 

The CIOF was also described as having: “A lack of openness, inadequate member consultation and a failure to public represent the fundraising community consistently well.”

Lastly, there was criticism of the systems and processes as “not fit for purpose” which makes it hard for members to engage. 

What members value 

The sessions highlighted that members value the qualifications, guidance and support. 

There was also emphasis on the role of volunteers and special interest groups.

“The crucial role of volunteer-led groups across the UK was highlighted multiple times. They are seen as the face of the organisation and add value to members in a tangible way,” the CIOF said.

Members were also positive about “evidence of change” with new leadership in place. 

‘It has been a privilege to hear from so many members’ 

Katie Docherty, who become chief executive in October, attended the roundtables. 

In a foreword to the summary, she said: “It has been a privilege to hear from so many members and fundraisers during the series of roundtables that we have held in autumn/winter 2021 and to receive feedback from other sources too.

She thanked people for taking part, and added: “I have learnt a lot from you, as well as hearing your challenges and expectations of your professional membership body. 

“The roundtables, alongside thoughts gathered through an online form, and other feedback and views that have been shared through forums and channels, have given us a rich and informed base from which we will be developing our new strategy that will launch during 2022.”

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