The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) yesterday launched its new strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds are not only recruited into the fundraising sector but retained and helped to progress.
The strategy addresses the underrepresentation of BAME and disabled fundraisers, the inability of LGBT+ fundraisers to be open in the workplace, and the fact that despite women forming the majority of the profession, they are not proportionately represented at senior levels.
This strategy continues the IoF’s previous Manifesto for Change’s commitments which aim to deliver a more equal, diverse and inclusive profession. This includes developing an EDI Recruitment Toolkit to help organisations recruit more BAME, disabled and male fundraisers.
A new EDI committee, chaired by IoF trustee Carol Akiwumi, will offer oversight from fundraisers and policy experts to advise the IoF and evaluate and monitor progress on this agenda.
Amanda Bringans, chair of the IoF, said: “I am very proud to launch the first ever EDI strategy for the fundraising profession, developed by the expert panel, and fully endorsed and adopted by the IoF board of trustees. This strategy is a significant landmark in the history of the fundraising profession and of the Institute.”
Sufina Ahmad, chair of the expert advisory panel on EDI, added that “individuals and organisations that champion this strategy are showing that they, like the IoF, are committed to working together to take an intersectional approach to addressing the well-known and well-evidenced inequalities that exist in the fundraising profession.”
A fair recruitment process
The policy will be overseen by Peter Fleet, equality, diversity and inclusion manager, and there have been concerns in the sector about his appointment.
At the launch of the strategy yesterday, Carol Akiwumi, chair of the equality, diversity and inclusion committee said there had been suggestions on social media and from press coverage that Peter Fleet, “probably wasn’t best for the job”.
Fleet said: “Do I apologise for being a white man?”
He added: “I do understand the privilege, of course I understand that.
“People will also understand that I’m not there to represent, I’m there to make sure different organisations and different people representing different protected groups are able to have a platform to be heard and are able to help us move forward.”
Fleet said his immediate response to comments on social media was, “just go find another job”.
He said: “That was my immediate response - I can’t do this, I’m in a membership organisation, I can’t do this unless people are with me.
“People have to be on this journey, if not, I just can’t do this job.”
He added: “Then I thought to myself, I’ve gone through this recruitment process, it was a fair one.”