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Fundraisers set up open forum for people to share concerns about CIoF

08 Jul 2021 News

An open forum has been organised to reach out to others “feeling angry, lost, hurt or unsure” regarding the Chartered Institute of Fundraising's (CIoF) handling of sexual harassment.

Beth Upton, chief executive of Money Tree Fundraising and a fellow of the CIoF, has created an event with Eventbrite , which aims to be “a place to listen and to be heard”.

Upton, who is also a former chair of the CIoF's London committee, plans to  act as the coordinator and lead and will remove people from the event “if behaviour is not suitable”.

The purpose of the forum is to bring together “all of the lone voices and disparate groups of people who feel frustrated, left out, hurt, ignored or otherwise about CIoF”. 

Three dates are set and more will be added to match demand. Numbers are limited to 35 per session “to allow for genuine conversation and debate”.

Sessions will take place using Zoom, and participants can turn off their cameras and use an alias if they prefer. They will be recorded so an independent note-taker can review the recording and collate what is said, “with minimum bias”.

“If this still doesn’t feel safe for you then there are people who can be trusted and have offered to provide a confidential ear. Ask if you’d like to know more,” the event page reads.

It adds: “Once everything is collated, we can decide what we want to do – collectively or individually.” 

CIoF staff and trustees are asked not to attend. Those who benefit from the directors of fundraising forum run by CIoF are also asked not to attend, as “their presence can be very intimidating, and they already have a forum where they are heard by this professional body”. 

The dates are 15 July from 4pm to 5.30pm, 23 July from 12pm to 1.30pm, and 26 July 8pm to 9pm.

CIoF follow-up meeting 

Elsewhere, the CIoF has arranged a follow-up to its annual general meeting (AGM) to answer questions from its members. 

The AGM took place on Monday, but some felt that not enough time was given to the issue of the CIoF’s handling of sexual harassment complaints. 

Initially the CIoF said all questions would be answered in an email to members, but then said that it would also set-up a further Zoom session.  

Yesterday CIoF confirmed that this meeting will take place next Thursday, and said any member who had not received an email about it should get in touch. 

CIoF has previously acknowledged that it has made mistakes and apologised for poor communication. 

After being confirmed as interim chair on Monday, Nadine Campbell said: Campbell said: “As interim chair I want to firstly acknowledge that we have made mistakes. For that, I am sorry. I stand with survivors and I believe you.    

“My three priorities will be to implement the changes set out in our action plan, support both our interim CEO and then our new CEO and oversee an open and transparent recruitment process for our next chair of trustees. With change, comes huge opportunities. This is a chance for us to shape our Institute into a place where we listen to our members, volunteers and our staff, ensuring they feel genuinely respected and valued.”  

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