Peter Lewis quits as Chartered Institute of Fundraising boss

23 Mar 2021 News

Peter Lewis has resigned as chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

The Chartered Institute said in a statement this afternoon that Lewis resigned on 4 March, but has only now made the news public.

His final day has not been agreed and the recruitment process for the next chief executive will start shortly. 


Lewis has been in the role for nearly a decade, and oversaw the organisation's merger with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. 

In recent weeks he has come under increasing pressure over allegations that the Chartered Institute had not followed up complaints about sexual harassment and abuse by its members, with some committee chairs going public with criticism of "current leadership".

The Chartered Institute apologised last week over poor communications around the allegations, and committed to publish more details about a review into its complaints procedures.

Lewis said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead the Chartered Institute of Fundraising for the last nine and a half years, and I feel enormously proud of what the staff, volunteer and trustee team have achieved during that time. 

“At my age, my dad took time to step back, take stock of his life, and consider what he most valued, then moved forward in another direction. 

“With his death from Covid late last year, I decided it was time to follow his lead and resigned from my role as chief executive of the Chartered Institute on March 4. 

“Having achieved chartered status and come through the pandemic we need a fresh strategy that addresses the culture change we all agree is necessary for the sector. 

“It is right for a new chief executive to lead that process and be charged with delivering against it. 

“I look forward to supporting Claire [Rowney, chair of the board] and the trustees in putting in place the plans to recruit for my successor which will begin in the coming weeks.” 

New era

Claire Rowney, chair of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said: “My fellow trustees and I are very grateful to Peter for leading the Chartered Institute for almost 10 years. 

“Peter has helped the sector progress significantly during his tenure, including managing us through a time when our fundraising practices were under intense scrutiny, establishing fundraising apprenticeships and achieving chartered status for the Institute. 

“As we enter a new era it is time to begin our search for a new leader who will continue to develop the fundraising profession and our culture. 

“We will shortly be starting the recruitment for his successor.”

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