The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), the professional membership body for charity fundraisers, has announced the appointment of an Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
It is widely recognised that the fundraising profession is less diverse than the population, as well as other professions and functions within the charitable sector. Women are well represented (though not in senior roles) but ethnic diversity is low and little is known about disability, religion, LGBT+, or class (see Who’s doing the asking? Diversity in the fundraising profession, a report by the IoF and Barrow Cadbury Trust, published in 2014).
Last year the IoF developed a new strategy with its members that commits to developing fundraising as a respected profession that attracts and retains talent from diverse backgrounds and develops excellent fundraising in organisations of all types and sizes.
To achieve these ambitious and challenging objectives this new Expert Advisory Panel has been established to advise on how the Institute should address both its own internal practices to become an exemplary employer and professional body, and on how to support the profession to become more diverse and inclusive, better able to attract funding from a diverse donor base that meets the needs of the diversity of the beneficiaries we serve.
As part of its work the Panel will advise on a range of issues including barriers to entry to the profession, attracting and retaining fundraisers, and changing the perception of the profession within BAME and other communities.
The Panel is being independently chaired by Sufina Ahmad of the City of London Corporation, and includes advisers with a wealth of experience in fundraising and in championing equality, diversity and inclusion. The Panel held its first meeting on Friday 2 February and will end its remit at the IoF Fundraising Convention in July 2019.
Sufina Ahmad, Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “I am humbled to be involved in such an important programme of work to support the Institute and the fundraising community it serves. There are so many challenges facing fundraisers and by acknowledging the importance of diversity as a tool to embrace them I hope the advisory panel and I can help the IoF shape the changes it wants to make as an Institute to make the profession a more diverse and inclusive one that truly reflects and understands the communities it serves.”
Amanda Bringans, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “Our sector talks a good talk when it comes to championing diversity, but there is much more we should be doing to make this rhetoric a reality. I am excited that Sufina Ahmad has agreed to chair this panel, which has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with us. We have a lot to do and much to learn, but we all know that we must act if we are going to better reflect the communities we serve.”
Members of the IoF Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion:
Sufina Ahmad, City of London Corporation (Chair); Paul Amadi, MS Society; Lucy Caldicott, UpRising; Emily Casson, Cats Protection and Chair of IoF North East; Charlotte Fielder, Battersea Dogs and Cats; Hayley Gullen, Tommy’s; Alex Gwynne, Stonewall; Tufail Hussain, Islamic Relief; David Mbaziira, HOME Fundraising; Jaz Nannar, Burnett Works; Kunle Olulode, Voice4Change England; Ruth Pitter, Voscur; Stephen Rimmer, Barnardo’s; Samir Savant, London Handel Festival; James Taylor, Scope; Anthony Earle Wilkes, Cancer Research UK. IoF Trustees Carol Akiwumi and Isobel Michael are also members of the Panel.
Biographies and terms of reference for the Panel can be viewed here.
Further background information about why the IoF set up this panel and prioritised this work can be accessed on the IoF website’s Diversity resources.
Who’s doing the asking? Diversity in the fundraising profession, a report by the IoF and Barrow Cadbury Trust, published in 2014 can be read here.