Sexual Harassment in the Fundraising Sector

The Board of Trustees of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) met yesterday and discussed sexual harassment in the fundraising sector and the role the Institute can play in tackling it.

Following the meeting, Amanda Bringans, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising, said:

"There is no place for sexual or any other form of harassment within our fundraising community. We have been listening to the recent anonymous testimonials of sexual harassment in the fundraising sector collected by Ruby Bayley-Pratt.

"We want to actively encourage people to come forward and report complaints if they have experienced sexual harassment by a member of the Institute or at an Institute event, no matter when that incident happened. Those incidents will be investigated fully, even if the person complained of resigns their membership of the Institute.

"We expect our member organisations to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace, to create an environment for fundraisers to share their experiences and to protect those who are affected. Harassment will not be tolerated, no matter whether this comes from an employee, board member, a beneficiary or a charity’s most important donor.

"We are setting up a Taskforce on Sexual Harassment in Fundraising led by two of our trustees, Claire Rowney and Isobel Michael. They will be joined by an HR and legal expert. This review will be used to inform a sector-wide approach to tackling sexual harassment in the fundraising community.

"The Taskforce will also look at how we can strengthen the IoF’s Code of Conduct and existing complaints policy, to ensure they are fit for purpose and provide an open and safe space for people to report complaints.

"I am grateful to Ruby Bayley-Pratt for agreeing to join the Taskforce.

"Fundraising is a profession for everyone. We do brilliant things that raise vital funds for good causes. All this should be done in a safe and respectful environment. We will work to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour and ensure our fundraising community is a safe space for everyone."

MAKING A COMPLAINT

We want to actively encourage people to come forward and report complaints if they have experienced sexual harassment by a member of the Institute or at an Institute event, no matter when that incident happened. To do so, please follow our complaints policy: https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/library/disciplinary-and-complaints-flowchart-individual-members/

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

We would encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the IoF guidance on safeguarding and whistleblowing and to know your rights as fundraisers. The guidance can be read on our website: https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/managing-fundraising/safeguarding-and-whistleblowing/