The Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIoF) has been accused of avoiding answering difficult questions at its annual general meeting that has been held amid a sexual misconduct complaints handling scandal that has blighted the membership body in recent months.
Members at the AGM have taken to social media accusing the CIoF of failing to answer questions around the scandal.
The scandal broke in March amid allegations that it had failed to effectively address complaints. Since then both its chief executive, Peter Lewis, and chair Claire Rowney have resigned.
Its AGM included a chance for fundraising professionals to pose questions to the CIoF leadership. But members have accused the membership body of avoiding and ignoring questions.
Consultant Claire Warner has published a list of questions to the CIoF she asked, saying “they have only answered the easiest and least contentious”. This includes questions around the recent investigation by HR consultancy Tell Jane into complaints handling and around the CIoF’s communications.
For those asking, these are the 7 questions I asked in my email to the @CIOFtweets ahead of today’s AGM and yes, they have only answered the easiest and least contentious!— Claire Warner - wellbeing (she/her) (@ClaireWarner) July 5, 2021
Happy to forward email to anyone with access issues to the images attached pic.twitter.com/VpzOU9HzfF
Caroline Danks, founder of fundraising consultancy LarkOwl, said that she is “at loss for words” and accused the CIoF of “ignoring the questions with the most votes” at the AGM as well as “avoiding properly answering questions which were tackled” as well as “disabling chat”.
What the actual **** was that?— Caroline Danks (@LarkOwlUK) July 5, 2021
1. Ignoring the questions with the most votes.
2. Avoiding properly answering questions which were tackled
3. Disabling chat@CIOFtweets I am at a loss for words....
Another to complain is fundraising consultant Sarah Goddard, who said that CIoF has “avoided the most important questions”.
How much more time are people expected to commit because CIoF can't plan adequately in the first place AND avoided the most important questions?— Sarah Goddard (@FundraiserSarah) July 6, 2021
It's not like we have day jobs that may actually make a difference in trying to change the world or anything...
Meanwhile, Charity for Civil Servants strategic marketing and income generation director Damien Chapman has said that CIoF members have been “treated appalling” amid the scandal and is “pulling out investment” from the organisation.
You say that, but org members have been treated appallingly over this and so much since 2019. I'm pulling our investment and using the money to further fund l&d opportunities elsewhere.— Damian Chapman (he/him) (@damianchapmanuk) July 6, 2021
The CIoF has apologised for not answering all the questions and has promised to arrange a Zoom Q&A with members later this month. It has said it will also share all questions and answers, including those answered at the AGM in an email to members.
We're sorry for not getting to all the questions this afternoon. We will be arranging a lunchtime member Zoom Q&A with trustees next week (date/timings to be confirmed ASAP). This will enable more discussion and more time to answer questions than the format of the AGM today. https://t.co/4q1zA67Ptm— Chartered Institute of Fundraising (@CIOFtweets) July 5, 2021
Interim chair and new board members
The CIoF has appointed fundraising consultant Nadine Campbell as interim chair, while it searches for a permanent replacement for Rowney. Campbell’s previous roles include senior income generation and marketing at Age NI, CLIC Sargent, Concern Worldwide and Phillis Tuckwell Hospice.
Our new interim Chair of trustees is Nadine Campbell @NadCampbell— Chartered Institute of Fundraising (@CIOFtweets) July 5, 2021
She was elected interim Chair by her fellow trustees and will stay in post while an open recruitment process for a new Chair takes place. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/PGNQA66etk
In addition, the charity has appointed Rebecca Mansell and Matt Parkes as trustees. Parkes is director of development for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, while Mansell is trust and foundations manager at Sense International.