CIoF accused of ‘avoiding difficult questions’ at AGM

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.

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”.

Another to complain is fundraising consultant Sarah Goddard, who said that CIoF has “avoided the most important questions”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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