CIoF hit by resignations and further criticism over sexual harassment complaints handling

Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIoF) volunteers, including a committee chair, have quit following the latest development in the sexual misconduct complaints handling scandal to blight the membership body.

Chair of the CIoF’s community fundraising special interest group Sarah Goddard said the charity sector organisation “should be ashamed”.

“I quit as a volunteer, effective immediately,” she said, adding “I refuse to have my name aligned with your organisation any further”.

Goddard made the announcement after an independent investigation concluded there was no wrongdoing by former CIoF chief executive Peter Lewis in relation to an allegation he had received and failed to act on a sexual harassment complaint made to him seven years ago.

The investigation was launched after an allegation was made on social media earlier this year over CIoF’s complaints handling. An investigation into a complaint of sexual harassment against a CIoF member is still ongoing.

“I've been a volunteer with the CIoF for over 8 years,” said Goddard in a statement on her website.

“And I've never been more disgusted to have my name associated with an organisation as I have been over the last few months.

“The crux of the issue is that several women have reported sexual assault and/or harassment by people associated with the IoF...and not enough has been done.

“Not only have these women not been protected and supported, but they have not been believed or listened to.

“This is outrageous. And I'm angry.”

She is also concerned “at how much this is costing our sector”.

“Calls, emails, WhatsApp groups, social media and meetings. Supporting each other, standing in solidarity with survivors and trying to make sure the emotional labour of leading this fight was shared with allies and didn't only sit on the shoulders of survivors,” she added.

“If you could measure the amount of work, hours and expertise that were lost it would be atrocious. How many hours have charities lost that could have been spent fundraising, advocating and working to change the world?”

Meanwhile, Charity for Civil Servants director of strategic marketing and income generation Damien Chapman has resigned as a volunteer with CIOF Corporate Fundraisers as he “can no longer condone the actions of its leaders and trustees”.

CIoF has sought to clarify details of the investigation, by HR consultancy Tell Jane, into the allegation around complaint handling made against Lewis.

It said that the investigation found that “no complaint” was made to Lewis in 2014 so “he therefore did not fail to act”.

The CIoF adds that the report is not being made public due to “anonymity, confidentiality, and duty of are to those involved”.

Charity Equality founder Mandy Johnson, who raised concerns around complaints handling by CIoF earlier this year, believes that survivors of abuse are being “gaslighted” by the membership body.

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