CIoF 'lacks leadership and has lost its way’, warn members

Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIoF) members have accused the organisation of failing to provide leadership to the charity sector and having “lost its way”, following its controversial handling of a safeguarding scandal this year.

The results of a consultation of members have been published this week and revealed concerns that the CIoF lacks “purpose, vision and strategy".

The CIoF has conceded that, “some members feel that the Chartered Institute has lost its way. Why does it exist and who is it here to serve?”

It added that members feel their needs as charity fundraisers are not being prioritised and that the CIoF is “disconnected from the wants and needs” of its membership.

The release of the consultation’s findings follow months of criticism of the CIoF over its handling of sexual misconduct complaints.

It has been accused of failing to effectively deal with the complaints and that its responses to concerns lacked transparency. The criticisms led to a wave of resignations and withdrawals from its events.

‘Gaslighting’ concerns

Concerns from the sector included accusations that the CIoF was “gaslighting” victims.

In this latest consultation members warn there is “insufficient leadership” on cultural, safeguarding, equality, diversity and inclusion in the organisation.

They are calling for “cultural change” to make the CIoF “safer and more diverse” adding they “expect strong leadership”.

Criticism of the CIoF’s communication also continues in the consultation.

Members condemned “a lack of openness, inadequate member consultation and communication and a failure to publicly represent the fundraising community consistently well”.

Further concerns focus on the CIoF’s “poorly configures IT, tools, processes and staff resources”. These are “not fit for purpose”, say members.

CIoF chief executive Katie Docherty said that the membership’s views have given the organisation “a rich and informed base” to develop a new strategy for the organisation, which is set to launch in 2022.

Allegations upheld

In August, the CIoF upheld four allegations of sexual harassment against one of its fellows and issued an apology to survivors for its handling of the situation.

Among charity sector professionals to criticise the CIoF this year is Beth Upton, who had complained about the conduct of the CIoF fellow involved.

She said in September that she has “lost the final shreds of faith in anyone involved in the leadership of CIoF”.

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