Chartered Institute of Fundraising chair admits the organisation needs a ‘seismic shift’ in its culture following criticism of its handling of sexual assault allegations.
Over the last week the sector organisation has come under criticism amid claims it had not responded to allegations effectively.
This included a claim from Charity Equality founder Mandy Johnson that she had shared an audio recording two years ago with the organisation of a woman describing being sexually assaulted at a CIoF event. She said the allegation had not been handled swiftly or effectively.
On Twitter, CIoF chair Claire Rowney offered a “heartfelt apology to the women who have been let down” by the organisation.
“Raising concerns takes courage, and those who do so deserve to be taken seriously and treated with respect and sensitivity,” she said.
“The organisation has a long way to go and whilst it’s critical that the processes are fit for purpose and put members' safety at their heart, ultimately we need to create a seismic shift in the whole culture so that everyone is not just safe but able to truly thrive.”
I want to start with a heartfelt apology to the women who have been let down by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising in relation to reported sexual harassment and also offer a genuine thank you to all the women who have spoken out this week (1/4)— Claire Rowney (@clairerowney) March 17, 2021
Among those to criticise the CIoF has been consultant Claire Warner, who resigned from the organisation’s standards board and Yorkshire regional committee over the concerns. She said she was “ashamed” to have been involved with the organisation.
A group of CIoF chairs also wrote to the board and chief executive expressing their concerns.
Co-chair of the CIoF’s culture committee Dana Kohava Segal said that a meeting of chairs is due today and “we hope to report progress”.
UPDATE 17.03:— Dana Kohava Segal (@danaksegal) March 17, 2021
We have not had Q&As today as promised. We have had no further communications again today.
A Chair statement has been issued though not through formal channels. Will link to it below.
All Chairs meeting is tomorrow afternoon.
We hope to report progress... https://t.co/iv3Yoz8dGR
CIoF trustee Liz Tait, who is also director of fundraising at Great Ormand Street Hospital Charity said that she backs Rowney’s statement adding that “we will, and must, do better to protect our members and fundraising community”.