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Fundraising profession not diverse enough, IOF report reveals

Written by David Adams
06/06/2019

BAME communities and people with disabilities are significantly under-represented within fundraising across the UK, a new report has revealed.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) report, Who Isn’t In The Room?, which was based on a survey of 6,912 fundraisers and 428 fundraising organisations, revealed just nine per cent of fundraisers belong to a BAME group, compared to around 13 per cent of the overall population.

Only three per cent of fundraisers who responded to the survey have a disability, compared to 18 per cent of working age adults.

While more than three quarters (76 per cent) of fundraisers are women, the mean gender pay gap across 52 charities that responded to a question on this subject was 10.8 per cent in favour of men, compared to 7.9 per cent across the sector as a whole.

The median pay gap, comparing pay of middle-ranked men and women, was 9.3 per cent, compared to 6.8 per cent across the sector, suggesting women are under-represented in higher-paid senior fundraising roles.

Four per cent of fundraisers surveyed identify as LGBT+, compared to two per cent of the population according to the ONS, although the latter figure does not capture the whole LGBT+ population.

The IoF survey found 60 per cent of charities have made equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) a stated value or strategic objective and 70 per cent have an EDI policy. But only 35 per cent require staff to complete EDI training; and only 37 per cent have taken action to recruit a more diverse workforce.

The authors of the report note that a comparison with previous diversity-related research completed by the IoF in 2013 (with a different methodology and scope) suggests diversity within fundraising has not improved since then and may have worsened in some respects.

“In almost every area, the fundraising profession is less diverse than the voluntary sector workforce, which in turn is less diverse than the UK population as a whole,” the authors wrote.

The added a “surprising number” of charities are taking no additional action to change this situation, but expressed hope that they will challenge more organisations to work towards increasing diversity in fundraising.

The report was published as part of the Institute’s Change Collective initiative, which aims to improve diversity in this part of the sector.

IoF chief executive, Peter Lewis said the report gives the fundraising community “a clear view of the opportunity to bring a much wider diversity of talent into the profession”.

The report can be downloaded here.



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