IoF launches new strategy to tackle sector’s diversity problem

Written by Charity Times staff writer

The Institute of Fundraising has released a new strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion in the fundraising profession.

The new strategy sets out why change is needed – the business case for equality, diversity and inclusion – and the approach needed to be taken by the Institute and the wider charity sector, to ensure individuals from all backgrounds are recruited, retained and progressed within the sector.

Using evidence it obtained, the IoF and its board of trustees identified four key inequalities to be addressed in the strategy, including:

• Underrepresentation BAME fundraisers
• Underrepresentation of disabled fundraisers
• LGBT+ fundraisers are not always able to be open in the workplace
• Women form the majority of the profession but are not proportionately represented at a senior level.

The strategy takes forward the commitments set out in the IoF's Manifesto for Change, identifying 16 initial activities to deliver a more equal, diverse and inclusive profession. Key activities include;

• Commissioning research on the under-representation of BAME fundraisers in the profession, including on the barriers to entry and progression, and research on women in leadership roles.
• Developing an EDI Recruitment Toolkit to help organisations recruit more BAME, disabled and male fundraisers.
• Developing IoF’s approach to Affinity Network and role models for BAME, disabled and LGBT+ fundraisers.

A new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee has been formed by the IoF and will be chaired by IoF trustee, Carol Akiwumi.

It will offer oversight from fundraisers with lived experience and policy experts to advise the IoF and evaluate and monitor progress on this agenda.

Commenting, IoF chair, Amanda Bringans said: “This strategy is a significant landmark in the history of the fundraising profession and of the Institute.

“As chair of the Institute, I am very proud to launch the first ever Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy for the fundraising profession, developed by the expert panel, and fully endorsed and adopted by the IoF board of trustees.”

Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on EDI, Sufina Ahmad added: “To have in one place a succinct but ambitious way forward for making the UK fundraising profession more equal, diverse and inclusive is a huge achievement.

“Individuals and organisations that champion this strategy are showing that they, like the Institute of Fundraising, are committed to working together to take an intersectional approach to addressing the well-known and well-evidenced inequalities that exist in the fundraising profession.”

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