The Institute of Fundraising is setting up a taskforce on sexual harassment in fundraising to inform a sector-wide approach to tackling harassment within the fundraising community.
The announcement follows widespread concern among the sector about the amount of sexual harassment experienced by fundraisers, most of which goes unreported.
In a statement issued by the Institute, it said the taskforce will be led by IoF trustees Claire Rowney and Isobel Michael, who will be joined by an HR and a legal expert.
The taskforce will also look at how to strengthen the IoF’s Code of Conduct and existing complaints policy to ensure they are fit for purpose and provide an ‘open and safe space’ for people to report complaints, the IoF said.
“There is no place for sexual or any other form of harassment within our fundraising community. We have been listening to the recent anonymous testimonials of sexual harassment in the fundraising sector collected by Ruby Bayley-Pratt,” IoF chair Amanda Bringans said.
“We want to actively encourage people to come forward and report complaints if they have experienced sexual harassment by a member of the Institute or at an Institute event, no matter when that incident happened. Those incidents will be investigated fully, even if the person complained of resigns their membership of the Institute.
“We expect our member organisations to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace, to create an environment for fundraisers to share their experiences and to protect those who are affected. Harassment will not be tolerated, no matter whether this comes from an employee, board member, a beneficiary or a charity’s most important donor.
“Fundraising is a profession for everyone. We do brilliant things that raise vital funds for good causes. All this should be done in a safe and respectful environment. We will work to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour and ensure our fundraising community is a safe space for everyone.”