Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

Is Bullying Making a Comeback?

Howard Lake | 6 November 2008 | Blogs

An increasing focus across both trade and the business press seems to be suggesting that as the recession bites and targets get harder to meet, the likelihood of people being bullied will increase.

As the proverbial wallet shrinks, so will charities’ share of it which in turn may place further pressure on fundraisers.  I’m not aware of any high profile bullying cases (doesn’t mean there aren’t any, of course) and have searched the Charity Commission and Institute of Fundraising websites to no avail.  Perhaps this is a good thing, as the availability of test cases would suggest a newsworthy incidence of bullying in the charity sector?

 At least employees are protected via specific legislation to combat bullying behaviours; but what about volunteers?  What happens when the employed regional volunteer / branch manager of a national charity starts to feel the pressure to meet fundraising targets?  How far is it acceptable to go in pushing volunteers to redouble their efforts?


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

 In reality, I don’t know the answer and couldn’t find any solid information to help other than a few authors’ suggestions to incorporate specific measures into governance documentation.  Perhaps all we should be worrying about in these times of likely increasing pressure for results is treating each other with respect.

 It’s trite but "doing unto others as we would have done unto us" sounds workable.  Alternatively, what about adopting Catherine Ryan Hyde’s "pay it forward" principle?  http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/  This brilliantly simple social concept suggests we should all do something good for someone else for no other reason than because we can.  The Pay if Forward Foundation exists as a charitable movement based on this one principle.

My last suggestions are preventative and offered particularly for those of us who need to lead and manage teams whether formally or informally. 

Perhaps we need to look at specific measures for volunteer support too?  But I rather I hope it won’t be needed.