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IoF creates panel to advise on making fundraising more diverse and inclusive

IoF creates panel to advise on making fundraising more diverse and inclusive

The Institute of Fundraising has established an expert advisory panel to advise it on how to make fundraising a more diverse profession.

The new panel is independently chaired by Sufina Ahmad of the City of London Corporation, and includes advisers with experience in fundraising and in championing , diversity and inclusion.

It met for the first time last week and has an 18 month remit which will conclude at the IoF Fundraising in July 2019.

Panel members

IoF diversity panel's first meeting

First meeting of the IoF Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


The members of the IoF Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are:

  • Sufina Ahmad, City of London Corporation (Chair)
  • Paul Amadi,
  • Lucy Caldicott, UpRising
  • Emily Casson, Cats Protection and Chair of IoF North East
  • Charlotte Fielder, Battersea Dogs and Cats
  • Hayley Gullen, Tommy’s
  • Alex Gwynne, Stonewall
  • Tufail Hussain, Islamic Relief
  • David Mbaziira, HOME Fundraising
  • Jaz Nannar, Burnett Works
  • Kunle Olulode, Voice4Change England
  • Ruth Pitter, Voscur
  • Stephen Rimmer, Barnardo’s
  • Samir Savant, London Handel Festival
  • James Taylor,
  • Anthony Earle Wilkes,

and IoF Trustees:

  • Carol Akiwumi
  • Isobel Michael.


How diverse is the fundraising profession in the UK?

The fundraising profession has long been less diverse than the UK population, as have other professions and functions within the charitable sector.

Women are well represented, although not in senior roles. Ethnic diversity is low and limited information is available about , religion, LGBT+, or class.

SEE ALSO: Charity Commission report on trustees urges greater diversity (13 November 2017)

Research was carried out and published on the issues in December 2013. Who’s doing the asking?  Diversity in the fundraising profession was produced by the Institute of Fundraising and Barrow Cadbury .

A finding from the Who's Doing the Asking research report (2013)

A finding from the Who’s Doing the research report (2013)

Its recommendations were:

  • establish a ‘diversity in fundraising’ task group
  • keep building the evidence base with qualitative research and ongoing monitoring
  • address imbalance at senior levels
  • reduce barriers to job entry and career progression
  • promoting fundraising as a career


Actions so far

This was followed last year by the IoF’s new strategy that committed the organisation to “developing fundraising as a respected profession that attracts and retains talent from diverse backgrounds and develops excellent fundraising in organisations of all types and sizes.”

SEE ALSO: Peter Lewis, IoF CEO’s blog post on the new panel (5 February 2018)

The new Expert Advisory Panel has been established to advise the Institute on how to achieve this. It has two areas of focus:

  • advising on how the Institute should address its own internal practices to become an exemplary employer and professional body
  • advising the Institute on how it can support the profession to become more diverse and inclusive, and better able to attract funding from a diverse donor base that meets the needs of the diversity of the beneficiaries we serve.

The Panel will advise on issues including:

  • barriers to entry to the profession
  • attracting and retaining fundraisers
  • changing the perception of the profession within BAME and other communities.

Following its first meeting, Sufina Ahmad, Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “I am humbled to be involved in such an important programme of work to support the Institute and the fundraising community it serves. There are so many challenges facing fundraisers and by acknowledging the importance of diversity as a tool to embrace them I hope the advisory panel and I can help the IoF shape the changes it wants to make as an Institute to make the profession a more diverse one that truly reflects and understands the communities it serves.”

The Institute of Fundraising has created a dedicated section of diversity resources on its website, including details of why it set up the panel and is prioritising work in this area.

Amanda Bringans, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising, welcomed the creation of the panel, saying: “Our sector talks a good talk when it comes to championing diversity, but there is much more we should be doing to make this rhetoric a reality. I am excited that Sufina Ahmad has agreed to chair this panel, which has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with us. We have a lot to do and much to learn, but we all know that we must act if we are going to better reflect the communities we serve.”


WATCH: IoF’s I am a Fundraiser




Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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