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British Red Cross books entire staff on the first BAME Fundraising Conference

The British Red Cross has booked every one of its staff on the first BAME Fundraising Conference, which takes place online later this month.
Now 4,000 staff will have access to the event, curated by fundraising consultant Martha Awojobi and hosted by Fundraising Everywhere. Staff will be able to attend on the day or watch recordings afterwards.
This is very likely to be the first time that a major national charity has booked its entire staff to attend a single training event or conference. Indeed, it would not have been possible when conferences were primarily, and often exclusively, in person events.
The idea was proposed by the British Red Cross to Fundraising Everywhere, and a fee arranged for mass attendance. Tickets for the event are available on a ‘pay what you want’ basis, to help ensure that no fundraiser or charity staff member is excluded from attending purely on cost terms.


BAME Fundraising Conference

The one-day event on 29 July “will feature incredible BAME speakers, in fundraising and beyond, who will share their insights and techniques for fundraising success”. It will “provide organisations with the tools, connections and resources to do brilliant fundraising”.
Its sessions will “explore how leaders can recruit and support staff of colour to thrive within their organisation by creating truly inclusive cultures, and focusing on personal development and leadership opportunities”.
Fundraising Everywhere emphasise that “we will be platforming BAME speakers who will be sharing their talents and achievements in fundraising, not just talking about diversity and inclusion”.
Katie Simmons, Director of Fundraising Strategy, British Red Cross, explained why the charity had made the booking. She said:
“The BAME fundraising conference is an important event for our sector. We want to ensure as many of our staff as possible are able to attend and take part in these conversations. We’re pleased our investment will support the event, including helping to pay for speakers.
“We know there is a huge appetite in our organisation to share experience, listen and learn. Recently, over 700 colleagues joined an Anti-Racism and Allyship workshop held by the British Red Cross BAME network, and we wanted to provide more opportunities for colleagues to continue this conversation.”

Nikki Bell and Simon Scriver of Fundraising Everywhere said:
“We’re beyond excited, and not surprised, about British Red Cross’ attendance at the BAME Virtual Conference. The conference has been curated by our event curator, Martha Awojobi, following research into the challenges faced by people of colour in the charity sector, and by organisations led by and/or for people of colour. The British Red Cross has experience across all of these areas and their proactiveness shows commitment to doing the right thing.”
They added that they hoped other charities would follow the British Red Cross’ ambitious approach, but none had done so so far.
Nevertheless, even before the booking by the Red Cross, this conference had, according to Bell and Scriver, resulted in “the fastest-selling tickets for any event” that the platform had run since it was established last year.
Bell said that they were happy to provide similar all-access passes at a discounted rate for any team that wanted to attend. 
She said: “We need more organisations to follow suit and show their commitment to creating a just sector for all. They’ve posted their statements and started work to create more inclusive places of work, and here is a full-day conference they can attend in their own time that literally tells them how to do it.”

Conference topics

Outline of BAME Fundraising conference 2020

Martha Awojobi

Martha Awojobi is a consultant who has worked in the charity sector for almost a decade in fundraising roles, from face to face, individual giving, to crowdfunding, digital and corporate. She is a member of #CharitySoWhite’s organising committee and has been working with the Institute of Fundraising to transform the fundraising sector and make space for fundraisers of colour.
She is co-presenting the conference with Camille St-Omer Donaldson at the British Red Cross.
Awojobi has worked hard to recruit some outstanding speakers for the conference. She tried to secure Stormzy, but he declined the invitation:

Nevertheless she has recently secured a contribution from the actor Jay Jackson (Perd from Parks & Recreation):

Booking for the BAME Fundraising Conference is still open, whether for individuals or entire charity staff teams!

Editor’s update: 21 July 2020
Another organisation has signed up to book all its staff on this conference: Open.