The Chartered Institute of Fundraising will hold its annual Fundraising Convention from 27-29 September this year, later than the standard early July date.
The 2021 Fundraising Convention will, like last year’s event, be fully online.
The delay and new dates, announced today, have been explained in terms of the Chartered Institute’s increased focus and activity around harassment issues within the fundraising and charity sector. Reports of sexual harassment by and of fundraisers, some of them reported repeatedly to the Chartered Institute, resulted last month in public criticism on social media from fundraisers and members of the Institute’s statement and its treatment of harassment complaints. Criticism included a joint letter from the Chairs of the special interest and regional groups of the CIoF expressing concern.
Today’s announcement of the Convention dates included a comment that the CIoF recognises “there have been issues in our own complaints process and we are determined to address that. On 26 March we announced the specific next steps we are taking to build a safe and inclusive profession and our commitment to our members. We committed to an Action Plan on tackling harassment, discrimination and abuse, with urgent steps for us to take over the next three months.”
It also noted that it had been affected by the Covid-19 lockdown in terms of a drop in income and a reduction in capacity, including staff changes. This on its own had made planning for Fundraising Convention a challenge.
Convention Board volunteers
The volunteers who make up the Convention Board that help the Chartered Institute plan and implement Fundraising Convention also advised the Institute that it needed to give priority to its work on how it tackles harassment of and by fundraisers. The Board also recommended that these themes be incorporated into the Fundraising Convention programme this year.
Moving the event to Autumn will “enable us to do justice to the speakers and our Convention Board sharing their time and expertise”, explained the Institute.
Laurie Bold, Executive Fundraising Director at Age UK and Chair of the Convention Board, said:
The Convention Board will do all that we can to support the Action Plan and to ensure that Fundraising Convention embodies the culture that we want to see in our sector. Fundraising Convention is above all, an event for fundraisers, by fundraisers, and moving to September this year gives us the best opportunity to make Fundraising Convention the best it can be for you.
Already submitted a session idea?
All fundraisers that have already submitted session ideas will be contacted by Friday 7 May to be told if they have been successful and to check that those who have been accepted are still able and willing to speak at the event in September.
Bookings will open in early Summer.
The Chartered Institute has published more details on the move to September.
Events for 5-7 July
Because many fundraisers will have kept 5-7 July clear in their diaries for Convention this year, the CIoF added that it will be running a series of events across those days. These include its
- Supporter Experience Conference
- a free event focused on safeguarding.