CIoF AGM sees interim Chair & new trustees appointed as 5 step down

Nadine Campbell

Yesterday’s Chartered Institute of Fundraising AGM saw five trustees step down, with a new interim Chair appointed, along with the institute’s first Safeguarding and Whistleblowing Trustee.

Nadine Campbell (main image) was appointed Interim Chair by her fellow trustees at a meeting to appoint officers held immediately after the AGM. She will stay in post while an open recruitment process for a new Chair takes place.

Kelvin Hopkins was appointed Vice Chair and Rohan Hewavisenti was re-appointed Treasurer by his fellow trustees, while Isobel Michael takes up the new role of Safeguarding and Whistleblowing Trustee. 

The AGM saw the election of three new trustees by the membership: Rebecca Mansell (Sense International), Kerys Sheppard (Shelter Cymru) and Matt Parkes (Diocese of Westminster). 

The five trustees who have stepped down are Claire Rowney, Carol Akiwumi, Sarah Bissell, Emma-Louise Singh and Ian Wilson. 

The AGM also saw a special resolution passed overwhelmingly by members, which makes it explicit that the Institute has the right to pursue an investigation and disciplinary action against a former member after they have left the Institute, if the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct took place while they were a member. 

At the AGM, outgoing Chair, Claire Rowney acknowledged 2020 as a hugely challenging year for its members and for fundraisers and fundraising across the UK, saying she was “inspired by the creativity, commitment, and dedicated approach that I have seen across our brilliant fundraising community.” 

She also said:  

“The pandemic has demonstrated the vital role of charities and civil society. As a movement, we have responded to the direct needs of people suffering as a result of the pandemic, continued to deliver vital activities and focus governments’ attention on the inequalities that were and continue to be exacerbated.

 

“I am and I hope always will be a proud fundraiser, but the response from the fundraising community to the crisis has been truly amazing and has left me awestruck and more proud that I have ever felt of what our community can achieve. In the most challenging of conditions you have continued to raise vital funds for your causes, a global pandemic has done nothing but strengthen your resolve and determination – I think you are all truly exceptional.”

Recognising the anger and disappointment in regard to the CIoF’s handling of sexual harassment complaints, Rowney also apologised on behalf of the Board.

She commented:

“I would like to take this opportunity to say how sorry I am and the Board is, and that we take responsibility for the failings that have happened historically and have continued to happen more recently.

 

“We know that we have got things wrong and let survivors down, Raising concerns takes courage, and those who do so deserve to be believed, taken seriously and treated with respect and sensitivity.

 

“I would like to apologise to those who have not been treated the right way by the Institute. I understand that the way you have been treated has only exacerbated your suffering and for that, I am truly sorry.”

Interim Chair Nadine Campbell commented:

“As Interim Chair I want to firstly acknowledge that we have made mistakes. For that, I am sorry. I stand with survivors and I believe you.

 

“My three priorities will be to implement the changes set out in our action plan, support both our interim CEO and then our new CEO and oversee an open and transparent recruitment process for our next Chair of trustees. With change, comes huge opportunities. This is a chance for us to shape our Institute into a place where we listen to our members, volunteers and our staff, ensuring they feel genuinely respected and valued.

 

“I would like to thank Claire, Carol and the other trustees who have retired or stepped down from the Board for their commitment and dedication over the years. As interim Chair I am fully committed to work with my fellow trustees and our members to create a safe, inclusive and transparent membership body, one that is representative of the fundraising profession across our four nations, and one that serves and places the entirety of our membership at the heart of everything we do.”

Also acknowledging that it had been unable to answer all the questions put forward for yesterday’s AGM, the CIoF announced on Twitter that it would be holding a Zoom Q&A next week with trustees to enable more to be discussed. Details on the date and time are to be announced.

CEOs of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising was originally named the Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers, before becoming the Institute of Fundraising, and then, in March 2020, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.