Chartered Institute of Fundraising appoints Katie Docherty as its Chief Executive

Katie Docherty
Katie Docherty

Katie Docherty has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. She takes up her permanent role on 8 October 2021 from Dhivvya O’Connor who has led as interim Chief Executive since Peter Lewis left after nearly 10 years in the role in March this year.

Docherty has spent the last five years as Chief Executive of Scouts Scotland, a membership organisation of 40,000 young people and 12,000 adult members. Based in Fife she becomes the Chartered Institute’s first Scotland-based Chief Executive.

She has previously worked at Anthony Nolan, leading the regional fundraising team across the UK and then moved to Age Scotland as Head of Charity Services. She is also a board member of the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO).

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She has recently been appointed by the Scottish Government as a Board Member at Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS). 

In her spare time, she is an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader, football season ticket holder and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts.

She takes on the leadership role a year after the Institute achieved Chartered status and at a pivotal moment following criticisms by some members of its handling of allegations of sexual harassment. It has, like many charities, suffered financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a reduction in staff numbers, membership, and reduced income.

Appointment process

The Chartered Institute shared details of the recruitment process which led to Docherty’s appointment.

The executive search firm Green Park managed the “extensive recruitment process’.

Docherty was selected “through a rigorous and diverse selection process, which involved a range of stakeholders across all three categories of the Chartered Institute’s membership and the four nations, including volunteer Chairs from Groups and committees, trustees, and staff members”.

The process involved 151 conversations with potential applicants, of which seven were invited for interview.

Katie Docherty said:

“Fundraisers need a strong, bold, and inspirational Chartered Institute which champions excellence in fundraising; the highest standards of ethics; and empowers and respects fundraisers to create safe environments for fundraising and fundraisers to flourish and be successful.

“That is why I am excited to take on this role at this critical time and look forward to connecting and listening to members over the coming months so that we can work on this together.”

Nadine Campbell, recently appointed interim Chair of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said:

“I’m thrilled that Katie will join us and, on behalf of the Board, offer her a very warm welcome to the Chartered Institute. As we embark on a new chapter, we’re confident that she will lead us to become a membership body that fundraisers from all over the UK can be proud of and be a leading agent of change at such an important time for us.”

Past 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.