A network for fundraisers from working class backgrounds has launched, with the aim of providing a space to make friends, share experiences, and drive positive change in the sector.
Started by David Lacey, who is Director of Fundraising at The Eve Appeal and from a working-class background himself, Working Class Fundraisers launched late last week. It already has over 400 followers on Twitter where it can be found under the handle @WorkingClassFrs. Fundraisers interested in joining the group can follow or DM it there, or email Wo*********************@gm***.com.
Speaking about the group, Lacey said that ever since he moved from face-to-face fundraising to office-based work he has recognised how hard it can be for working class people to join and feel welcome in the charity sector.
“Whether it’s discriminatory practices like requiring unnecessary degrees – which disproportionally cuts out people from working class backgrounds – not having anyone to ask for tips about office-based interviews, not having the money to buy appropriate clothes, failing to build rapport with people from an obviously different class, just joining the sector can be tough.
“In the 17 years I’ve been in it I’ve met some phenomenal fundraisers. And the more open I’ve been about my background the more I’ve met others who have had similar experiences in the sector – feelings of isolation, of being ostracised, of being an imposter because of their background.
“So that’s why I wanted to start this Working Class Fundraisers group. So that people can be proud of their background, share their experiences and support each other. And maybe to positively influence the sector’s perceptions of working class fundraisers and challenge some of the classist practices that are still so prevalent too.”
Lacey’s aim is not to be directive about the group but just to kick things off and let the group decide what happens from here. The hope is that it can be a positive space, working across intersectionalities, and helping to make people feel proud of their backgrounds, and more welcome in the sector.
“If you’re from a fundraiser from a working-class background and have felt like you don’t fit in, or have been frustrated at classist working practices, I really encourage you to join the group and help get it off the ground.”