The Chartered Institute of Fundraising commissioned an Independent Review to review concerns, reports and complaints of sexual harassment not being acted upon appropriately over time by the organisation. The Independent Review will identify learnings, review the implementation of agreed actions to ensure appropriate, transparent and accessible processes are in place, and make recommendations to further improve CIOF’s strategies, trauma-informed responses, culture and safeguarding. This webpage shares the latest progress and updates about this review.
If you’d like to talk to discuss any aspect of this review or have any questions or concerns about the issues raised, please get in touch with our Head of Professional Conduct, Michele Welch at email@example.com.
You can also raise any issues, share feedback, or register a complaint anonymously at any time through our confidential reporting tool Talk to Spot.
Update September 2023:
In our last update, we explained that the Independent Reviewers had completed the main phase of the work through a wide range of interviews, reviewing as well as analysis and consideration of all the evidence. The Independent Reviewers are now going through a final stage of necessary due diligence and, while this is being done as swiftly as possible, we understand that it will still be several weeks before their findings can be published. It is very important that this appropriate independent process is completed in the correct manner and is as thorough as possible.
The Independent Reviewers will present their analysis and findings to the independent Working Group members and the Board of Trustees, and the findings, learnings and recommendations will then be shared with those involved, members, and published on the CIOF website.
If you would like to raise an issue, submit feedback or register a complaint anonymously, you can do this at any time through our confidential reporting tool, Talk to Spot.
Update June 2023:
The Independent Reviewers have completed the main phase of the work through a wide range of interviews, reviewing as well as analysis and consideration of all the evidence.
They are currently working to present their analysis and findings to the Independent Working Group and then the Board of Trustees. Based on what we know now and progress so far, we expect we will be able to publish the findings, recommendation, and learnings of the review by the end of summer.
If you’d like to talk to me about any aspect of our work in these areas, or have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with me at any time directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also raise an issue, submit feedback, or register a complaint anonymously at any time through our confidential reporting tool Talk to Spot.
Update December 2022: Following a wide invitation from the Independent Reviewers for people to speak to them as part of the review, a number of further interviews have taken place in the last month. The Independent Reviewers have informed the Working Group that they need time to fully consider and explore the information they have received through these interviews as part of the review process. We would like to thank everyone who has spoken with the Independent Reviewers throughout and whose participation is ensuring that this review is as comprehensive as possible. You can read an update from Michele Welch, Head of Professional Conduct here.
Update September 2022: On the 15 September 2022 we hosted a member webinar focussing on the work we are doing to make the fundraising profession safe. We covered progress on events, policies, the Independent Review,and Talk to Spot, our new reporting tool and other initiatives. Members can find a recording of this webinar under Account - Member Benefits - Member Events. There is also a blog from Michele Welch, Head of Professional Conduct, sharing the changes we have made so far and further plans to create safe spaces in fundraising.
Update June 2022: Following appointment in March 2022 the Independent Reviewers have been undertaking substantial work. They have advised that there is more work involved than was originally anticipated. The Independent Working Group agreed it was appropriate that the review takes the time necessary to ensure that it is fully comprehensive and extensive.
Update March 2022: The Independent Reviewer has been appointed and has begun work immediately
To further address the concerns of harassment, discrimination and bullying in the fundraising community and the handling of safeguarding cases within the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, the organisation is commissioning an Independent Review into the concerns, reports and complaints of sexual harassment not being acted upon appropriately over time by the organisation.
The working group consists of the Chartered Institute’s CEO, a new trustee elected in July 2021 and two volunteers who have had no connection to the investigations or related issues. The Members of the working group are as follows:
- Katie Docherty, new Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
- Rebecca Mansell, Trustee elected in July 2021, and Trusts and Foundations Manager at Sense International.
- Tom Dixon, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, Co-Chair of the Trusts and Statutory Special Interest Group and Chair of SIG Chairs.
- Richard Smallbone, an experienced safeguarding professional across the statutory, sport and voluntary sector. He is a freelance safeguarding consultant and sits as an Safeguarding Independent panel member with a number of organisations.
We apologise for the time it has taken to get to this stage. This is important work and there is great need for this work to be well thought through and conducted thoroughly.
The tender process is to call for expressions of interest for Independent Reviewers. These will be reviewed and then candidates will be invited to submit their tenders. The working group will shortlist candidates for interview before conducting the interviews. Once an Independent Reviewer has been selected, their Terms of Reference will be finalised, they will conduct the Independent Review and then present their findings.
The call for expressions of interest will close at 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022. Once expressions of interests are in, the invitations to tender will be open until the end of February 2022. Following shortlisting and interviews an Independent Reviewer will be selected and asked to provide their findings in or around April 2022. These timescales may be subject to change.
If you wish to express an interest in submitting a tender to conduct the independent review, please contact our head of professional conduct at email@example.com.
The Chartered Institute of Fundraising is a membership organisation and the professional body for fundraisers in the UK. As the Chartered body for the profession, the Chartered Institute has safeguarding responsibility to its staff, volunteers, members, events and training attendees, fundraising apprentices, and the fundraising community in the UK as a whole.
Over the years, it has become apparent that the issue of sexual harassment in the fundraising community is a concern that needs addressing. Following several complaints and concerns raised to the Chartered Institute, many members of the fundraising community have expressed disappointment in the organisation’s handling of sexual harassment cases. The Chartered Institute is committed to better-addressing harassment, discrimination and abuse within the profession, starting from reviewing the organisation’s complaints processes and handling. In 2020, the organisation commissioned Tell Jane, an independent HR consultancy, to conduct a Learning Review of the Chartered Institute’s complaints processes and handling of complaints related to sexual harassment. From this Learning Review, Tell Jane provided 18 recommendations, making way for a new Action Plan that commits to three levels of activities: culture change, safeguarding, and governance of professional standards.
Purpose and Objectives
To further address the concerns of sexual harassment and the handling of safeguarding cases within the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, the organisation aims to reflect on its past failings. The Chartered Institute wishes to do this by commissioning an Independent Review into the concerns, reports and complaints of sexual harassment not being acted upon appropriately over time by the organisation.
The objectives of the Independent Review are to:
- Learn from the Chartered Institute’s past failures in handling sexual harassment complaints and ensure that all those involved with the Chartered Institute are safeguarded through appropriate, transparent and accessible complaint handling processes
- Examine the extent to which the recommendations made in the Learning Review and actions detailed in the Action Plan have been implemented
- Make further recommendations on how the Chartered Institute can implement harassment, discrimination and bullying prevention strategies, trauma-informed responses and promote culture change and safeguarding at the Chartered Institute.
This review will be conducting the following tasks to achieve each objective:
- 1. Learn from the Chartered Institute’s past failures in handling sexual harassment complaints and ensure that all those involved with the Chartered Institute are safeguarded through appropriate, transparent and accessible complaint handling processes
- Review the evidence provided for two investigations conducted by Tell Jane in 2021 involving sexual harassment by one member of the Chartered Institute dating back to pre-2012. This evidence includes concerns, reports and complaints raised about this individual’s behaviour to staff, trustees and volunteers. Any new evidence or concerns which have since emerged should also be examined.
- Review the evidence of reports and complaints of sexual harassment involving another member of the Chartered Institute, considered in an investigation conducted by an Investigation Committee, advised by Bates Wells Solicitors, with the investigation later reviewed by Tell Jane in 2019/20.
- Historic review of any other concerns, reports and complaints not acted upon appropriately at the time, which may warrant investigating now.
- Identify gaps in the complaints handling processes which resulted in the Chartered Institute’s failure to act appropriately in responding to the complaints.
- 2. Examine the extent to which the recommendations made in the Learning Review and actions detailed in the Action Plan have been implemented
- Review the extent to which the recommendations made in the Learning Review and actions detailed in the Action Plan to address harassment, discrimination and bullying in the fundraising community have been implemented. Identify what has been effectively carried out, what has not been completed and any barrier to implementation.
- 3. Make further recommendations on how the Chartered Institute can implement harassment, discrimination and bullying prevention strategies, trauma-informed responses and promote culture change and safeguarding at the Chartered Institute
- Based on 1) and 2) above, provide learning points and recommendations that will have a strategic and operational impact across the Chartered Institute to:
- Promote strategic culture change and safeguarding at the Chartered Institute
- Improve prevention strategies for all forms of harassment (including sexual harassment), discrimination and bullying
- Create and promote appropriate, transparent and accessible reporting and complaint handling processes
- Develop a trauma-informed model to guide the response to people affected by harassment, bullying and discrimination, witnesses and alleged perpetrators
NOTE: It will be important to consider how EDI initiatives, staff wellbeing, values and strategy development intersects with these safeguarding recommendations.
For the above tasks, the Independent Review will consider the following key questions in particular:
- How far has the Chartered Institute of Fundraising fully identified and acknowledged when and how concerns, reports and complaints of sexual harassment were made to staff, trustees and volunteers? What more needs to be done?
- When sexual harassment cases were mishandled, how did the organisation’s leadership, governance, culture and processes fail to support appropriate responses and action? What leadership, governance, culture and processes would support a safer Institute moving forward?
- How can the Chartered Institute improve reporting and complaint handling processes?
- How can the Chartered Institute provide trauma-informed responses to people affected by harassment (including sexual), bullying and discrimination?
- How can the Chartered Institute learn from its past failures and better support and protect people affected by harassment, bullying and discrimination, witnesses, and all those in contact with the organisation?
- To what extent have the recommendations made in the Learning Review and actions detailed in the Action Plan have been implemented?
- How should complaints be logged in the future to avoid any issued identified from occurring again?
The Chartered Institute will give access to documents needed for the desk review. These will include but not be limited to:
- Investigation reports and associated documentation
- Tell Jane Learning Review
- Tell Jane Action plan
- Safeguarding policies
- Complaints’ process
- Investigation process- Tell Jane
- Historic complaints
- Safeguarding reports to the board
- Terms of References for Safeguarding Task Group, Culture Commission and Profession Conduct Committee
- Job Descriptions for Head of Professional Conduct
- Minutes of Action Plan Group meetings
- Minutes of Safeguarding Task Group meetings
- Minutes of Culture Commission meetings
- Minutes of Profession Conduct Committee meetings
- Minutes of board meetings where safeguarding has been discussed
- Minutes of AGM
- Progress reports to the board
- EDI policies and statements
- Events checklist
- Duty of care statement
- Investigations’ flowchart
- Training materials and outputs
- Safeguarding survey
- Vetting speakers’ guidance
- Whistleblowing policy (2019)
- Codes of Conduct
- Referral to the Charity Commission
The Independent Reviewer will provide a report which seeks to answer the key questions listed above by end of March 2022. The report should also provide recommendations on improvements to the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Action Plan to tackle harassment, discrimination and bullying in the fundraising community.
The Independent Reviewer will be appointed by, and accountable to, the Independent Review Working Group (see TOR in the appendix), CEO of the Chartered Institute and Trustee with lead responsibility for safeguarding. The Independent Reviewer will ultimately report to the Board.
The terms of reference will be finalised with the appointed Independent Reviewer following consultation with them.
The findings will be shared with Chartered Institute of Fundraising members and published on the website.
Expertise and Skills
- Proven expertise in conducting organisational safeguarding reviews or audits
- Experience of conducting safeguarding investigations
- Excellent knowledge of safeguarding standards and best practices
- Excellent understanding of trauma-informed responses
- Understanding of organisational culture change which supports safeguarding
- Excellent conceptual and analytical skills with the ability to make strategic recommendations
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to respectfully interact with people affected by harassment, bullying and discrimination, witnesses, staff, members and board
- Strong reporting writing skills
Consultant(s) Expression of Interest
Proposals should include:
- Proposed methodology
- A financial proposal including estimated number of days
- Curriculum vitae of consultant(s) and cover letter
The due diligence process will involve consultation with two-three potential reviewers, an assessment of their relevant experience, expertise and independence with references to be taken up and checked.