When I started at the Chartered Institute last autumn I knew that I needed to spend a considerable amount of time listening. We have a committed and passionate membership who care about fundraising – but it was clear that for some we hadn’t asked for their views and weren’t meeting their needs as fully as we could. Through a series of member roundtables, and a more recent survey to which over 400 members responded, we now have a solid understanding of what we need to do. Members have told us that we needed to refocus, to hear their priorities, and to understand how together we can take the Chartered Institute forward in a way that expressed and reflected their values.
This is directly informing our new organisational strategy, which we will launch in the summer. As we work on that I look forward to sharing our thinking and consulting with you over the coming weeks. I want to ensure that our new strategy for the Chartered Institute is one that we can all get behind and that takes our wonderful profession forward.
Listening and hearing were necessary first steps, but we also need to show action on the issues that you care about. And while a new organisational strategy is fundamental to take us forward over the coming years, there are discussions happening right now that are important to our members and our shared values as we strive to make fundraising a more equal, inclusive, and diverse profession.
Two prominent discussions have been taking place among our members and the wider sector relating to inclusive practices on recruitment in fundraising: showing the salary on job adverts, and reducing unnecessary and potentially discriminatory requirements in job descriptions, focused on specifying a degree as an essential requirement. On both cases I would like to make it absolutely clear – the Chartered Institute believes that all jobs in fundraising should display the salary, and that organisations should not include unnecessary degree requirements in job descriptions and role specifications.
Both of these issues have been prominently raised and I would like to thank the people behind #Showthesalary and #Nongraduateswelcome who have consistently highlighted them and have pushed charities, recruiters, and membership bodies to review their ways of working.
One of the issues highlighted over recent months has been our partnership with CharityJob – one which means that Chartered Institute members get a discount on the placing of job adverts and that members see new opportunities. Unfortunately, where charities are yet to change their recruiting practices, it can mean that job adverts are not as inclusive as they should and we want them to be.We have been having discussions with CharityJob and met with them to see how this can be addressed, and I’m pleased to share an update from CharityJob which outlines their approach and a new change to their processes that will mean that organisations are alerted to, and discouraged from, including unnecessary requirements. You can read more about that change in this blog by Karen Harlow, Digital Content Manager at CharityJob.
However, changes to the processes of organisations like CharityJob can only go so far and be part of the solution. It is impossible to vet and approve every single fundraising job advert, even though I know for some people they would like this to happen and I share your frustration. That’s why we also need to address the root cause of the issue and work to improve the recruiting practices of our members and fundraising organisations.
We are currently having conversations with our Organisational Members about the changes, actions, and steps that we want to see the fundraising community taking together. These conversations will lead to us launching an EDI pledge for Organisational Members at Fundraising Convention in July, alongside the publication of our new strategy. Included in the pledge will be commitments to publish a clear EDI statement, policy, and strategy, carrying out Equality Impact Assessments on fundraising team restructures, as well as paying Living Wage for internships, showing the salary on job adverts, and removing unnecessary degree requirements in job descriptions. This pledge will work alongside the practical guidance we have for hiring managers, recruitment agencies, small charities, and job seekers in our Recruitment Guides which can help charities understand how to embed new ways of working.
These are all things that I have committed the Chartered Institute to also do, and hope that together, through making these changes and demonstrating our shared commitment to a more inclusive profession, we will create a fundraising sector where everyone can be the right fit.