Sam Butler, Director of Fundraising at Tibet Relief Fund, explains why he is involved with the #ChangeCollective and what he would like to see the movement achieve.
The #ChangeCollective is an opportunity for anyone who has felt discriminated against to know that they are supported by many people within the sector. The fundraising sector is all about supporting change and defending the rights of others, so the #ChangeCollective is about moving the sector to do that for those that work within it.
I started my work in fundraising at a face-to-face agency called Gift Fundraising in 2001. It was the most diverse professional community I have every worked in – from the management team and supporting functions, through to those fundraising on the street every day. It was an incredibly creative and inclusive culture. In fact, it was a privilege to have been a part of it.
I feel fortunate that I was a part of that fundraising agency's community, its work force and the legacy it left the sector. But most importantly, I feel fortunate for the access it gave me in learning about and developing a far more open attitude to life.
I am very proud to be part of the Institute of Fundraising's #ChangeCollective for more diversity within the sector.
Change is often a slow process within our sector, but I would like to hear far less stories about harassment and discrimination happening within it.
I would like to see a wider representation within senior roles – from board level down – of a diverse mix of people, both ethnically and sexually orientated, and for these groups to have the confidence and support to apply and fill those roles. But having quotas or taking a top-down approach will not be enough.
We need to create a culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging, and has the confidence to bring their best selves forward. A culture where inclusion is a lived experience for everyone – not just a one-off training session.
We will only do this by challenging the fears and enhancing the joy of working within diverse communities.
In November we launched our Manifesto for Change which sets out how we plan to embark on the journey to achieve an equal, diverse and inclusive profession where everyone is the right fit. We are encouraging fundraisers to sign up to the #ChangeCollective movement so we can work together to make fundraising a career for everyone.