Change Collective: An overview of the last year

Change Collective: An overview of the last year

Guest Bloggers | 20 July 2020

A year after the launch of the Change Collective Strategy, Elizabeth Balgobin, Interim Head of EDI at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, gives an update of what has been achieved over the last year.

A year ago we launched the Change Collective Strategy at Fundraising Convention. It is only right that a year on you get an update on what has been happening and what has been achieved. There is so much, and it is so important, so this week we'll be looking at some key bits of work from this year. Please use this week to engage with us and colleagues across fundraising on all things equality, diversity and inclusion.

It has been a busy year, one where none of us could have imagined that inequality and the disproportionate impact of that on people’s lives would become the dominant conversation across the globe. The COVID-19 crisis has also led to a radical shift in the way we all work and how we think about work. Racial inequality and recruitment were the Change Collective focus in this period.

Peter Lewis, CEO, and former Chair, Amanda Bringans, were in the first cohort of leaders on the ACEVO anti-racism programme, which meant we were preparing an anti-racism statement to go to the board. We brought this forward in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. You can read it here.

We also launched our long-awaited Change Collective Recruitment Guides on 7 July.  

In case you missed it, there are four guides, each aimed at a different audience. These are freely on the website as we recognise we can not change the fundraising profession without helping the whole sector to change.

Here is what else has been achieved since the launch of the strategy:

  • The EDI Expert Panel, which became known as the Change Collective, was replaced with a formal EDI Committee, which is part of the IoF governance structure. Recruitment to the Committee resulted in 50% BAME members, disabled members, some men (as we know, in low numbers in the profession) and a spread across the country. They had their first meeting November 2019 and have met 3 times.


  • I took on the role of (part time) Interim Head of EDI in October 2019 and Peter Fleet, EDI Manager, left in December 2019 to take up new work.


  • Before he left, Peter produced the comprehensive An EDI Resource for our volunteer committees and internal diversity diary for the year ahead. We use the diary to plan those blogs and resources that land just in time for things like LGBTQI+ History Month.


  • Also in December 2019, we achieved Committed status for the Inclusive Employers quality mark. Work continues to get us to Bronze status. Externally it may look like everything is being done by a couple of people, with my name there as having the EDI role, but EDI is a live and active process at the IoF with people in every team thinking about EDI from policy through to the administration of application forms.


  • The work across the IoF is demonstrated in our external programmes too. RAISE: Arts, Culture & Heritage has bursaries which we have tried to ensure reach fundraisers with protected characteristics. Through TNLCF we were able to offer 1,500 Convention places for small charities, prioritising BAME, Disability and LGBTQI+ organisations and people. We are also offering bursaries to access the Convention content and will prioritise people with protected characteristics, alongside those from the devolved nations.


  • CharitySoWhite joined EDI Committee in January 2020 to present their work, discuss how we can align ours and issued us with a challenge on calling out structural racism. We accepted that challenge and Peter Lewis, CEO, tweeted our statement in support of their work and later supporting their call for 20% ring-fenced funds for BAME-led organisations as part of the COVID-19 emergency response in this blog.


  • All staff had received anti-racism training in June, a little later than planned, and the board and EDI Committee will also receive this training before the end of this year.


  • Face to face EDI training for the volunteer committees was cancelled in March and will be delivered this week and on 3 August. If you’re a member of any of our volunteer committees or special interest groups this training is there for you. Watch out for an update on this later this week.


  • We launched our research report Missing Out: Understanding the female leadership gap in fundraising in March. This powerful report from Drs. Beth Breeze and Elizabeth Dale which found that male and female fundraisers begin on similar salary levels but over the course of their careers the female fundraisers are earning 14.3% less than male fundraisers.


  • We have embarked on a joint project with Voice for Change England (V4CE) and the University of East London (UEL) to research and address the barriers to Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic people entering and progressing fundraising. It has taken us a year to get to the point where we are able to launch this work, so we won’t be hanging around to get you involved.


  • We have also been talking to Leonard Cheshire about similar work for disabled people.


  • We were unsuccessful in recruiting to a permanent Head of EDI but a commitment to this role remains. As we go through coming out of the COVID-19 crisis I will continue to hold the interim, part-time, post until December 2020.


You can revisit the Change Collective strategy here

We'll be talking more about our Change Collective work over the coming days.

Sign up to be part of the Change Collective movement and be the first to hear about the activities and opportunities we have planned through our newsletters.

Login to your My IoF account, or create one for free if you don't already have one.

Just go to 'My interests', and tick 'Equality, diversity and inclusion'.

Elizabeth Balgobin is Interim Head of EDI at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising


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