The IoF's year in its policy work

The IoF's year in its policy work

Alice Sharman | 28 December 2019

This year has been a big year for fundraisers, and for the Institute of Fundraising in terms of our policy work – from work on equality, diversity and inclusion feeding into our Change Collective objectives, to our collaboration with YouGov on our Public Perceptions research, which looks at what the public really think about the fundraising profession. In no particular order, below are five of our top reports, research and guidance that we have worked on this year.

• Public Perceptions

As a sector, we have anecdotal evidence about what the average person on the street thinks about us, and ideas about public opinion from research on trust in charities. But what about the statements that people associate with the fundraising profession? What do they think your job entails and requires? Is fundraising seen as an attractive career, and if not why not?

This research, released in September, looks at how the general public perceives fundraising, based on polling conducted by YouGov and supported by TPP Recruitment and CHRN. The two-part series looks particularly at whether age, race, religion, disability, or gender make a difference to how fundraising is seen and understood by different people. The insights inform our work promoting the fundraising profession and support the objectives of the #ChangeCollective.

The first instalment in the two-part series explores responses to those big-picture questions about the profession around knowledge, positivity and perceptions. While, the second instalment takes a deeper dive into the public’s thoughts on fundraising as a career, touching on why people would be interested in working in fundraising and what qualities would help them do so.

Read it here.

• Fundraising for Impact

Produced by the Institute of Fundraising and PwC, ‘Fundraising for Impact’ looks at the current priorities and decisions that charities are taking around their fundraising activities. The research, based on a survey of over 100 fundraising charities of different sizes, explores fundraising income and costs, how charities are investing in fundraising, key fundraising challenges and their views about fundraising in the future.

The report, released in June, shows that charities are concerned about future economic uncertainty and the disposable income of donors, and continue to experience a rising demand for services. Despite the pressure on charities, including increased costs in compliance, workforce and fundraising activity, it is clear that they are adapting and proactively taking control through innovation and new approaches to put in place strong foundations for future success.

Read it here.

• Who Isn’t in the Room

Change Collective: Who Isn't in the Room sets a benchmark of equality, diversity and inclusion in the fundraising profession.
The research, released in June, based on a survey of over 400 fundraising charities of different sizes, explores the make-up of fundraising teams, and the organisational practices that might be holding us back or succeeding in reducing the barriers for fundraisers.

As one of the early commitments in our Manifesto for Change, this will underpin our long-term EDI strategy by helping us track progress, better understand the barriers that exist in our profession, and work out what we, and our members, can do to work towards a more inclusive and diverse fundraising community.

Read it here.

• Change Collective Strategy

In July the Institute of Fundraising launched our new strategy setting out why change is needed - the business case for equality, diversity and inclusion – and the approach that needs to be taken by the Institute, its members and partners, to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds are not only recruited into the sector but retained and progressed too.

Considering evidence, the IoF and the Board of Trustees identified four key inequalities to be addressed in the strategy:

  • Underrepresentation BAME fundraisers
  • Underrepresentation of disabled fundraisers
  • LGBT+ fundraisers are not always able to be open in the workplace
  • Women form the majority of the profession but are not proportionately represented at a senior level.


The strategy takes forward the commitments set out in the Manifesto for Change, identifying 16 initial activities to deliver a more equal, diverse and inclusive profession. Key activities include;

  • Commissioning research on the under-representation of BAME fundraisers in the profession, including on the barriers to entry and progression, and research on women in leadership roles.
  • Developing an EDI Recruitment Toolkit to help organisations recruit more BAME, disabled and male fundraisers.
  • Developing IoF’s approach to Affinity Network and role models for BAME, disabled and LGBT+ fundraisers.


Read it here.

  • Year in the Fundraising

The IoF’s Year in Fundraising, released this month, is a resource for our members of key data, trends, and insight published throughout 2019. We've brought together some of the reports and publications from across the sector to give you a snapshot of the current fundraising landscape and help to inform the decisions you make.

Put together by the IoF team it provides a summary of all the big topics in the sector including: big picture; equality, diversity and inclusion; what is going on around the UK; individual giving and public opinion. 

Read it here.

What’s new in 2020?

For the first time at the IoF, we will release guidance for fundraisers on tackling the climate emergency. This includes providing more support to our members on when they can refuse donations, and step away from partnerships, when they have environmental concerns. Keep an eye out for more information.

Members can also expect to see lots more from the Change Collective in 2020, as the sector continues to improve diversity in their workplaces and communities.

And we continue our work on changing perceptions of fundraising, while awaiting the approval of our bid to become a chartered body, giving the career the professional recognition it deserves.

 Alice Sharman is Content Manager at the Institute of Fundraising



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