What defined 2019 for fundraisers?

What defined 2019 for fundraisers?

Alice Sharman | 27 December 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, we take a look at the key things that defined the past year for fundraisers. Alice Sharman, Content Manager at the Institute of Fundraising, looks at five of those key developments and trends that have made 2019 such a significant one for fundraisers.

Strong movements for equality, diversity and inclusion

Issues around equality, diversity and inclusion took the spotlight this year with the Institute of Fundraising continuing our work on the Change Collective, including releasing our Who Isn’t in the Room report which sets a benchmark for equality, diversity and inclusion in the fundraising profession. We also launched our new strategy this year, which sets out the plan of action for the Change Collective campaign in 2020 and beyond.

Elsewhere in the sector, the #nongraduateswelcome campaign has been making waves by questioning the need for “degree-level qualification” requirements in fundraising job adverts. To encourage a more diverse group of talented applicants, it is calling on organisations to be clearer about the specific skills, knowledge and experience they require.

The #CharitySoWhite campaign in the summer led to powerful testimonials from People of Colour (PoC) working in the impact sector. The experiences laid bare the deep seated racism in the social sector and problems addressing institutional racism. #CharitySoWhite is holding the sector to account, and to ensure that they take the lead in rooting out racism from our society.

Safeguarding our fundraisers

In 2019 the fundraising sector had its own version of the #MeToo movement, with fundraisers around the world saying they had experienced unwanted advances from donors, fellow colleagues and those in positions of power. Research into donor dominance by Rogare board member Heather Hill showed that these sorts of examples were widespread. Heather Hill spoke to Isobel Michael (Co-Chair, IoF Task Group on Sexual Harassment in Fundraising) and Ruby Bayley-Pratt (Fundraising Policy and Research Manager, British Red Cross) about these issues in this ‘In Conversation’ video here.

In response to concerns raised to them, Fundraising Magazine launched an awareness campaign about the sector-wide issues called #AtWhatCost in July and the IoF has further strengthened our support by setting up an additional resource: a helpline for complainants seeking confidential support and advice in understanding how their complaint will be handled. Tell Jane, the HR consultancy that enhances workplace culture, will provide support for confidential queries.

In October, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations launched a range of free online safeguarding resources, in conjunction with several other charities, to outline how voluntary organisations can prevent beneficiaries, staff and others from suffering harm.
The resources were created to deliver phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund, which was announced in March by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in conjunction with the National Lottery Community Fund.

A positive year for legacies

After lobbying Government to abandon plans for a new probate fee regime that could threaten legacy giving, the Institute of Fundraising and our legacy-growth campaign Remember A Charity were pleased when the Ministry of Justice dropped their plans.

The proposed changes to the probate fee system could have cost charities an estimated £10m a year. In November 2018, the MoJ had announced plans to replace the existing flat-rate probate fee of £215 with a banded system that would result in fees on estates worth more £50,000 increasing to between £250 and £6,000.

Also this year, legacy income has surpassed the £3 billion mark for the first time – according to Legacy Trends Data from Smee & Ford.

Fundraising Code of Practice

On 1 October 2019 a new Code of Fundraising Practice came into effect. The Fundraising Regulator, who oversees the code, said that the changes are designed to make it easier for fundraisers, charities and third-party organisations to understand the standards expected of them when fundraising. The new code also included an easier to navigate website version.

IoF members can watch this ‘In Conversation’ video featuring the Fundraising Regulator’s Head of Policy Priya Warner and IoF’s Head of Policy and External Affairs Daniel Fluskey where they discuss what has changed in the new code here.

Another step towards Chartered Status

And finally, this year the Institute of Fundraising announced that we had been given the go ahead by the Privy Council to make a formal petition to become the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. We consulted with our members who voted for us to make the petition.
Subject to approval by the Queen, the Institute of Fundraising is on an exciting journey to gain chartered status as an organisation and subject to approval by the Privy Council Office (PCO), provide chartered individual membership in a few years’ time.

Alice Sharman is Content Manager at the Institute of Fundraising