Expert advisory panel

The IoF's panel on equality, diversity and inclusion in the fundraising profession was a fixed-term expert advisory group. During their term together, they produced the Manifesto for Change which supported us to continue our work to make the profession more equal, diverse and inclusive.

They were comprised of the following sector professionals:

Sufina Ahmad (Chair)

Sufina Ahmad 2018

Sufina is the incoming Director at the John Ellerman Foundation. Whilst she was chair of the EDI panel, she was at the City of London Corporation where she supported the design and delivery of their Corporate Plan for 2018-2023. 

Prior to this role, Sufina worked for the Big Lottery Fund and City Bridge Trust, in strategy, policy and stakeholder relations roles. During her year at City Bridge Trust, Sufina developed their ambitious new funding strategy for 2018-23 – Bridging Divides. Whilst at the Fund she supported the design and delivery of over £150m of National Lottery funding, including their Women and Girls Initiative.

Sufina has also held a variety of service delivery and business development roles within not-for-profits, charities and housing associations. She worked mainly with adults with learning disabilities and associated conditions and older people.


Carol Akiwumi

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Carol was elected as a Trustee in July 2015 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising. Carol is the former Chair of the Black Fundraisers UK and works with funders like Comic Relief and Big Lottery, to support BAME Groups and Fundraisers.

A regular contributor to conferences and IoF courses, she also works with national and international agencies of different sizes to create and deliver resource mobilisation/capacity building programmes for their staff and volunteers.

She is currently the Chair of the new Committee on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the IoF.


Paul Amadi

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Paul joined the British Red Cross in July as its new Chief Supporter Officer. Before that he was Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement at the MS Society. He has also held Director of Fundraising roles at Diabetes UK and NSPCC. Paul was recently made a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising which he has also Chaired, alongside serving as Chair of the International Fundraising Congress.


Lucy Caldicott

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Lucy is a campaigner and activist working to address issues of inequality, injustice and exclusion. She has worked in senior management positions at a range of voluntary and private sector organisations over the last twenty-five years.  She is Chief Executive of UpRising, a charity which offers a range of leadership and employability programmes to talented young people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

She began her career in international financial services marketing for American Express and MoneyGram International before moving to the charity sector with roles at The Prince’s Trust and VSO, with a focus on engaging corporate partners in volunteering and fundraising.  

She was then Director of Fundraising at CLIC Sargent, where she led teams throughout the UK raising funds to open four new Homes from Home and delivering successful corporate partnerships with Tesco, Santander, and JD Wetherspoon, plus growing individual giving income.


Emily Casson

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Emily has spent her whole career in the third sector, starting in Policy and Campaigns, campaigning on social justice issues, before moving into fundraising in 2012. After gaining experience in various fundraising streams, Emily is currently the Digital Fundraising Manager at Cats Protection. She is responsible for developing and implementing the organisation’s first Digital Fundraising Strategy and leading the phenomenal growth of digital fundraising at the charity. 

Emily is the current Chair of the Institute of Fundraising North East group. She has also acted as a trustee and consultant for various local charities, and is passionate about developing the fundraising sector in the North East, upskilling fundraisers and increasing diversity in the region.


Gemma Cornwell

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Gemma has over 15 years fundraising experience mainly specialising  in Community and Events fundraising. She started her career as a telephone fundraiser at NSPCC and is currently the Head of Public Fundraising at Barnardo’s.

Previous roles included working at Prostate Cancer UK at a time of transformational change and at St Joseph’s Hospice where she led the fundraising team as interim Director of Fundraising.

Gemma has managed teams of varying sizes, experience and levels, through times of change, challenge and success.  She has a strong commitment to championing staff, and in each organisation she has worked, she has strived to develop the working culture, both leading and being part of staff forums to drive change. 


Charlotte Fielder

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Charlotte worked for 33 years in HMCE, National Criminal Intelligence Service and Home Office; as a Customs Officer, on the Serious Sex Offenders Unit and in Border Force. She represented the UK at international child protection conferences and she acted as Home Office Diversity Champion during the London Paralympics. In 2012, she was appointed to the board of EDRIC (The European Dysmelia Reference Information Centre) an umbrella organisation which brings together limb difference groups and those affected by congenital limb loss. 

Charlotte was born with a shortened forearm and a missing hand and considers herself informed by her disability rather than defined by it. After two years as a director she was invited back as EDRIC patron. She is the author of ‘Shared Experiences’ written for families affected by upper limb difference with proceeds going to UK based charity Reach. 

She has been a volunteer fundraiser for Reach for 14 years and has recently joined their bursary board. In 2013, she started working at a hospice running their volunteer services department. She joined Battersea in July 2015 heading the Volunteering and Fostering Department. She sits as an Assembly Member at NCVO and is passionate about volunteerism, diversity, fundraising and rescue dogs!


Joyce Fraser

Joyce Fraser

Joyce grew up in South London, and has lived and travelled the world, living in Jamaica for 5 years where she was Head of Human Resources Development & Airline Procedures, for Air Jamaica, and set up the Computer Learning Centre in New Kingston. In the UK she headed up Human Resource Development for Europe for the Australian High Commission Department of Immigration and Multi-Culture, Managed Technical Training for UK Power Networks, and provided consultancy for EDF Energy, and Transport for London. Joyce currently lectures for the Open University Business School. She devotes her time to charity, chairing the Black Heroes Foundation, in tribute to her late husband Flip Fraser. Issues of race, equality, opportunity and empowerment are the DNA of Joyce’s modus operandi.

She incorporated the Black Heroes Foundation as a charity 2 years ago. Its vision is “a world where Black Heroes are acknowledged, respected and celebrated”. Their event “The Black Heroes Soul Café” goes into communities engaging, educating, entertaining and empowering, the young, old, homeless and sick. Working across communities, cultures and generations, impacting on people’s health & wellbeing, sense of belonging and empowerment. Joyce was inspired by her late husband’s iconic show “Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame” which re-opened the Hackney Empire 30 years ago, toured the UK, USA and Jamaica, with its last performance in 2007. The show’s strap line was “5,000 years of Black History in one night of theatre!” The Black Heroes Foundation is re-imagining the show for production at the Hackney Empire in October 2019.

The Prime Minster has honoured Joyce with the Points of Light Award for her inspiring voluntary work with the Black Heroes Foundation.


Louise Firth

Louise Firth

Louise is the Director of Fundraising at Refuge. Louise leads a team responsible for a portfolio of community, major, individual, legacy, plus innovative, strategic corporate partnerships, to provide support for women and children who are experiencing gender-based violence.

Louise creates different ways to inspire and encourage the public to play their part in working towards a world where everyone is free from living in fear, as part of a community or organisation by donating, campaigning or participating. 

Louise was previously the Director of Fundraising at Stonewall and has also held several senior fundraising positions across the third sector, including the NSPCC. Louise’s early career was in commercial brand experiences. 

Louise has been a champion for diversity and inclusion throughout her career, and is proud to be an LGBT role model. 


Hayley Gullen

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Hayley is Head of Trusts and Major Gifts at Tommy’s. A Cambridge graduate, she began her fundraising career as a street fundraiser for Greenpeace and has since worked in trust fundraising at St Mungo’s and SSAFA. 

Hayley is passionate about removing barriers to entering the fundraising profession, as she believes that it’s only by encouraging new talent from a range of backgrounds, and supporting people to develop and grow, that we’ll be able to address the charity sector’s future challenges. 

Hayley blogs about this and many other issues affecting fundraising at


Alex Gwynne

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Alex has worked at Stonewall since April 2013, helping to manage our Diversity Champions programme and support organisations to develop inclusive workplaces for their LGBT staff, service users and customers. As part of the programme, Alex supports a team of account managers and works with organisations such as Premier League, Macmillan and National Trust, sharing best practice and encouraging them to think of new and innovative ways to make sure that their staff’s sexual orientations and gender identities are not a barrier in their career development.


Tufail Hussain

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Tufail Hussain joined Islamic Relief UK in 2016 and has over 10 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector coupled with extensive experience in marketing and campaign management. During these years, Tufail has travelled extensively around the world raising awareness of major emergencies such as the Syrian Crisis and Pakistan Floods.

Current Deputy Director of Islamic Relief UK and Trustee at the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), Tufail was previously the Chief Executive Officer at a leading charity specialising in helping vulnerable children. The charity, which supports thousands of children around the world, saw its income grow from £2 million to over £9 million in three years under his leadership. Prior to this, he held senior roles at various organisations where he has established fundraising strategies and has shown a strong track record of growing organisational income exponentially.

A sports enthusiast, Tufail lives a very active lifestyle having recently ran the London Marathon, raising over £20,000 for charity.


David Mbaziira 

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David is a communications practitioner with over 22 years’ experience. He has worked in both advertising agency and client side senior roles, developing strategic marketing campaigns.

As Head of Marketing and Communications at the charity Sporting Equals, he promoted the benefits of sport and physical activity to under-represented communities in the UK in the run up to and during the London 2012 Olympics. 

David joined HOME Companies in 2013 with a UK and global remit. This included overseeing strategic communications development, corporate partnerships, reputation management and policy & public affairs for group companies, including HOME Fundraising and HOME India.

In 2018, David established okusoka + Co, a new consultancy that works with sectors and organisations to create inclusive cultures and provides services for charities to engage diverse communities in the not-for-profit sector. David is passionate about diversity and inclusion, believing that we need to level the playing field by providing greater access to opportunity, to discover the talent that will enrich teams, organisations and ultimately benefit our society.


Isobel Michael

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Isobel was elected as an IoF Trustee in July 2017. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in fundraising in the UK and Australia, working within charities and as a consultant specialising in philanthropic fundraising, capital projects, evaluation and capacity building for smaller organisations. She is also a trustee of First Steps (Bath).

Isobel was Secretary of the Institute of Fundraising South West Regional Group for twenty years and became a Fellow of the IoF in 2009. She was also a member of the Victoria Executive for the Fundraising Institute of Australia for three years, managing the Mentoring Programme.


Jaz Nannar

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Jaz oversees Burnett Works and heads up the planning/strategic thinking.

She spends a lot of time really getting under the skin of charities – what they do, and why they do it. She also speaks to hundreds of supporters a year to unpick where causes fit into their lives, and why they care. In doing so, Jaz gets to the heart of the matter, and creates fundraising propositions that are built on robust insights, and that act as the bedrock for all supporter communications.


Kunle Olulode

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Kunle Director of Voice4Change England, a membership body of around 400 organisations that campaigns for a stronger and more inclusive civil society to meet the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic people and other disadvantaged communities. Voice4Change have run national fund-raising training programmes for IOF with local groups across England and looked in detail at the barriers to partnerships and collaborations. Publishing ‘Bridging the Gap’ in 2015; a survey report that considered the funding experiences of approximately 100 BME charities and community groups paving the way for setting up of the Joint Funders Alliance between the BME voluntary sector and a host of national funders. 

Over last two years Kunle has also been instrumental in looking at ways to enable BME community organisations and charities to utilise social investment effectively to scale up their activities. This work is being developed alongside the Social Investment Business and Charities Aid Foundation. 

He's curatorial, programme and audience development advisor to a range of national cultural institutions including the BFI South Bank, The British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Catalan Institute in London. 


Samir Savant

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Samir is Festival Director of the London Handel Festival, the annual celebration of the composer who made his home and wrote his greatest works in London. The Festival is internationally acclaimed for its high quality programme of opera, oratorio and chamber concerts and for its prestigious Handel Singing Competition.

Samir has over 15 years experience as a senior manager in the arts.  He was Director of Development at the Royal College of Music, where he managed a team of twelve with an annual £3m income target and previously held fundraising and marketing positions at Shakespeare's Globe, English National Opera, Royal Academy of Arts and Handel House. 

Samir is a recognised writer and public speaker on topics as varied as the lack of diversity in the arts to the role of trustees and senior management in fundraising. He is Chair of the Professional Development sub-committee of the Institute of Fundraising’s Cultural Sector Network and of its annual national conference, the largest event of its type in the UK for arts and heritage fundraisers. He was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge and sings with Pegasus, the award-winning chamber choir he co-founded. He is a trustee of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.


James Taylor

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James is Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Scope, the disability charity. James leads Scope’s work to influence government, business and others to achieve everyday equality for disabled people. James is Scope’s lead spokesperson on campaign and policy work, particularly consumer issues and, employment. Before joining Scope, James led Which? campaigns on fair energy prices, broadband advertising and nuisance calls. Previously, James was Head of Campaigns at Stonewall, the LGBT charity, setting up the Rainbow Laces anti-homophobia in football campaign, leading Stonewall policy on hate crime, blood donation and healthcare. James is a Non-Executive Director of Smart Energy GB.


Jenny Wildblood

Jenny Wildblood

Jenny has been a fundraiser and grant maker most of her working life. She's passionate about micro, grassroots groups and the opportunities for positive change they give to excluded communities. She currently works as Funding Lead at Voscur, Bristol, and as a consultant. She's particularly interested in the inclusion of older people and the LGBT community. 

Click here for the Terms of reference of the expert advisory panel.