The case for diversity and inclusion

The IoF/Barrow Cadbury Trust survey report, “Diversity in the Fundraising Profession”, published in 2013, found that there are fewer fundraisers from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds than in the overall sector workforce and that there are more women than men, but concentrated in junior roles.  The IoF Strategic Framework 2017-2021 draws on that report in its aim to achieve a more diverse and inclusive workforce and organisation.

Both sets of data in the Barrow Cadbury Report reflect a familiar national picture for the majority of employment sectors.

For example, the Government's recently published Race Equality Audit sets out the employment gap in terms of both overall numbers and income rates and the Colour of Power report is unequivocal that few people of colour make it to top jobs in any sector.

A recent Deloitte report noted the gender pay gap in the organisation is 18.2%, whilst the CMI revealed its latest findings on the gender pay gap within management positions standing at 26.8%.  There is a readily accepted view that people with disabilities are to be found mainly in disability organisations and little is known about the distribution of LGBT people in the workforce (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender). 

There is a growing body of evidence that workplace diversity can help the financial bottom line, with MIT claiming revenue increases as much as 41%6 and McKinsey setting out the ‘diversity dividend’ between 15% and 35%7:

More diverse companies, we believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision-making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns."

The spending power of the LGBT and BAME communities is often overlooked (Financial Times and nfpsynergy) with BAME communities having a disposable income over £300bn. To tap into this wealth for the charities that IoF supports requires organisations to engage fully with inclusion.

Deepak Mahtani of TearFund warns that: “Charities will miss out if they don’t widen their donor profile to include young, upwardly mobile people from ethnic minority communities.

As IoF supports the growth of the fundraising workforce of the future it must recognise that the younger generation has a greater expectation of diversity and inclusion from employers (PwC 2011 survey of 4,000 graduates), and that the public connects with disability issues, particularly since the London 2012 Paralympics.  The diversity of voices will make the sector and the fundraising profession stronger.

The equality and diversity agenda intersects on many levels and class is a factor that is often overlooked; it’s a personal agenda for everyone, whether that it is to maintain the status quo or make a change.

The moral case for making a change is simple – it is the right thing to do and it will help us to achieve our organisational goals.