Appeal launched for charity conference diversity fund

The Institute of Fundraising has launched an appeal for donations to its Access Fund, which will provide bursaries for under-represented groups to attend its Fundraising Convention in July 2019.

Fundraising Convention is one of the biggest events on the fundraising sector’s calendar. Held annually, it sees thousands of fundraisers gather for a range of workshops, case studies and debates at the Barbican in London.

The IoF will invite fundraisers who self-identify as BAME (Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background), LGBT+, or disabled to apply from 2d April 2019. Successful applicants will receive bursaries for travel and accommodation costs as well as a ticket for one or more days to Convention.

A spokesperson for the Institute said: “The IoF’s Diversity Access Fund is an important initiative to make fundraising a more equal, more diverse and more inclusive profession. There are currently too few BAME, disabled and LGBT+ fundraisers; and not enough women in leadership roles.”

The diversity access fund was launched last year and enabled 23 people who would have otherwise been unable to attend, to participate in the event. It is hoped that they will be able to replicate the same success this year.

“Our community currently lacks the real diversity it needs to fulfil its potential to support the causes we all care about. This is not only unacceptable but means that we are missing out on so much talent.  That’s why we are asking for donations to support the Diversity Access Fund, an early step for us to achieve our ambition of a more equal, diverse and inclusive profession,” said Amanda Bringans, chair of the Institute of Fundraising.

“We have already received many generous donations from the fundraising community and hope that with the support of fundraisers, organisations and partners within the sector, we can raise a further £10,000 so that more people from diverse backgrounds can attend Fundraising Convention,” she added.

Since the Access Fund was set up by the Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, the panel has gone on to establish the #ChangeCollective, a sector movement to improve diversity in fundraising.