Racial diversity in the charity sector

ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising (IoF) ask civil society leaders to commit to eight principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership.

In a report published today, ACEVO and IoF urge charities to prioritise increasing diversity in their workforces in order to prevent groupthink, generate more income, operate more creatively and attract the best talent. In order to create stronger, more resilient charities the two membership bodies are asking charity leaders, and leaders from wider civil society organisation that want to improve diversity and inclusion, to sign up to eight leadership principles.

As a leader I will:

  1. Acknowledge that there is a problem with racial diversity in the charity sector and commit to working to change that.
  2. Recognise the important role leaders have in creating change by modelling positive behaviour and taking action.
  3. Learn about racial bias and how it impacts leadership decisions.
  4. Commit to setting permanent and minimum targets for diversity that reflects the participants, donors, beneficiaries and the population of the area that my charity operates in. 
  5. Commit to action and invest resources, where necessary, in order to improve racial diversity in my charity.
  6. View staff as the sum of many parts rather than a single entity and recruit to build a diverse group of talented people collectively working towards a shared vision.
  7. Recruit for potential, not perfection.
  8. Value lived experience, the ability to draw from one’s lived experience and to bring insights to an organisation that can develop its work.

Who has made the commitments?

Vicky Browning, CEO, ACEVO

Peter Lewis, CEO, Institute of Fundraising

Thomas Lawson, CEO, Leap Confronting Conflict

Baillie Aaron, CEO, Spark Inside

Tesse Akpeki, governance consultant, facilitator and trainer

Sir Stuart Etherington, CEO, NCVO

Sharon Allen, CEO, Skills for Care

Javed Khan, CEO, Barnados

Sarah Hughes, CEO, Centre for Mental Health

Carol Akiwumi, chair and founder, Money4Youth

Jane Dodson, chair, seAp Advocacy

Robin Osterley, CEO, Charity Retail Association

Mark Simms, CEO, P3 the social inclusion charity

Amelia Foster, CEO, SAPHERE

Jonathan Freeman, CEO, CareTech Foundation

Jane Ide, CEO, NAVCA

David Fielding, Managing Partner, Attenti

Richard Boland, CEO, retailTRUST

Shaun Horan, Joint CEO, Halpin Partnership

Beth Upton, CEO, Money Tree Fundraising

Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO, Kidscape

If you would like to make the commitments and be listed here please email policy@acevo.org.uk. 

Download the report here.