Racial diversity in the charity sector

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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, Turn2Us

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

Michael Adamson, chief executive, British Red Cross

Heather Osborne, chief executive, Age UK Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

Jane Collins, chief executive, Marie Curie 

Girish Menon, CEO, ActionAid UK 

Liam Fassam, executive director, Ignite

John Sauven, executive director, Greenpeace UK

Howard Sinclair, chief executive, St. Mungo's

Ghazala Baig, chief executive, MedEquip4Kids

Ruth Kettle, chief executive, Community Links

Dom Wood, CEO, 1625 Independent People

Darren York, chief executive, TCV

Sally Young, chief executive, Newcastle CVS

Jane Hartley, chief executive, VONNE

Sherrylyn Peck, chief executive, Safer London

Ruth Spellman, chief executive and general secretary, WEA

Rick Henderson, chief executive, Homeless Link

Helena Holt, chief executive, Devon Air Ambulance

Graeme Hodge, chief executive, All We Can

Alison Lowe, chief executive, Touchstone

Craig Bennett, CEO, Friends of the Earth

Oonagh Aitken, chief executive, Volunteering Matters

Sara Llewellin, chief executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust

Nik Peasgood, chief executive, Leeds Women's Aid

Judith Mudd, chief executive, The British Sociological Association

Kate Lee, CEO, Clic Sargent

Menai Owen-Jones, CEO, The Pituitary Foundation

Jess Mullen, head of policy and communications, Clinks

Jo Hobbs, chief executive, British Youth Council

Anna Smee, CEO, UK Youth

Derri Burdon, CEO, Curious Minds

Matt Lent, CEO, Future First

Anne Fox, CEO, Clinks

Lynne Morris, CEO, Toybox

Teri Stephenson, CEO, Age UK Lancashire

Jane van Zyl, CEO, Working Families

Paul Parker, recording clerk, Quakers

Ruth Potter, charity manager, OCAY

Eliot Lyne, interim chief executive, RNIB

Tom Clarke-Forrest, founder & chief executive, Sport 4 Life UK

Olivia Southey, head of policy, Doula UK

Debbie Geraghty, chief executive, Plymouth Music Zone

Penny Wilson, chief executive, Gettting on Board

Annie Warburton, chief executive, Cockpit Arts 

Julie Bentley, chief executive, Action for Children

Russell Hobby, chief executive, Teach First

Jaine Stannard, chief executive, School-Home Support

Catherine Mahony, director, Westminster Befriend a Family

Anita Grover, chief executive, Auditory Verbal UK

Lisa Ward, chief executive, Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre

Louise Macdonald OBE, chief executive, Young Scot

Sarah Cook, chief executive, Home-Start Oldham, Stockport & Tameside (HOST)

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