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Staff and trustee diversity targets

Last year ACEVO worked in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising to launch its racial diversity leadership principles. One of the commitments asked civil society organisations to:


Commit to setting permanent and minimum targets for diversity that reflect the participants, donors, beneficiaries and the population of the area that my charity operates in.

In a blog released to mark the launch of the principles ACEVO chief executive Vicky Browning further committed to publishing an annual breakdown of the diversity of our board, staff and membership alongside progress against the objectives we set ourselves. In May 2019, we published this demographic information alongside the diversity targets that this data informed. The board and staff targets are: 

ACEVO staff

Target within five years

Current status (whole staff team)

Current senior management team

Gender balance (women:men)




Proportion of BAME staff




Proportion of disabled staff





ACEVO trustee board: 

Target within three years

Current status

Gender balance (women:men)



Proportion of BAME trustees



Proportion of disabled trustees



We have a small staff team (15 people; 12.8 FTE) all of whom we value deeply and are doing an excellent job supporting our membership. We want to improve diversity across the ACEVO team. We will therefore publish the demographic breakdown of the whole staff alongside that of our senior management team. The majority of the team has been in post less than two years so it is unlikely there will be a lot of staff turnover in the short-term which is why we are making this a five-year target.

As there will be opportunities to recruit new trustees towards the end of both 2019 and 2020, we have set a three-year target to reach these goals for our board.

Why these targets?

We have made these targets following specific consideration and analysis of the demographics of our beneficiaries (civil society leaders), potential beneficiaries (civil society leaders not in membership), the area that we operate in (England and Wales), and where our office is based (London).

Following this exercise, we chose to create targets based on race, gender and disability. Although these targets are represented separately in the table we recognise that everyone has intersecting identities, for example, a disabled man or a woman of colour. Within this process, we will also be proactively recruiting to recruit staff and trustees from other communities including LGBT+, a range of ages, and individuals from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. 

We chose to base our targets for BAME staff based on the BAME population of Greater London because this is where our office is based and where the majority of people who work and apply for jobs at ACEVO live.

We chose to base gender targets on the gender split of the voluntary sector workforce.

We chose to base disability targets on the percentage of disabled people in the working age population in England and Wales (where we operate).

ACEVO’s targets are not necessarily the ‘right’ targets for other organisations who should consider their own objectives and conduct a demographic analysis before making a decision.

How will we reach these targets?

These targets are an accountability mechanism, not a recruitment tool. ACEVO will never make a volunteer or staff appointment based upon an individual’s identity: we will always appoint based on knowledge, skills, experience and the potential to develop those skills in role to strengthen our work.

If ACEVO is not representative of a particular group, it indicates that we are not attracting applications from the breadth of available talent, our recruitment procedures define talent too narrowly and/or our recruitment processes are being influenced by implicit bias. None of this would be acceptable.

We aim to reach these targets by continuing to embed an inclusive workplace culture. This includes ensuring we can provide reasonable adjustments, reviewing and enhancing our recruitment processes, providing training at regular intervals and matching our actions to our organisational values.

Monitoring and review will form a critical part of this process and we will also be seeking to learn from others, enhancing processes as a result. Reaching these targets will not mean we have ‘done’ diversity: they are not a finish line but a commitment to do better and a mechanism to ensure that diversity and inclusion remains a priority on a long-term basis.

This data will be updated annually based on anonymous data collected from staff and trustees in post on 31 March each year.

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