Petition calls for fundraising boss to resign

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​Civil war in the English fundraising sector as expert calls for Grade's head

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13th July 2017 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

A major figure in the fundraising world has called for the head of watchdog chair Michael Grade.

Ian MacQuillin, director of the influential Rogare think tank, has backed a petition calling for the former Channel 4 chief to step aside from the helm of the English and Welsh Fundraising Regulator.

It follows comments Grade made in the Daily Telegraph and on Radio 4, where he said many charities were “laggards” who are refusing to address the public’s concerns about fundraising.

He has previously described fundraisers as "rogues and cowboys", operating in the “wild west”.

The change.org petition – posted by someone callin him/herself Proud To Be A Fundraiser - has attracted just 151 signatories at time of writing.

Among those is MacQuillan, an expert in fundraising ethics.

He said: "I reluctantly made a call for Lord Grade's resignation because I believe his public comments, which showed contempt for fundraisers and a lack of knowledge of his own organisation, mean he is bringing regulation of fundraising into disrepute at a time when we need a leader of the regulator who can build bridges and consensus, and regulate with the sector, not at it, to rebuild public trust in fundraising."

The petition calls on Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, to "initiate a process to replace Lord Grade immediately and find a chairman who is willing and able to represent donors and not-for-profit organisations responsibly".

The Fundraising Regulator has not commented.

Scotland, which largely escaped the wave of criticism which engulfed the fundraising sector in the rest of the UK, has its own enhanced form of self-regulation.

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