Chartered Institute of Fundraising chief executive to step down

The announcement comes as the body faces pressure over its handling of sexual harassment claims, but Peter Lewis says he had handed in his resignation before the recent outcry

Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, has announced he is to step down after almost 10 years in the role. 

Lewis said in a statement today that after the death of his father from Covid-19 last year, he had decided to follow his example and take stock of his life before deciding his next steps. 

During his tenure, the institute has merged with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, played a part in the reorganisation of the self-regulation of fundraising following the 2015 Etherington review, and gained chartered status. 

The announcement comes as the institute faces public pressure from some members over its handling of sexual harassment complaints.

But Lewis said he handed in his resignation on 4 March – about a week before the recent outcry began. 

A spokesperson for the institute said it was not yet clear when Lewis would leave. 

Lewis said in a statement: “It has been a huge privilege to lead the Chartered Institute of Fundraising for the last nine-and-a-half years, and I feel enormously proud of what the staff, volunteer and trustee team have achieved during that time. 

“At my age, my dad took time to step back, take stock of his life, and consider what he most valued, then moved forward in another direction. 

“With his death from Covid-19 late last year, I decided it was time to follow his lead, and resigned from my role on 4 March.”

He also said: “Having achieved chartered status and come through the pandemic, we need a fresh strategy that addresses the culture change we all agree is necessary for the sector. 

“It is right for a new chief executive to lead that process and be charged with delivering against it. 

Claire Rowney, chair of the CIoF, said: “Peter has helped the sector progress significantly during his tenure, including managing us through a time when our fundraising practices were under intense scrutiny, establishing fundraising apprenticeships and achieving chartered status for the institute. 

“As we enter a new era it is time to begin our search for a new leader who will continue to develop the fundraising profession and our culture. 

“We will shortly be starting the recruitment for his successor.”

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