Debate: Is it right that charities are allowed to hold single-sex fundraising events?

The Fundraising Standards Board recently dismissed a complaint against Cancer Research UK's women-only Race for Life

JOHN TAYLOR - the complainant in the CRUK case

John Taylor, No. Anything that affects women also affects men, and visa versa, even if in different ways. For example, prostate cancer affects men only, but their female relatives are also affected by the trauma.

CRUK's Race for Life events are a glaring example of misguided thinking. Of course, all the female participants should be commended for the millions raised through these events.

But many of those women could one day be afflicted by the Big C and die. There will then be devastated male relatives who will want to raise money to fight against the illness which took their loved ones' lives.

Single-sex fundraising events deny many people the opportunity to raise money for something that will invariably affect them in some way.

GILES PEGRAM - fundraising consultant, was an NSPCC appeals director for 30 years

Giles PegramYes. In fact, a charity that turned down money from such an event would probably be breaking the law, by not acting in the best interests of its beneficiaries.

I know that Race for Life is organised by the charity, not for the charity, but in this case I believe the same rule of thumb applies.

A charity should accept money from any source, unless it is illegal, contrary to its objects or counterproductive to do so. These are tests that have stood us in good stead for some time.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people go to such lengths to prevent charities raising money, and thus ultimately deprive beneficiaries of much-needed funds.


LIZ MONKS - director of supporter relations and fundraising at Breast Cancer Campaign

Liz Monks, Breast Cancer CampaignThe question of whether we should be as non- discriminatory in our fundraising as in the delivery of our charitable objectives or employment practices fails to take account of the fact that we must offer people fundraising activities they want.

The FRSB's decision to allow an event targeting one group is not discrimination but donor choice.

Women are traditionally more philanthropic, so much charity fundraising is directed at them. But brilliant events such as Movember - in which men grow facial hair to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity - are changing that, and events like this will, if you pardon the pun, continue to grow.

This is not discrimination - it's well- targeted, witty fundraising.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now