IoF replaced its whole finance team in the past year

At the Institute of Fundraising's annual general meeting yesterday, chief executive Peter Lewis said he believed the new finance team would turn things around

Institute of Fundraising building
Institute of Fundraising building

The Institute of Fundraising has revealed there was a turnover of 100 per cent in its finance team in the past year, after questions were raised about the organisation’s level of investment in its future.

At the IoF’s annual general meeting, held during the organisation’s annual fundraising convention in central London yesterday, Amanda Bringans and Peter Lewis, chair and chief executive of the IoF respectively, faced questions from a member over whether the body was allocating sufficient resources to allow its work to continue.

The member said he was "very, very unsure" that the organisation was "investing enough in the future of fundraising" and whether it was resourcing its finance team in a way that would protect the institute’s work and financial probity. He said he believed this was a long-standing problem going back 20 years.

Lewis admitted all of the members of the IoF finance team had left and been replaced in the past year.

A spokeswoman for the IoF later confirmed that three people had left and four had been hired to the finance team in the past year.

Lewis said the situation was "not something that we wanted".

But he added: "We’ve got a new finance team who I firmly believe will turn things around. We know we haven’t been good enough this year."

He accepted responsibility for the situation and said he was hoping to make things better by investing in a financial system at the organisation that would allow it to operate in the digital world while also giving it the financial controls it needed.

Bringans said: "I have been very, very encouraged by the additions to our finance team and the level of attention to detail and rigour that is now at work."

She said she hoped to be able to report "massive improvements" later in the year.

The IoF annual report, released at the meeting, showed the organisation had an income of £5.9m in the year to 31 March 2018, up from £5.4m in the previous year.

It spent £5.8m in 2017/18, up from £5.3m during the previous 12 months.

Lewis also revealed that the IoF had resumed talks with the Privy Council over chartered status, after the institute’s application was suspended in the wake of the fundraising scandal in 2015.

During the meeting, the IoF also announced the result of its trustee elections: fundraising consultant Carol Akiwumi was re-elected to the board, while Sarah Bissell, director of fundraising at the autism charity Autistica, and Emma-Louise Singh, founder of the consultancy Nova Fundraising, were elected for the first time.

The IoF also welcomed five new fellows: Lucy Caldicott, former member of the board of the Fundraising Regulator and chief executive of the youth charity UpRising, the fundraising consultant Roger Lawson, Beth Upton, founder of the fundraising agency and consultancy Money Tree Fundraising, and Richard Taylor and Paul Amadi, both former chairs of the IoF.

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