The fall-out from the Presidents Club charity event has continued to make the headlines after revelations that hostesses were allegedly subject to sexual harassment at the men-only fundraising dinner.
The scandal has led to the closure of the Presidents Club, itself a charity, as well as the decision by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity to return the money it received from the event. Questions were raised in the House of Commons about the dinner and pressure has mounted on government minister Nadhim Zahawi, who attended the evening but claims to have left early.
As expected, there has been plenty of reaction from the voluntary sector, with many people and organisations turning to Twitter to express anger, incredulity and sadness that an event of this kind not only existed nowadays but that it had also caused unwanted negative publicity for charities.
ACEVO is appalled by the misogyny & sexual assault reported at #PresidentsClub dinner. Charities have a duty to fundraise in line with their values.The majority of charities do this & their leaders will be equally horrified by these reports.We support @ChtyCommission investigation— ACEVO (@ACEVO) January 24, 2018
As a small aside to the #PresidentsClub story, ICYMI the Presidents Club is itself a charity. It has a board comprised of 3 trustees.— Karl Wilding (@karlwilding) January 25, 2018
I’ve dealt with any number of stories of things going wrong in recent years. A common factor seems to be a board of only 3 trustees. #governance
The men-only dinner has brought our sector into disrepute. We need to stamp down on charity being used to excuse bad behaviour because it tars all philanthropists and charities. https://t.co/Sw3gvPncHF— Angela Kail (@angiekail) January 24, 2018
If you're planning an event and feel the need to warn guests not to commit sexual offences, while making staff sign non-disclosure agreements, that's your cue to NOT DO IT!— Kathy Evans (@Kathy_CEO_CE) January 24, 2018
There are no excuses for #PresidentsClub event's mode, method or motive.
Just. Plain. Wrong.
We are shocked and appalled at the revelations from the #PresidentsClub. We fully support women’s rights to a safe workplace, particularly when carrying out this work for a charitable organisation. We stand against the abuse of power in all circumstances.— Charity Women (@CharityWomen) January 24, 2018
This whole #PresidentsClub thing is wrong on many levels, obvs, but strikes me as a ridic generational thing. Like hunting ??. A certain set of people think it’s ok to behave like that and continue to do so. Time’s up. You’re done. It’s over.— Dawn Varley (@nfpdawnv) January 24, 2018
As my @NCVO colleagues (eg @ncvoliz) have been saying today, charities have been right to reject money raised at #PresidentsClub event. We need zero tolerance of sexual harassment - and also zero tolerance of accepting money raised in such disgusting circumstances— Peter Kellner (@PeterKellner1) January 24, 2018
If the (now former) trustees of the #PresidentsClub want somebody independent & credible to distribute the funds on its balance sheet, I'll do it. For free.— Caroline Fiennes (@carolinefiennes) January 24, 2018
Those funds have already been raised & now need to go somewhere useful.
I can’t understand how any assessment of reputational risk which followed the Charity Commission’s published guidance to charity trustees could have justified these & other aspects of this year’s event - which is the sole annual activity of the #PresidentsClub pic.twitter.com/YSXL3g9Lu7— Barbara Rich (@BarbaraRich_law) January 24, 2018
ACEVO is appalled by the misogyny & sexual assault reported at #PresidentsClub dinner.Charities have a duty to fundraise in line with their values.The majority of charities do this & their leaders will be equally horrified by these reports.We support @ChtyCommission investigation— ACEVO (@ACEVO) January 24, 2018
Women have been grossly mistreated there, but the people most degraded & demeaned by the #PresidentsClub revelations are men— Kathy Evans (@Kathy_CEO_CE) January 24, 2018
Men: your masculinity can be a beautiful force in the world but it's time to defend it from the brutish rabble who brandish theirs as a blunt force weapon