Association of Fundraising Professionals Debuts New Gender-Equality Initiative

The Association of Fundraising Professionals is launching a multiyear campaign that aims to tackle issues of gender inequality in leadership and pay. First up for the Women’s Impact Initiative: A survey, out next month, that analyzes the impact of sexual harassment on the industry.

Gender equality is a big topic in the news these days, and the nonprofit world is no exception.

Case in point is a new multiyear campaign launched by the Association of Fundraising Professionals called the Women’s Impact Initiative, which arrives this week in honor of International Women’s Day, taking place March 8.

The multiyear endeavor aims to take a close look at the issues facing women in the fundraising profession. Among them: sexual harassment, differences in salary, and a lack of women in the C-suite and other leadership roles.

AFP Chairwoman Ann Hale noted that the fundraising industry is made up of 70 percent women, yet women make up just 30 percent of leadership roles. Additionally, women tend to have salaries of around $20,000 less than men in similar roles. Hale said the campaign was focused on solving these difficult issues.

“The issue of inequity—along with related issues such as implicit bias and harassment—is critical if we are to have a diverse, fair, vibrant and growing fundraising profession,” she emphasized in a news release. “AFP is committed to addressing these issues through the Women’s Impact Initiative and other activities.”

The initiative is a multipart process that will include the release of a survey about sexual harassment in the fundraising industry in April, and in 2019, a standalone conference called the Women’s Impact Summit. The effort, which will use the results from the survey to develop anti-harassment resources for the industry, is being led by an association task force.

The leader of that task force, Tycely Williams of YWCA of the USA, says that “the goal of the initiative is meant to empower.”

“There are so many great things we can do for the profession by coming together under WII, and I encourage everyone—regardless of gender—to get involved,” she stated.

The campaign is part of the association’s new IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Impact Program, which AFP plans to use as a launching pad for diversity and inclusion programs in the future.

(nito100/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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