I have just seen this article in the FT and I am absolutely livid.
I have, unfortunately, witnessed evenings like this in my time as a fundraising professional. This is an extreme example - a night for 'men only' (how on earth has this been allowed/thought to be ok in this day and age by the trustees?) with female hostesses paraded in front of them as is described in the article. I have never seen something so overt and horrific as this... I have, however, seen wealthy men, particularly at fundraising gala balls and events like the one described, act completely inappropriately to female fundraising colleagues. I have seen wealthy men feel, because they are supporting a charity, they somehow have the right to 'flirt' with the female workers of a charity, I have seen them make inappropriate comments and suggestions, I have seen them try and put their arm around female charity workers, try to kiss them...
And I have seen those female colleagues, and senior managers, turn a blind eye to it all because these were donors, major givers, representatives from important corporate partners, and these were important events with large fundraising targets contributing to important charitable work.
Well you know what? ENOUGH. We as a sector must be better than this. We have to call time on inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment and abuse in all it's forms and no matter who it's coming from. We must take a ZERO tolerance approach to this rubbish. It doesn't matter if these are important donors. It doesn't matter if challenging this behaviour may cause offence or mean that a short term fundraising target isn't met. We mustn't, as a sector, be complicit in this kind of behaviour any more.
I vow, right here and now, I will never ignore or turn a blind eye to this kind of donor behaviour again. #timesup on inappropriate behaviour from donors.
Who's with me?