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According to a recent survey by AFP’s Women’s Impact Initiative, nearly half of fundraisers have experienced, witnessed, or heard about sexual harassment on the job. DonorPerfect has teamed up with AFP’s Women’s Impact Initiative as an official Initiative Partner to create #TimesUp for Sexual Harassment in Fundraising, a new guide designed to help organizations like yours address the pervasive issue of sexual harassment in the nonprofit sector.

Based on recommendations from fundraisers, this guide provides best practices that encourage organizations to take a communal approach to developing, formalizing, and iterating upon their sexual harassment policy.

“I was introduced to sexual harassment long before I knew how to classify it or who to talk to about the discomfort. I felt pressure early on in my career to be attentive, approachable and accommodating,” says Vice President of Development at YWCA USA and Chair of the Women’s Impact Initiative Tycely Williams. “I learned to dismiss inappropriate advances instead of seeking support. These resources are intended to empower fundraisers to act, advocate and advance institutional change as they deem acceptable. Even with twenty+ years of experience, I found the tips extremely helpful and the resources very informative.”

Encourage Fundraisers to Come Forward In Their Own Way

Every person has their own preference as to how to report an incident. While some development professionals feel comfortable telling members of leadership about questionable behavior in a face-to-face meeting, others may prefer to report an incident anonymously. Even still, many people who have experienced sexual harassment never report at all. This is primarily due to fear that they will not be supported, believed, or that the outcome will somehow be worse than the incident itself. Your organization can help change the culture of silence and fear around reporting sexual harassment by openly and often telling and showing your staff that your organization is always and emphatically on their side. Actions can include: 

• Distributing, displaying, and referring to your sexual harassment policy

• Providing reporting options that are totally anonymous and easily accessible

• Dedicating time in board meetings to review policy effectiveness

• Encouraging open, two-way communication between staff and leadership

• Updating all staff on reported incidents when appropriate to disclose

Every effort your organization takes to ease the fear of reporting will contribute to a no-tolerance culture that puts the safety and dignity of the people who serve your mission first. In addition to the actions listed above, consult with your staff to see if there are measures you can take that best accommodate development professionals in the communities they serve.

Read and Share #TimesUp for Sexual Harassment in Fundraising.

PDF also available here.

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