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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E146 - Diversifying our sector with Kemar Walford

“To empower people is far more beneficial than it is to just serve people” - Kemar Walford

In this episode, we speak to Kemar Walford, a fundraising Avocado+ Consultant at Money4YOU. We discuss why charities have been painfully slow in progressing with embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and what practical steps the sector can take to transform within this area. We also explore how charities can improve their recruitment models and why a career in the sector is seen as a viable and attractive option for every community. Kemar also discusses how we can dispel some of the myths about working in the sector.

1. Why charities have been slow to implement EDI practices and how they can diversify funding

Kemar explains why having a diverse workforce enables charities to better understand and serve their beneficiaries. To ensure a step change in EDI practice, he suggests that charity leadership should have open and frank conversations with colleagues, to find out more about their journey into the sector and their lived experience of working in the organisation. It is vital that charities are creating an empowering environment where colleagues feel comfortable in the workplace.

Kemar goes on to outline that once these steps have been established, the right environment within organisations, will create spaces for people to address concerns and issues. When leadership is genuinely open to receiving feedback, it will allow organisations to integrate better EDI practices.

We also discuss why it’s important to shift our thinking about who else could contribute to charitable causes. For example, young and wealthy givers, from a wide range of backgrounds, are potential philanthropists, and yet so little is known about this audience, but charities need to invest time and funds in this area.

2. How can we more meaningfully engage people to join the charity sector?

Charities should transform their recruitment outlook and practices, recruiting individuals with lived experience, as it will enable organisations to develop programmes that better serve their beneficiaries.

We need to improve the way in which we tell our story in the charity sector and to dispel the myths some people may have. Kemar details that many candidates are recruited from university but this is problematic for many reasons, including, the fact there is less diversity as you progress through the education system.

One method to tackle misconceptions about the charitable sector is to engage with schools and encourage young people to consider a career in the third sector, and open up a dialogue early on.

3. The Black Philanthropic Pound

Kemar discusses the Black Philanthropic Pound, which explores philanthropic giving in the community. The Black Pound equates to around £300 billion per year, and there is further research that is currently being conducted in this area. This will help us to understand what is being donated, who's donating and what are the motivations behind this. A similar analysis has been carried out in the US. Kemar explains that we need to have a better understanding of how the Black Pound provides benefit to the community, and this will enable charities to more meaningfully develop relationships with High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) from the Black community.

This research will be concluded by the end of the year. Black Fundraisers UK (a group within The Chartered Institute of Fundraising) will actively seek to engage the sector to feed into this research along with partner organisations.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

This episode is brought to you by our platinum sponsor Charity People.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E114: The Changing World of Philanthropy with Keith Kibirango

E102: Social Mobility with Paul Evans

E90 - Experience of a Furloughed Fundraiser with Emma Russ -


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