This is Our Problem – Not Their Problem

This is Our Problem – Not Their Problem

Do you know that one in four fund raisers in Canada experiences sexual harassment? Do you know that women are four times more likely to be sexually harassed than their male counterparts? Are you aware that 25% of those who report sexual harassment at work find management unresponsive and dismissive? Well unfortunately, it’s all true!

So, what can we do about it? I have worked with the non-profit and charitable sector for almost 35 years. Some of it has been in partnership through a sponsorship program. For some of it, I was as a fund raiser, both at the development officer and director of development levels overseeing a team across three provinces. For the last 20 years, I have worked with fund raisers and their organizations as a consultant through the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists®.

This sexual harassment exists. We have all seen it—I know I have. Sometimes I stepped up and provided support, but to be truly honest, sometimes not. But for me, that has stopped. I am here to stand up and put a stop to sexual harassment in the non-profit and charitable sector.

Today, I will and do stand up for what is wrong—and I want to share an opportunity with you, so that you can make a difference too. Together as #maleallies, we can put a stop to this rampant sexual harassment of fund raisers. I don’t care if you are a receptionist, or the CEO of a non-profit or charity. This problem is ours… it is not theirs! I want you with me as a #maleally to stand up and make a difference. As president of a university where many sexual harassment complaints about superiors, or even donors, have been filed, or executive director of a small local charity or a sport organization where you have looked the other way, or put your head in the sand hoping it will “just disappear,” the time has come to speak up and put a stop to this. It is you leaders who need to come out from behind your protective ivory walls, “that doesn’t happen here” attitudes, or blaming of the victims that can and must be #maleallies and make a difference.

Next Thursday, November 26 is the National Day of Conversation (#NDOC). #NDOC is a day of digital conversation to raise awareness of sexual harassment of fund raisers in the charitable and non-profit sector. Focus is on the belief that everyone has a right to feel safe at work. Throughout the day, there will be panels and discussions around what you can do to make a difference and curb sexual harassment in the non-profit and charitable sector. There are opportunities for engagement and listening. I am proud to be a part of #NDOC, and specifically, a #maleallies participant. Join Cadmus Delorme Chief of Cowessess First Nation, Todd Minerson, Canada Country Director–Movember, and me as Sarah Lyon, the Director of Philanthropy at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia moderates our #maleallies panel that day. Come and listen, perhaps engage, but for sure, take away some thoughts and ideas on how you can help to stop this unacceptable behavior toward our fund raisers.

Imagine a fund raising world with no sexual harassment. Picture a world where certain donors, high-ranking staff, or board members can no longer hide from exposure, or behind walls continuing to get away with this unacceptable behaviour. And remember—you can make a difference toward ensuring this change. It is our problem, not their problem, and it all starts next Thursday, November 26 when you tune into National Day of Conversation (#NDOC)!

Thanks in advance for joining us!

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    • Dee Ann,
      Thanks! I hope you can attend some of the sessions on the 26th.

  1. Great initiative and thank you all for giving your time to put this on.

    • Thanks Josh… it was a great session, terrific conversation. It is important!


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