When I wrote about sexual harassment and other unwanted advances that fund raisers have faced in the course of working with donors, trustees, and other supporters, I heard from many readers of this blog. Now that my article about this persistent problem appears in the latest issue of The Chronicle, I wanted to share some of the experiences I heard about that I wasn’t able to use in my story:
* A female fund raiser at a rescue mission says that a married minister suggested a sexual encounter.
* A male fund raiser at a gay-rights organization says he complained to little avail about aggressive sexual overtures by a male trustee.
* A British fund raiser says a corporate donor asked her back to his hotel room after signing a gift agreement.
* A female fund raiser says she felt “stalked” by a major donor whose advances she had rebuffed.
All of those fund raisers asked that their names be withheld.
“I get hit on by male donors frequently,” a development officer in her 20s told me. “I don’t know what to do. My job is to maintain the relationship. If a big donor is treating me inappropriately, I do not want to damage the relationship.”
To learn more about how fund raisers can prevent and handle inappropriate sexual overtures by donors and others, join us on Wednesday, July 14, for a live online discussion. You will have an opportunity to pose questions to two experts with long experience advising people who have faced trouble with unwanted sexual advances.