The Fundraising Regulator has kicked off the search for a new chair to succeed Lord Michael Grade, who is to step down in December after a controversial three year tenure, marked by a raft of media blunders which have sparked claims that he has been “an embarrassment” to the charity sector.
The new chair is expected to take over at the beginning of the new year, and will be paid £500 for one day a month, according to the job ad posted on the regulator’s website.
The ad states that the successful applicant must be “an acknowledged leader” with previous experience of sitting on a public, private or charitable board, “substantial knowledge and experience of the charitable sector” and “knowledge and experience of regulation”.
For some, however, Lord Grade’s exit cannot come soon enough, following accusations that he has repeatedly slated the charity sector to curry favour with the media.
From the outset, critics questioned his suitability for the role with one charity agency chief saying: “I’m sure Michael Grade is a big hitter but is he really the right person to lead the charity sector out of this mess? I doubt it…We needed someone with extensive experience of the intricacies of the charity market, not a TV luvvie.”
Last summer Grade was slammed for describing fundraising charities and fundraisers as “laggards” and “rogues and cowboys”. Meanwhile, he also made major gaffes when promoting the launch of the Fundraising Preference Service, forcing the organisation to clear up the confusion.
Grade was also branded “an embarrassment” with a “complete lack of empathy”, a move which triggered the launch of an online petition calling for him to resign in the wake of his comments in the run-up to the FPS launch.
It was then reported that Institute of Fundraising chief Amanda Bringans had secured assurances from Grade that he would be more supportive of fundraisers in public. Within weeks, however, he was ambushed by the Daily Telegraph over claims that charities were swerving the FPS by running unaddressed direct mailings.
The deadline for applications for the role is September 10, with interviews taking place on October 31.
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