Large Charities Conference 2017

Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017, 09:00 - 14:15


Growth and cross-sector learning 

The landscape of our sector is changing and it is proving to be a struggle for many charities to grow in this kind of environment. Public scrutiny, greater demand for services, and competition for funding, combined with a call for greater transparency, means that we are all facing a challenging future and many charities are struggling to innovate and transform.

At this year’s Large Charities Conference, we’ll be focusing on parallel challenges and transferable lessons, both from within and outside of the sector. We’ll also be exploring how a charity can adopt a more agile way of working, using insight to improve performance and contribute to growth.

In response to feedback, the conference this year is slightly shorter, but the programme is no less rigorous. Designed to unlock strategic thinking, our guest speakers focus in on three key strands: thinking outside of the box, innovation and risk taking and mergers for growth.

Our speakers will be:

  • Prof Martin Elliot, Clinical Ambassador to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity (among other roles) argues that silo-working and echo chambers prevent us learning from good practice from some very unlikely sources, looking at how he learned ad applied valuable techniques from Formula 1 crews.

  • Thea Dexter, Head of Front End Innovation, Good Lab  will explore how collaboration and innovation, underpinned by fast development cycles and an agile approach can help charities manage strategic growth in a volatile environment, and achieve better outcomes.

  • Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive, Hospice UK who has extensive experience of mergers, shows how they can increase impact. Rather than being seen as a result of failure or financial crisis, with a shared vision and robust planning, they can deliver both growth and innovation.

This event is kindly sponsored by: 



Registration and coffee


Chair welcome and introduction


Keynote session – Working outside the box

Most of us work in some form of ‘silo’, comfortable with our own kind.  We think we can solve our problems by using our expertise and specialist knowledge. Often though, this very isolation prevents us being aware of and learning from good practice in other organisations and even from radically different industries.

In this talk Professor Martin Elliott will explain how his team identified such good practice and worked with other industries, including Formula 1, the airline industry, hotels and others, to become safer, more efficient and to change our culture.  Demonstrating the importance of hard data, and transparency in driving change, the session looks at harnessing the natural competitiveness of people striving for good on behalf of their patients.

Prof Martin Elliott, Great Ormond Street Hospital 


Small group discussion




Refreshment break


Session 2 – Innovation and risk taking in the Charity Sector

How do you get new ideas off the ground in a risk-averse sector where the fear of failure and being seen of ‘wasting charity money’ stifles creativity and innovation?

Good Lab is a collaboration of 11 of the UK's leading charities, industry experts and innovation strategists who, together, are designing new approaches to help charities fund their life-changing work.

Thea Dexter, Head of Front End Innovation at Good Lab will explore how collaboration and innovation, underpinned by fast development cycles and an agile approach of design and prototyping can help charities manage strategic growth in a volatile environment, and achieve better outcomes.

Thea Dexter, Good Lab


Lunch and networking


Session 3 – Merging for growth

The decision to merge with another charity is most often seen as a result of failure or financial crisis but there are many times when mergers come from a need to increase impact and growth of services through a shared vision.

The CEO of Hospice UK has experienced merging several times, including a current merger at Hospice UK. In this session, Tracey will explore a merger process, looking at why the mergers took place, what considerations were made, what were some of the challenges, lessons learned and how this collaboration has contributed to strategic growth and innovation.

Tracey Bleakley, Hospice UK


Small group discussions




Chair’s summary


Close of conference

Venue Details


The Royal Bank of Scotland, 250 Bishopsgate, LONDON, EC2M 4AA

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Bookings & Prices


  • CFG Charity Member: Early Bird - £109.00; Available until the 31st May 2017
  • CFG Charity Member - £142.00;
  • Non CFG Member Charity - £183.00;
  • CFG Subscriber Company - £366.00;

Terms and Conditions:

Written notice of cancellations up to 21 days before an event will incur a 25% administration fee. After this time period, a 100% cancellation charge will apply. Substitutions (i.e. name changes) for the course booked can be made free of charge.

CFG reserves the right to cancel any event two weeks prior to the event date. You will be entitled to a full refund or given the opportunity to transfer to an alternative date. However we regret that we cannot refund any travel or accommodation costs incurred by delegates. CFG accepts no liability if an event is cancelled or postponed for reasons beyond our reasonable control resulting from an act of God, governmental regulation, fire, war, terrorist activity or civil commotion.

It may be necessary for reasons beyond our control to change the date, time or the venue at any time prior to the event date. If this occurs you will be informed of changes and given the opportunity to cancel or transfer to an alternative date.

CFG reserves the right to amend the content of the programme or the speakers where necessary without consulting booked delegates.

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