CFG Annual Conference 2023

Thursday 29 June 2023

ETC Venues
133 Houndsditch
London EC3A 7BX


CFG Annual Conference 2023


This is event is now sold out!

The bookings for online sessions are still open. To join our digital sessions please see details below

About the Annual Conference week - Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 June

We have a variety of digital sessions prior to the main event, split across five key topics. 

Attendees of the Annual Conference day can join any of these digital sessions for free. Alternatively, you can book for just the digital sessions for £70 for members or £110 for non-members 


The CFG Annual Conference 2023 is the biggest gathering of charity finance professionals in the UK, and is a unique opportunity to connect, learn and share.

We are once again excited to provide you with a platform to gather with your peers to share your knowledge and experience.

Join us in person on Thursday 29 June at etc.venues, Liverpool Street, London, for a day of learning, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities. we also have our Annual Conference week digital sessions in the build-up to the event from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 June.


About the Annual Conference day - Thursday 29 June

The CFG Annual Conference is the biggest CFG event of the year for charity finance professionals.

This year we already have over 500 of your peers and experts for an exciting day of learning, sharing expertise, collaboration, and networking!

You will be joined by sector-leading speakers, and over 50 expert corporate exhibitors, bringing specialist knowledge to support you with the challenges you and your organisation face. 




The CFG Annual Conference will provide you with:

  • The latest updates and thinking through a packed agenda with more than 50 expert speakers.
  • Excellent networking opportunities, with more than 500 peers and sector experts anticipated. It’s your chance to make new connections and reconnect with past contacts.
  • The chance to boost your CPD! This is the best learning opportunity in charity finance - 96% of past attendees say they improved both their knowledge and skills at Annual Conference.

Make sure to check the programme below, as we will have 20 sessions on the day spread across multiple topic themes such as risk, leadership, organisation culture, technology and technical updates.


The theme for 2023 conference is Survive to Thrive

The past three years have been truly challenging, not only for charities and social change organisations, but for individuals too. Many charities have found themselves in ‘survival mode’, trying to ensure day-to-day operations continue, whilst not having time, energy or stability to plan for the future. 

As the costs of living continue to increase, and financial and other pressures mount, how can charitable organisations move to a place where they are thriving alongside the communities they serve?

In 2023, what finance and people strategies can charities adopt to move their organisations beyond survival mode? And what can charities do to make best use of their resources?

CFG’s Annual Conference 2023 will equip finance teams and charity leaders with the knowledge, ideas, inspirations and opportunities needed to maximise their impact and take their organisations on the journey from ‘Survive to Thrive’.

We have a special price offer for charities with income of £1mln and below. To book your place at a small charity price please email us at 


Who should come along? 

The CFG Annual Conference is ideal for those working in all roles that relate to charity finance. Whether you're an experienced finance director, or a newly placed accountant, working for a large organisation or a small charity, there will be something for you.

The programme offers sessions for all levels of knowledge, skills and experience that will also be of value to the extended team.


About CFG events and membership

Becoming a CFG member gives you access to exclusive benefits including event discounts, so find out more about CFG Membership before you book. Association of Independent Museums members can register for free CFG membership through our partnership.

CFG events, training and members' meetings can count towards your continuous professional development (CPD). For more details contact your association or email


 Catch just a few of the highlights from our 2022 Annual Conference below:



Caron Bradshaw OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Charity Finance Group

Sophie Ward, Director, Charities & Education, HSCB Private Banking UK

Ross Palmer, Senior Tax Manager, Sayer Vincent

Jonathan Sparks, Chief Investment Officer, HSBC Private Banking UK

Dominic Spayne, Chief Executive, Shared Lives South West

David Ellis, Partner - Strategic Reward Advisory, BDO

Oliver Seeley, Director of Financial Planning and Performance, British Red Cross

Rohan Hewavisenti, Chief Financial Officer, Amnesty International

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, CAF Bank and CAF Charity Services

Oana Criveanu, Consultant, Xledger UK

Nilesh Pandya, Director of Finance and Resources, Cripplegate Foundation

Nazreen Visram, Head of Charities, Barclays Corporate Banking, Barclays

Laurie Eggleston, Associate Director, Grant Thornton UK

Ben Clarkson, Chief Operating Officer, Asthma + Lung UK

Nicola Toyer, Head of Charities, Investec

Virginia Henley, Partner, Head of Charities, HCR Hewitsons

Carol Rudge, Partner & Head of Not for Profit, HW Fisher LLP

Tim Foxon, Finance & Operations Director, National Youth Orchestra

Keith Collins, Principal Consultant, Adapta Consulting

Rorie Evans, Head of Charity Clients, Newton Investment Management

Sarah Dickson, Head of Charity Business Development, Newton Investment Management

Sarah Pearson, Head of Enterprise Risk Management, Ecclesiastical

Cara Turtington, Partner, Saffery Champness

Martin Clemmey, Chief Finance Officer, Relief International

Farzaneh Dailaghian, Global Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Relief International

Naziar Hashemi, Partner, Head of Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations, Crowe

Richard Evans, Partner, Head of Risk and Assurance, Crowe

Adnan Hafiz, Director of Network and Resource Development, Islamic Relief Worldwide

Aidan Forman, Director of Technology, RNIB

Jenny Brown, EDI Specialist, EDIT Development

Natalie Campbell MBE, Co-CEO, Belu Water

Charlotte Harrington, Co-CEO, Belu Water

Helen Wilkie, Director, Saffery Champness

Tom Holbrook, Investment Director, Investec

Tessy Ojo CBE, Chief Executive Officer, The Diana Award

David Myrddin-Evans, Divisional Director, Head of Charities, Wales, RBC Brewin Dolphin

08:15 – 09:10


09:10 – 09:20

Move to plenary session

09:20 – 09:25


Caron Bradshaw OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Charity Finance Group

09:25 - 09:30

Sponsor Address

Sophie Ward - Director, Charities & Education - HSCB Private Banking UK

09:30 – 10:00

Opening Plenary - Leading through adversity 

Natalie Campbell MBE, Co-CEO, Belu Water

Charlotte Harrington, Co-CEO, Belu Water


10:00 – 10:10


10:10 – 10:55

Stream A - Technical

Session 1A: Remote and hybrid working – managing the tax risks

With hybrid and remote working moving from a necessity to a standard way of working for many organisations, it is important to understand the tax consequences that can arise from new ways of operating. In this session we will explore the rules around expenses and benefits to highlight the challenges that can arise when looking to make hybrid and remote working work for your organisation and your staff. We will also touch upon some of the tax issues that can arise with workers based overseas. 

Ross Palmer - Senior Tax Manager - Sayer Vincent

10:10 – 10:55

Stream B – Risk and Resilience

Session 1B: Inflation and changing interest rates – ensuring financial resilience

In this session we will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the changing interest rates and inflation environment in which we find ourselves, and importantly cover the various ways in which charities can position their investments accordingly. Covering the spectrum of cash management solutions, as well as infrastructure and alternative investments, charities will leave the session with a renewed sense of confidence that there are tools available to not only survive in today’s world, but also to thrive.

Sophie Ward - Director, Charities & Education - HSCB Private Banking UK

Jonathan Sparks - Chief Investment Officer - HSBC Private Banking UK

10:10 – 10:55

Stream C – Leadership and Governance

Session 1C: Leadership in uncertain volatile times

Considering emerging risks and priorities in this period of ongoing uncertainty, including thoughts on building a resilient response, considering cultural parameters and where to focus assurance activity during this period.

Naziar Hashemi, Partner, Head of Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations, Crowe

Richard Evans, Partner, Head of Risk and Assurance, Crowe

10:10 – 10:55

Stream D – Organisational Culture and DEI

Session 1D: Creating a compelling Employee Value Proposition for your charity

We will explore how to create and deliver an approach to rewards, performance and wellbeing that supports your purpose, enables you to find and keep the best people and encourage them to go the extra mile – in a sector that we know cannot compete on price. Using an example of a charity that has done just this, we will explore how to craft your strategy, the benefits of alternative options and how to execute in an effective and compliant way.  Attendees will leave armed with approaches they may wish to consider implementing in their own charity. 

David Ellis - Partner - Strategic Reward Advisory – BDO

10:10 – 10:55

Stream E – Digital Technology and Finance

Session 1E: How can finance get fit for the future – a transformation to thrive

This session will cover BRC's finance transformation journey focussing on the need for us to perform as we transform.

Finance at the BRC needed to transform in order to: drive increased effectiveness as we seek to drive impact for investments, transform our models to align with increasing moves to restricted income, and become increasingly agile to respond quickly to the 'permacrises' gripping the UK and international partners. We needed to do all of this while reducing our cost to serve and balancing increasing need with high inflationary pressures on our cost base.

Oliver Seeley - Director of Financial Planning and Performance - British Red Cross

10:55 – 11:25


11:25 – 12:10

Stream A - Technical

Session 2A: Endgame for defined benefit pension schemes: buy-in and buy-out

The biggest liability for some organisations is their DB pension scheme. Repayment of liabilities can challenge financial sustainability and the ability to carry out the mission.

The session will cover the conditions and decision-making process for implementing a buy-in (i.e., insurance company takes on pension investments and investment risks); and the process for moving to a buy-out (i.e., insurance company assumes full responsibility for the scheme including administration and payments).

Amnesty International implemented a buy-in of its scheme in November 2021 and is moving to full buy-out in November 2023. The scheme has c400 members and assets c£35m.

Rohan Hewavisenti - Chief Financial Officer - Amnesty International

11:25 – 12:10

Stream B – Risk and Resilience

Session 2B: How charities can survive the cost-of-living crisis and emerge stronger and more resilient

The session will explore CAF’s research into how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting charities and charitable giving. It will examine how this is impacting finances, look at how charities might need to adapt in response, and provide some ideas about actions charities could take to help them emerge stronger and more resilient over the coming months.

Attendees will learn about CAF’s research in this area and take away useful information about financial strategy and how to make the best use of financial resources in challenging times.

Alison Taylor – CEO - CAF Bank and CAF Charity Services


11:25 – 12:10

Stream C – Leadership and Governance

Session 2C: The new era of CFOs

What does it mean to be a CFO in 2023? In recent years, senior finance leaders in the charity sector have taken on more responsibilities, with 91% feeling that the evolution of their role has added more pressure. With an increase in duties, including managing silos and ESG targets, how can charities CFOs lead effectively to enable their finance teams to thrive?

Featuring research from the Future CFO Study, as well as real-life case studies from well-known UK charities, Xledger investigate what CFOs can do to create change in 2023 and feel confident in their roles.

Oana Criveanu – Consultant - Xledger UK

11:25 – 12:10

Stream D – Organisational Culture and DEI

Session 2D: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through the lens of charity finance

Nilesh Pandya, Cripplegate’s Director of Finance and Resources shares his experience of embedding DEI within their organisation, from the point of view of a finance professional. This session will explore how it is possible and, indeed, necessary for finance professionals to play an active part in ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion is achieved not just within foundations but across the not-for-profit sector.

Nilesh Pandya - Director of Finance and Resources - Cripplegate Foundation

11:25 – 12:10

Stream E – Digital Technology and Finance

Session 2E: Embracing Digital – what next?

The session will explore how charities are making use of technology to improve their efficiency, reduce operating costs and maximise funding by making it easier for people to give.

We’ll be joined by two charities who will share their digital journeys.


Nazreen Visram - Head of Charities, Barclays Corporate Banking – Barclays

Adnan Hafiz, Director of Network and Resource Development, Islamic Relief Worldwide 

Aidan Forman, Director of Technology, RNIB

12:10 – 12:15


12:15 – 13:00

Midday Plenary Session

Panel Discussion: Attracting, retaining top talent and ensuring generational diversity in charity sector

In this Plenary Session panellists will discuss the latest employment trends, attracting and retaining talented and skill individuals, as well as how to ensure generational diversity so crucial to charity survival and growth.


Carol Rudge - Partner & Head of Not for Profit - HW Fisher


Jan McQuaker, Business Director, Hays

Laurie Eggleston - Associate Director - Grant Thornton UK 

David Myrddin-Evans - Divisional Director, Head of Charities, Wales - RBC Brewin Dolphin

13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:45

Stream A - Technical

Session 3A: Stronger together: reflections on a charity merger

Ben will tell the story of the successful merger of equals between Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, and the journey from the merger to their re-launch as Asthma + Lung UK in February 2022. The session covers the story of the merger, reflections on how it went, and thought provocation for anybody considering a merger. Ben will also cover the technical legal and accounting considerations involved with a charity merger.

Ben Clarkson - Chief Operating Officer - Asthma + Lung UK

14:00 – 14:45

Stream B – Risk and Resilience

Session 3B: ESG and the new era of economic uncertainty

The session will consider how the new era of economic uncertainty might change the emphasis within ESG investing for charities. The war in Ukraine has disrupted global supply chains for energy, which has changed the conversation on climate change. While COP26 and COP27 bought the race to net-zero to the top of the agenda for investors, many charity trustees are seeking to maximise investment returns in a way that is responsible and meets their charitable goals. But how can you navigate the current problems while remaining responsible?

Nicola Toyer - Head of Charities – Investec

Tom Holbrook - Investment Director - Investec

14:00 – 14:45

Stream C – Leadership and Governance

Session 3C: Charities facing challenges; seeking cost-effective solutions

Very often charities face challenges that they can solve themselves. They can do this by improving teamwork, methods of communication both within their organisation and with external stakeholders and addressing problems before they become catastrophes. Good governance, trust and respect within any organisation are key to successful outcomes - for charities, the public expect this and will often withdraw support if they sense dysfunction.  Sound, effective, up to date policies and regular trustee training should be the bedrock of any charity. I want to illustrate why this is true and why this can make charities optimise their efficiency.

Virginia Henley - Partner, Head of Charities - HCR Hewitsons


14:00 – 14:45

Stream D – Organisational Culture and DEI

Session 3D: How to create a culture of inclusion

Charities are facing huge pressures in an ever-evolving challenging macro-environment. The workforce becomes more important than ever and, creating a strong culture of inclusion within an organisation can be the difference of it surviving and thriving. Research has shown us that individuals are ten times more likely to leave an organisation based on a toxic culture than anything else and organisations where individuals feel psychologically safe to challenge, safe to speak up, safe to be authentic and be themselves, and safe to have an opinion, can be a real game changer. Our session will provide some practical tips and experiences based on real life examples from organisations which have invested in creating an inclusive culture.

Carol Rudge - Partner & Head of Not for Profit - HW Fisher

Jenny Brown - EDI Specialist - EDIT Development

14:00 – 14:45

Stream E – Digital Technology and Finance

Session 3E: Planning for the future – making digital real at the National Youth Orchestra

In this session Tim Foxon, Finance & Operations Director at NYO and Keith Collins, Principal Consultant at Adapta Consulting will share the story of digital transformation at NYO – building organisational resilience, raising more funds and delivering greater efficiency – and driving engagement and greater inclusivity with participation in NYO’s programmes.

This session will help senior finance and operational leaders understand how they can support their organisations – regardless of where they are on the digital transformation journey.

Tim Foxon - Finance & Operations Director - National Youth Orchestra

Keith Collins - Principal Consultant - Adapta Consulting

14:45 – 14:55


14:55 – 15:40

Stream A - Technical

Session 4A: Spending reserves, now or never?

The triple threat of demand to charities, from the pandemic, cost of living crisis and backlogs to public services, risks overwhelming parts of the sector. Should charities be reviewing their reserve policies in light of these challenges? If so, should they be battening down the hatches to weather the storm, or loosening the purse strings?

Rorie Evans - Head of Charity Clients - Newton Investment Management

Sarah Dickson - Head of Charity Business Development - Newton Investment Management

14:55 – 15:40

Stream B – Risk and Resilience

Session 4B - Resilience: navigating the storm within your charity

We will consider the riskier landscape we're in and look at the big picture to a more local charity picture, we will share a new resilience model that may be of interest – to start a conversation in your charity. We will focus on organisational, operational and strategic resilience and touch on the importance of horizon scanning so you are more prepared

Sarah Pearson - Head of Enterprise Risk Management – Ecclesiastical

14:55 – 15:40

Stream C – Leadership and Governance

Session 4C: Trustee: friend or foe, coach or commander?

Now more than ever, it's critical that trustees effectively support and provide appropriate challenge to their executive teams. In our session, we will explore the working relationship between trustees and management, focusing on:

· What constitutes ‘good governance’

· How trustees and management can work together effectively to navigate challenges

· How relationships between trustees and management have evolved over the past three years

Cara Turtington – Partner - Saffery Champness 

Helen Wilkie - Director - Saffery Champness 

14:55 – 15:40

Stream D – Organisational Culture and DEI

Session 4D: Delivering organisational performance through people and culture

This session will tell the story of a how a struggling organisation, with low staff morale, high levels of sickness, and a dysfunctional leadership team, used a focus on people and culture to completely transform in less than 18 months.

The session will include personal insights and reflections on setting values and behaviours, nurturing authentic and empathetic leadership, and embedding people and culture into strategy and planning.

Attendees will leave understanding that people are the main driver of organisational performance, and hopefully have some topics that they can explore in their own organisation that will make an instant impact.

Dominic Spayne - Chief Executive - Shared Lives South West

14:55 – 15:40

Stream E – Digital Technology and Finance

Session 4E: Rebuilding finance

RI's income more than doubled in a few years and systems and processes had not kept pace.  This was coupled with a calamitous ERP installation that was hampering finance outputs.  Attendees will learn how finance leaders can improve processes, harness the power of data, restructure to meet business need and develop a service culture in a complex , multi-site environment. 

Martin Clemmey - Chief Finance Officer - Relief International

Farzaneh Dailaghian - Global Director of Financial Planning and Analysis - Relief International

15:40 – 16:10


16:10 – 16:40

Closing Plenary - Panel Discussion: The cost of culture wars on charities’ missions

In the past few years, we’ve seen charities being criticized for a wide range of operational decisions. Whether it’s a new campaign or brand, a tweaked guidance document or a training course…

How can charities navigate the divides whilst remaining true to their missions and beneficiaries? How can charities run potentially controversial campaigns while balancing reputational and financial risks, and their mission? This Panel will aim to answer some of those questions and discuss how can charities use leadership, governance and their frontline staff and volunteers to continue to serve our society’s needs.

Chair: Clare Mills - Director of Policy and Communications - CFG


Claire-Marie Mason - Senior Media Engagement Manager - RNLI

Tessy Ojo CBE - Chief Executive Officer - The Diana Award

Chris Sherwood - Chief Executive Officer - RSPCA


16:40 – 16:55

Closing remarks

16:55 – 18:00

Drinks reception