CFG Annual Conference 2024

Thursday 27 June 2024

Convene
133 Houndsditch
London EC3A 7BX

 

CFG's Annual Conference will be back for 2024! Join us in person on Thursday 27 June at Convene - Liverpool Street, London for a day of learning, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

 

About the day

The CFG Annual Conference is the biggest CFG event of the year for charity finance professionals, with over 650 attendees joining the conference in 2023. You will be joined by sector-leading speakers, and 50 expert corporate exhibitors, bringing specialist knowledge to support you with challenges in your role or organisation.

 

The theme for the 2024 conference is Shaping Tomorrow

Despite the mounting difficulties in the past years, the charity sector has remained prevalent in supporting not only the needs of the people, but also in contributing to the economic growth of the UK and abroad.

In order to ensure this success is not just maintained, but furthered for the benefit of the country, we want to look towards:

  • Developing leaders at all levels to influence ideas and inspire others
  • Fostering strong teams and talent across the sector
  • Embracing a culture of innovative problem-solving to rising challenges

While we will place a strong focus on charity finance, we also appreciate that very often the finance, HR, and IT teams are interlinked in the charity structure. With that in mind, we also want to look holistically at this triumvirate of finance, HR and IT for the betterment of charity health and success.

With your help, we would like to champion the idea that charities, led by strong leaders at all levels, can shape their future, move beyond the challenges, and mould their charities for success.

 

Early Bird now open!

Early Bird tickets are available while we finalise our most comprehensive agenda yet! Book your place early to receive a discount on ticket prices.

 

Small charity tickets

If you're part of a small charitable organisation (annual gross income under £1m) then you may be able to get a conference ticket for £99. Email events@cfg.org.uk for more information.

 

Agenda

Last year's conference saw us host over 20 sessions split across five key themes. We will update you on the agenda as we finalise the sessions.

Please note that you can list which sessions you would like to attend purely as an expression of interest - this will help us gauge room sizes for the sessions and allow us to do what we can to accommodate as many people as possible. However, we cannot guarantee that there will be free spaces available on the day for everyone to attend their priority sessions. If this is the case you will be free to join another session occurring at the same time. 

 

Sponsors

A big thank you to our:

 

Watch this space and keep an eye out for emails about Annual Conference!

 
Speakers

Caron Bradshaw OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Charity Finance Group

Karen Atkinson, Finance Director, City Bridge Foundation

Naziar Hashemi, Partner and Head of Social Purpose and Non profits, Crowe

Buki Obayiuwana, Managing Director and Head of Transformation, Crowe

Max Glazer-Munck, Director of Strategic Operations and Finance, Serpentine

James Brooke Turner, JBT Director, Yoke & Co CM

Charles Mesquita, Charities Director, Quilter Cheviot

Paul Sparkes, Commercial Director, iplicit

Dan Fletcher, Director, Moore Kingston Smith

David Locke, Finance Director, RABI

James Glover, CTO, mhance

Karl Leathem, Impact Associate, Moore Kingston Smith

Lianna Etkind, Campaigns and Partnerships Manager, Living Wage Foundation

Jonathan Sparks, Chief Investment Officer, HSBC Private Banking UK

Lucy Straker, Co-Founder, Proud Changemakers

Neil Goulder, Director of Finance, Artichoke

Simon Mycock, Business Transformation – Senior Manager, BDO

Jenny Brown, EDI Specialist, EDIT Development

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

Hobby Dean, Solution Consultant, Sage Intacct

Phoebe Cooper, Senior Marketing Executive - Donor Development, RSPCA

Simon Hopkins, Finance and change leader

Nathan Swinney, Head of Procurement, 2buy2

Christopher Brewer, Strategic Industry Architect, Nonprofit, Unit4

Luke Fletcher, Partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite

Louise Eldridge, Senior Engagement Manager - Asset Owner Initiatives, Charities Responsible Investment Network, ShareAction

Louise Harris, Chief Operating Officer, Crisis

Ben Bilsland, Partner and Media & Technology Industry Senior Analyst, RSM

Jacky Griffiths, Lead ESG, People and Culture, Grant Thornton

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

Adil Hafidi, Director Talent Solutions, People Advisory

Katharine Patel, Partner, Buzzacott

Andrew Downing, Head of Finance/Director of Operations, Teens in Crisis

Programme
08:15 - 09:05

Registration

09:05 - 09:15

MOVE TO PLENARY SESSION

09:15 - 09:30

Welcome session

Welcome from our CEO:

Caron Bradshaw OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Charity Finance Group

Welcome from our Headline Sponsor:

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

09:30 - 10:00

Opening plenary

10:00 - 10:10

MOVE TO REQUIRED SESSION

10:10 -10:55

Stream A - Technical Stream

Session 1A: Amplifying Gift Aid: a case study of opt-in optimisation

This session will inspire charities to think about gift aid through a different lens. In 2021, RSPCA reframed how they talk about Gift Aid with their supporters creating a Gift Aid specific telephony campaign to improve opt-in rates.

RSPCA has also improved how they talk to supporters about Gift Aid in all communications. This brought in over £250k in Gift Aid income alone and has continued to prove successful in each annual campaign that has followed.


Phoebe Cooper, Senior Marketing Executive - Donor Development, RSPCA 

10:10 - 10:55

Stream B - Governance Stream

Session 1B: Finance as the turnaround leader

Charity sector is not immune to the need for strong turnaround skills. The environment in which we work is arguably making the need for turnaround even greater, and the finance leader is routinely the person a charity will look to for this to happen.

In this session, Simon will share thoughts and tips on how the finance leader can be an effective and trusted change agent when turnaround is needed. He will offer food for thought about what skills and tools the finance person needs to succeed in this area, as well as helping attendees reflect on where charity turnaround may differ from the same discipline in other sectors.
 
Simon Hopkins, Freelance finance and change leader 

10:10 - 10:55

Stream C - Strategy Stream

Session 1C: Is political risk a manageable risk in portfolios?

In the globalised world of the 21st century, where the economy of almost every country is reliant to some extent on another, shocks materialising in one country or region can have wide-ranging and unpredictable impacts including on your investment portfolio. Being one of the only truly Global banks, HSBC are all too aware of the risks Geopolitical events can pose and the impact they can have.

In this session, Jonathan and Sophie will give attendees a better understanding of the different kinds of geopolitical events that can occur, the impact that these can have on portfolios and what, if anything, can be done to protect your portfolios from these risks.

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

Jonathan Sparks, Chief Investment Officer, HSBC Private Banking UK

10:10 - 10:55

Stream D - Digital Technology & Data Stream

Session 1D: Unleash the power of your data to deliver greater impact

Today, with data managed effectively in ERP, nonprofits can not only ensure the accuracy of reporting and rely on hard facts and numbers to guide their choices, but also embrace new and evolving data requests such as NPAG, ESG, regulatory, and complex donor reporting requirements.

This session will explore common challenges organisations face in developing and implementing effective data strategies, such as data quality and integrity, system silos, technical debt and skill gaps. We will share how your ERP can deliver more accurate results, manage complex reporting and create transparency that delivers precision to your decision making.


Christopher Brewer, Strategic Industry Architect – Nonprofit, Unit4 

10:10 - 10:55

Stream E - HR and Leadership Stream

Session 1E: Panel discussion: Positive action - developing inclusive workplaces

Positive action enables employers to take steps to improve equality for employees who share a protected characteristic. This panel session will focus on how you can best utilise law, organisational culture and practical solutions to increase diversity amongst your talent and ensure inclusivity. This session will also look at what organisations need in order to create and nurture an environment that enables trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming staff to thrive.

Panellists:

 

Lucy Straker, Co-Founder, Proud Changemakers

10:55 - 11:25

REFRESHMENTS

11:25 - 12:10

Stream A - Technical Stream

Session 2A: Investing for impact after Butler-Sloss – what charity leaders need to know

The Butler-Sloss High Court decision in 2022 confirmed charity trustees' freedom to make investment decisions in line with their charity’s purposes (such as aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement) – even if those decisions could result in a less favourable financial return. This is now the leading case on charity investment and is central to the Charity Commission's guidance, Investing charity money: guidance for trustees (CC14). But what has changed and how is the market responding to the case and the revised CC14?  
 

In this session, Luke will discuss the real-world implications of the judgment for financial decision-makers at charities and Karen will explain how the City Bridge Foundation has developed a new responsible investment policy which aligns with its charitable purposes, in the light of the Butler-Sloss case. Luke will also outline the ‘Charity Investment Governance Principles’, a sector-led initiative currently in development, to provide specific and action-oriented best practice guidance and principles to sit alongside CC14.

 
Luke Fletcher, Partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite 

Karen Atkinson, Finance Director , City Bridge Foundation

11:25 - 12:10

Stream B - Governance Stream

Session 2B: Future proof your organisation by managing key people and culture risks

An organisation’s culture is of vast importance to the resilience of not only its staff, but to the whole organisation.  
 
In this session we will be asking, what is a desired culture? 
 
Does the tone come from the top? What role do Trustees play? Do employees have a voice? What tools support delivering your culture so that it is felt consistently across the organisation?  
 
We will also be looking at how it can be used to develop and retain talent in a cost constrained environment.  
 
How and what can an organisation do to identify skill and resource gaps and what solutions can be deployed to address these gaps?  
  
Jacky Griffiths Lead ESG, People and Culture, Grant Thornton 
Adil Hafidi, Director Talent Solutions, People Advisory 

11:25 - 12:10

Stream C - Strategy Stream

Session 2C: Leading a financially resilient organisation

Having come through a financially driven organisational restructure, Crisis has focused on learning lessons to guide future planning and development to support on financial resilience. 
 
 Attendees will gain an understanding of tools and approaches to develop a strategic and sustainable financial strategy to support the Board and Exec to lead with confidence.  
 
Louise Harris, Chief Operating Officer, Crisis 

11:25 - 12:10

Stream D - Digital Technology & Data Stream

Session 2D: Generative AI: a powerful tool for charities

2023 has heralded an ‘AI boom’ following advancements in computing and AI technology. ChatGPT has become the fastest-growing app in history bringing generative AI to the handsets and desktops of the public.  
 
This session will examine the ‘why’ and ‘what next’ for charities and advise how to take advantage of the benefits of greater AI adoption while safeguarding against key risks.  
 
We will also share insights into this fast-moving environment and provide guidance charities can enact today around the emergent AI landscape. The UK is taking a position as a global leader in this area – we will cover what the impact might be. 
 
Ben Bilsland, Partner and Media & Technology Industry Senior Analyst, RSM 

11:25 - 12:10

Stream E - HR and Leadership Stream

Session 2E: Panel Discussion: Innovate, create and learn – failure as a building block to success

Charity finance leaders seek to succeed and deliver optimal impact, regardless of the size and nature of the organisations for which they work. However, often the best intended and well prepared projects or actions can end in failure, especially in the environment where pressure to deliver success continues to increase. In this closing session the panellists will discuss failure and it’s role in achieving success. Learn from the speakers and their experiences on how we should not be afraid to fail, while also planning for success.

Panellists:

Max Glazer-Munck, Director of Strategic Operations and Finance, Serpentine

Neil Goulder, Director of Finance, Artichoke

Simon Mycock, Business Transformation – Senior Manager, BDO

12:10 - 12:20

MOVE TO MIDDAY PLENARY

12:20 - 13:00

Midday Plenary Session

Panel discussion: Charity investment governance principles - official launch!

Be the first to hear about a new tool for trustees and senior leaders to use, as you develop your investment policy and practice. 

CFG is leading the project to develop the Charity Investment Governance Principles (CIGP), a tool which we know is in demand. Since the Butler-Sloss ruling on charity investments and the updated CC14 guidance from the Charity Commission, we've been working with colleagues and experts in charity investment to design and develop a set of principles which will help trustees and senior leaders set out a clear investment policy that aligns with your charity's purpose and mission. The Charity Commission of England and Wales has also been involved in this process.

This will also be your chance to ask your questions, to our panel of experts who have been closely involved in developing the CIGP.

13:00 - 14:00

LUNCH

14:00 - 14:45

Stream A - Technical Stream

Session 3A: Ensure an effective year-end financial reporting and auditing process

Ensuring an effective year-end statutory financial reporting process with a robust external audit process is a core objective for any Finance Director. With increasing legislation and regulation for charities, this is of paramount importance to all senior finance personnel working in the charity sector.  
 
This session will include a discussion on the following areas: 
 
• Feedback from recent charity financial reporting and auditing processes 
• The Charity SORP and future considerations 
• Presentation of the charity’s annual report and financial statements to address the requirements of its stakeholders 
• Common accounting complexities, areas of valuation, estimation and judgement 
• Going concern and financial sustainability: Trustees’ responsibilities and the audit requirements 
 
Katharine Patel, Partner, Buzzacott 

14:00 - 14:45

Stream B - Governance Stream

Session 3B: Transformation and innovation through uncertainty 

Although innovation and transformation are often used interchangeably, understanding the difference and how this can support your organisational need is essential. Charity finance leaders continue to face the daunting challenge of delivering financial stability despite long-term instability. This session will explore how the principles of innovation and transformation can unlock potential and future proof your charity. We will look at examples of cross-sector incremental innovation and fundamental transformation to deliver meaningful change.

Naziar Hashemi, Partner and Head of Social Purpose and Non profits, Crowe

Buki Obayiuwana, Managing Director and Head of Transformation, Crowe

14:00 - 14:45

Stream C - Strategy Stream

Session 3C: Growth and resilience – can you do one without the other?

Teens In Crisis (Tic+) saw a rapid 5-year growth from £670k to £2.2M. To manage the growth, they needed to ensure they had the right strategy in place to continue their services without disruption. 
 
To ensure they had this structural resiliency, they identified the need to really focus on the ‘back office’ functions to enable the continued quality of the service delivery. 
 
In this session we will highlight the financial, governance, structural, IT, HR, brand, and staff retention issues identified for development. We will also share some of the successes and pitfalls that we have experienced as we seek to provide a robust and resilient base from which to operate. 
 
Andrew Downing, Head of Finance / Director of Operations, Tic+ (Teens in Crisis) 

14:00 - 14:45

Stream D - Digital Technology & Data Stream

Session 3D: Empowering financial control in a challenging climate

As financial leaders of your organisations, you know better than anyone that proper financial visibility and control can keep charities functioning. This being even more poignant given the current challenging environment we find ourselves in. 
  
We will be diving in deeper to ways to retain and strengthen financial control by: 
  
• Overcoming the frustrations of manual reporting 
• Real-time visibility for essential decision making 
• The roles of non-profit finance leaders through evolving digitalisation 
 
Hobby Dean, Solution Consultant, Sage Intacct 

14:00 - 14:45

Stream E - HR and Leadership Stream

Session 3E: Creating a growth mindset in your organisation

This session will build on a 2023 session where we explored creating a culture of inclusion and will delve into the idea of creating a growth mindset.  
A growth mindset is the ability of taking feedback, learning from experiences, and embracing challenges as a path to mastery. We will explore how cultivating a growth mindset can significantly enhance the effectiveness of individuals and the impact of your organisation. 
 
Participants will gain insights into the specific benefits of a growth mindset focusing on adaptability, resilience, and continuous learning. 
 
The discussion will also address the importance of embracing mistakes as learning opportunities and incorporating coaching-style leadership to drive engagement, innovation and, as a result, positive, sustainable change. 
 
Carol Rudge, Partner & Head of Not for Profit, HW Fisher 
Jenny Brown, EDI Specialist, EDIT Development 

14:45 - 14:55

MOVE BETWEEN SESSIONS

14:55 - 15:40

Stream A - Technical Stream

Session 4A: Reserves – Defining Their Purpose

In this session, we consider what a reserve is, how to think about them, and how to ensure they are making an active and targeted contribution to your financial strategy.  
 
We also consider how to use your reserves purposefully, including the use of investments rather than leaving them as a wasting asset. 
 
James Brooke Turner, JBT Director, Yoke& CO CM  
Charles Mesquita, Charities Director, Quilter Cheviot 

14:55 - 15:40

Stream B - Governance Stream

Session 4B: Divest or engage? It's not as binary as you think

Divest or engage? Many charities are grappling with this choice, but it's not as binary as you may think.  
 
This session will aim to help charity investors move beyond the ‘divest or engage’ debate to understand the range of approaches and tactics available to drive change in harmful social and environmental companies/industries, and how to make these decisions as impactful as possible.  
 
A CRIN member will co-present and share their own experience dealing with the divestment decision as a charity investor. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their own experiences. 
 
Louise Eldridge, Senior Engagement Manager - Asset Owner Initiatives, Charities Responsible Investment Network (hosted by ShareAction) 

14:55 - 15:40

Stream C - Strategy Stream

Session 4C: What will the charity finance department of the future look like?

What will the charity finance department of the future look like?  
 
Ideally, finance teams should be free of tedious manual processes, laborious month-end closes and endless spreadsheets. Staff should instead be freed up to do the higher-value work that serves the organisation’s mission. 
 
Paul Sparkes will be joined by guests from a nationally known charity and a top 20 audit firm. 
 
They will look at the strain the finance team was under when managing projects over multiple sites. They will talk attendees through the digital transformation, which collapsed weeks of work into days, and enabled meaningful, audit-ready reporting. 
 
Paul Sparkes, Commercial Director, iplicit 

14:55 - 15:40

Stream D - Digital Technology & Data Stream

Session 4D: Applying social value calculators into a CRM implementation

The session will take the form of a panel discussion, and feature a case study of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI). RABI is part-way through a major MS-Dynamics implementation project led by Microsoft Partner, mhance.  
 
Moore Kingston Smith is providing specialist expertise on social value measurements to create bespoke social value calculators that can be embedded into the CRM and use its functionality to capture and track stakeholder impact data over time.  
 
The panel discussion will focus on RABI’s strategic direction to use social value data to drive decision-making and the practicalities of making this a reality. 
 
Dan Fletcher, Director, Moore Kingston Smith 

Karl Leathem, Impact Associate, Moore Kingston Smith 

David Locke, Finance Director, RABI 

James Glover, CTO, mhance 

14:55 - 15:40

Stream E - HR and Leadership Stream

Session 4E: Panel discussion - Towards better work: Living Wage in the charity sector 

Low pay in the third sector has fallen over the last five years, but one in eight third sector workers are still earning below the real living wage. Rates of low pay are even worse among women, disabled workers and particular racialised minorities.

In this session, we'll hear from Living Wage employers and from the Living Wage Foundation about the scale of low pay in the sector and the effect it has on third sector organisations. The speakers will discuss their own approaches and solutions to paying the real Living Wage to their staff and contracted workers, as well as how the Living Wage scheme works, the impact its making, the challenges of implementation and how you can join the Living Wage movement.

Lianna Etkind, Campaigns and Partnerships Manager, Living Wage Foundation

15:40 - 16:10

REFRESHMENTS

16:10 - 16:50

Closing Plenary

16:50 - 17:00

Closing remarks

17:00 - 18:00

Drinks reception

Prices
Charities - Members - Early Bird Rate£301.00
Charities - Non-members£545.00
Corporate - Members£517.00
Corporate - Non-members£952.00