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Building a home for members

What does it mean to be a member of the CFG community? And how are members helping to shape the benefits and services CFG provides? We talk to Jit Mistry, Head of Membership and Marketing at CFG, to find out.


Hi Jit! Would you mind telling us about your role at CFG and your team?

Since joining CFG in 2020, my role has really grown with the organisation and its vision for members and the CFG community. The Head of Membership and Marketing role came out of CFG’s restructure in spring 2020, and it’s my responsibility to lead on membership, engagement and marketing.

The team is new, in that the marketing and membership functions have been brought together as one team for the first time. So, my first job was to get to know the team so we could work on our immediate priorities during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and identify a short to medium-term strategy that we could all gather around. In 2022, we’re connecting with members regularly and I’m sure my name will now be familiar to many.

You moved from a membership organisation to CFG 18 months ago. What have you learned about CFG and the charity sector during that time?

Coming into the charity sector, what struck me was its generous and open spirit. Charity finance professionals are really good at collaborating, helping one another and providing support when it’s asked for. For me, this generosity in sharing time and expertise is at the heart of CFG’s community. It’s more than a willingness to share best practice and give back, it’s a passion.

As an infrastructure body, I’m also impressed by how much work takes place for the benefit of all charities, not just those who are CFG members. That’s really important because, even though no two charities are the same, they are all ultimately affected by the same regulatory framework in which they operate. I’m proud that we exist to serve the sector, not only our members and partners.

What is the team doing to include members, bring them into the community and support them?

By improving our processes we can free up time to speak to more members and get to know what they need from us. So, one of the first priorities when I arrived was to look at the many service functions to see how we can make them slicker and move to a fully digital approach.

With that foundation in place, we have started to create a home for members, a home we can continue to build on with an ambitious, yet realistic strategy. The ultimate position for me would be to shift the understanding of what membership is and does, and that starts internally in CFG as well as externally.

Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Sure. For me, the term membership is a bit on the transactional side. It sounds like you’ve purchased something so therefore we will be delivering it to you and that’s it. That’s true in a sense, but that’s not all it is. The notion we really want to share is that as a member you are not buying into a membership. You’re stepping into a community. And when you foster a community spirit, you move membership to another level.

So, it’s about ownership – members feeling that they own the organisation that they’re supporting, that they have a stake in it. That is the zenith! The good thing about CFG and the charity sector – it feels achievable. The past two years have been characterised by the response to Covid-19 and a huge shift in the way we all work.

How has CFG adapted and how did that impact our members?

We’ve had this huge shift, the whole sector has carried a heavy load during the past two years. The pandemic has highlighted and heightened the importance of the finance function in charities. CFG as a charity is in a privileged position in that we’re working with those people and representing them. The real satisfaction is in knowing that they feel supported.

For example, through a generous grant from Garfield Weston we were able to bring nearly 200 new, small charities into the community that were struggling because of the pandemic. We were proud to be able to support them during that difficult period and through that we’re developing a new programme of support so we can continue to help.

Looking ahead, what’s some of the work or activities your team has planned?

We almost need a bit of a reset, to test some of our assumptions and identify what we still need to provide. To do that, we have to keep speaking to our members, perhaps in ways that were different to before. We’ll soon be starting a process of surveying members, asking what’s important to them and finding out more about how they want to engage post-pandemic.

CFG offers a lot, from the events and training that we all know and love, to mentoring programmes, the Inspiring Financial Leadership course, to the Finance Journey development tool.

We’re relaunching and creating new special interest groups, and to do that we’re also developing the support around them. This involves working with our volunteers too. We’re also in the middle of planning our first in-person Annual Conference for the first time since 2019, which will be held in June.

What would your main message be to members right now?

Talk to us! Tell us what it’s like for you in your role now and come and learn with us. We know everyone is different, so through these conversations we can guide you and your team to make the most of your membership. I also invite you to talk about the value you can bring to the charity finance community, as well as the value you can take away!


If you would like to chat with Jit about how you can make the most of your CFG membership and get involved, please email.

Find out more about CFG membership, as a corporate partners or not-for-profit organisation.

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