If ever there was an event that embodied its own theme – it was the CFG Annual Conference on 30 June.
For the first time in three years, more than 500 charity finance professionals from across the UK gathered in London to share and listen, debate and discuss, chat and reconnect.
Was it Purposeful and Empowering? Without a doubt!
It’s all about people!
The indomitable Stevie Spring CBE, set the mood for the day in an inspiring ‘fireside’ chat with CFG’s Chair Gary Forster.
When asked what charities can do to work through the challenges that lay ahead, Stevie was clear: It's about people.
Stevie acknowledged that charities and non-profit organisations are facing extremely challenging times, but reminded attendees that purpose is the key to their sustainability:
"For the people in this room, and people like us, in many respects the challenges are easier for us than the challenges faced in the commercial world. In this room there combines a sense of purpose, a sense of vision. And you’re all laser-focused on the strategy of that mission.
"Every single day you’re making decisions that have to balance a humanity with the commerciality. We all know we can’t do what we do without being financially sustainable – cash is king – but no one ever shrinks to greatness."
As Chairman of British Council and mental health charity Mind, Stevie was keen to emphasise the importance of looking after the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues.
“People are your primary asset. You need to look after them. I find it incredible that we put brand value on the balance sheet at the top, but not our people value.”
Stevie reminded attendees of the important role they play in setting the mood of their organisations, explaining: "Finance teams have to have a sense of optimism. Your perspective can affect your organisation.”
Stevie went on to talk about the power of networks and partnerships in weathering economic storms and predicts an increase in charity mergers in the coming years. Her advice to charity leaders:
“Find what it is that is unique to you and do it well. The rest is partnership.”
Key takeaways from Stevie Spring CBE:
- Put people at the top. Look after them.
- Be optimistic for your organisation.
- Stick to what your charity does best.
- Value partnerships and reach out to form new ones.
- Live, breathe and demonstrate the values of your organisation.
- Self care is vital – you have to put your own oxygen mask on first.
- And finally: Remember that no one ever shrunk to greatness.
With enormous thanks to Stevie for her inspiring words at the 2022 CFG Annual Conference.
Coming soon: More highlights from the day. In the meantime, check out our photo slideshow:
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