Financial sustainability Governance, legal and compliance Leadership and career development Crisis management

The power of partnerships

CFG publishes its Trustees’ Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2020/21 and reflects on the power of partnerships during a challenging year.

Charity Finance Group (CFG) has published its Trustees’ Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ending April 2021.

The Power of Partnerships sets out how CFG continued to innovate and strengthen its offering to the charity finance community and amplify its voice, despite it being a difficult year.

The financial statements reflect the challenging environment charities and membership organisations continue to operate in. For a consecutive year, the charity recorded a deficit (-£0.16m) and drew down on its reserves. Income and expenditure also decreased (26.2% drop in income, offset by a 25.9% drop in expenditure).

The prolonged effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions meant that income from CFG’s events programme – which includes flagship events such as the CFG Annual Conference and the Annual Dinner – was impacted.

For the first time in the charity’s history, CFG undertook direct fundraising to boost income. The charity also made use of the Government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme and secured grants to provide new membership bursaries and services.

Caron Bradshaw OBE, CEO, CFG, comments:

“We’re proud to publish our 2020/21 Trustees’ Annual Report today, in both digital and print formats. The report reflects a year like no other, one that presented enormous challenges, not only for us but for those we exist to serve.

“As we know, however good your annual report and accounts are, they can only ever give you a snapshot. More broadly, we see a sector that is pulling through this global crisis together and we are proud to play a key part in sector wide collaboration. We see those hard-working, dedicated people who are a credit to CFG and to the sector. And we see a great deal of innovative thinking and learning that we continue to develop and share.

“There are still tough times ahead, but it is because of the support of these people – our members, partners, volunteers, trustees, and staff – that we are on a more sustainable footing heading into 2022. I would like to sincerely thank them all from the bottom of my heart.”


Rui Domingues, Director of Finance and Operations, comments:

“Our financial position in 2020/2021 reflects that of so many other charities, many of whom are our members. During the year, we pulled on most of the levers available to us and as a result of that decisive action, the year’s deficit was smaller than originally forecast.

“Cost reductions, generous grant-makers and an investment in new ways of working meant that we could seamlessly deliver our services and programmes to our members and partners. By quickly converting to digital delivery, those people who might not have traditionally been able to access all our programmes were able to.

“Despite continued pressure on finances we can look ahead to 2022 and beyond. We expect to experience further deficits as the current year ends this March, but we are working hard to ensure CFG’s viability. The loosening of restrictions means we will return to a live events programme, starting with our Annual Conference in June. And ongoing investment in our digital services will ensure that we can serve even more charities, large or small, anywhere in the UK. This gives us greater confidence in the future.”


Gary Forster, Chair of the Board of Trustees, comments:

“It’s an overused description, but it has been an unprecedented couple of years. The year challenged every aspect of our charity’s operations and finances. However, through the power of our partnerships, we are in a more stable position in 2022.

“I am extremely proud of how the board, senior management team and staff navigated the very difficult course that was set out by the Covid crisis, whilst they dealt with the personal challenges of the pandemic. Together, we reduced costs and losses far quicker than we first predicted, without making redundancies.

“We cannot avoid the continued pressures of the current economic and political situation. Tax increases, inflation, new Covid strains and a turbulent political and social environment all present significant risks. But, despite these, we will continue to ensure CFG remains relevant and impactful, by supporting our members, responding to their needs and being a powerful voice for the sector.

“If this past year has taught us anything, it has taught us the importance of a charity sector that is financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy and how we can inspire that.”


Read CFG's Trustees' Annual Report 2020/21 (digital version)

Read CFG's Trustees' Annual Report 2020/21 (plain text version)

About Charity Finance Group

Charity Finance Group (CFG) is the charity that inspires a financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy charity sector. We do this by championing best practice, nurturing leadership and influencing policymakers.

For further information, please email:

Emma Abbott, Communications Manager at Charity Finance Group.

Clare Mills, Director of Policy and Communications at Charity Finance Group.

« Back to all news