These are hard times for trusts and foundations helping individuals in need. Crisis follows crisis. Rising personal debt, flooding and reductions in State benefits are eroding beneficiaries’ ability to cope. Funds are facing a double whammy with rising levels of demand and volatile market performance, potentially eroding the growth in income needed to fund your work. This ACO conference aimed to build your resilience and ensure you get maximum bang for your buck.
Chris Mould, Chairman of the Trussell Trust was our first keynote speaker. With
900,000 receiving emergency food in the last 12 months, Chris explained how the
charity has grown rapidly into a national network that is regularly in the media
spotlight whilst working to empower local communities to combat poverty and
Jay Kennedy, Director of Policy and Research at Directory of Social Change tackled
the thorny perennial: what is the role of independent charities with discretionary
funds in a wide ranging and thought provoking address that encompassed collaboration
with others in our sector and outside, championing our beneficiaries' needs and
whether solidarity best described the work of the sector.
Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive at Charity Finance Group, explored the mood of the
sector during these challenging times, asserting that CFG research demonstrates that
charities are cautiously optimistic about the future despite continuing uncertainty
on funding and are taking steps to enhance transparency in response to greater press
Paul Palmer, Professor of Voluntary Sector Management, and Associate Dean for
Ethics, Sustainability and Engagement at Cass Business School combined humour and
hard facts in a presentation focusing on the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), little
known but for charity investment it is vital that charities understand what it means
and how it applies to them.
Angela Kail, Head of Funder Effectiveness at NPC/ New Philanthropy Capital told us
how charities and commissioners increasingly see collaboration as a way to access new
funding, grow and improve services. But that doesn't mean it's easy. To avoid the
risks, charities need to understand what makes collaboration a success.
Jason Tetley (CEO Glasspool Charitable Trust) and Jacinta Belai (Consultant)
explained how one ACO member aims to double its impact within three years and
delegates heard about the Trust's experience of developing a grant impact assessment
framework along with the findings of their research and the recommendations on how
Glasspool can develop and implement the necessary measurement tools and processes to
demonstrate impact and enhance overall grantmaking effectiveness.
Fred Payne, Chief Executive of the Bank Workers Charity gave the conference a
rousing address. He is passionate about developing a partnership delivery model
across the benevolent sector in the UK and wants to help more people with access to
early intervention support services as well as providing financial support for those
in need. By utilising employee wellbeing, pensioner services and the potential to use
social investment techniques to bring employers and charities together to help people
in need, trusts and foundations can face the challenges of rising levels of demand
and volatile income generation.
Presentations are available in the member's section of the ACO website