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Annual Conference 2020 - Annual Conference 2020
Last updated September 2020

ACO 2020 Annual Conference: Navigating Through Challenging Times

We are pleased to announce that this year’s ACO Annual Conference will be running in a virtual format through three half-day morning sessions: Monday 5 October – Wednesday 7 October.

We’d all agree 2020 has been a turbulent year for the charity sector!

Join us from 5-7 October for the virtual ACO Annual Conference – kindly supported by Smith & Williamsonbringing together colleagues from benevolent funds and grant-making charities throughout the sector to reflect, debate and re-energise through a series of envigorating panels, session and workshops.

Core sessions include:

  • Keynote Panel discussions: “Where Now for the Charity Sector?” and “Appliance Poverty – Living Without During Covid-19”;
  • Navigating the Crisis and Preparing for the Second Wave;
  • Considering Diversified Income;
  • Diversity & Inclusion in the Sector;

We will also run standalone workshops including Charity Mergers and Collaboration; Grant Management in a Digital World and Getting Back to Work After Lockdown – HR Perspectives;

Registration fees (ACO members £25/ACO Corporate Partners £30/Non-members £35) have been set deliberately low to encourage maximum participation from member and non-member charities for this digital event and provide full access to all three daily sessions.

Registration now open on Eventbrite.

Register Here

ACO Annual Conference 2020: Programme

Day 1: Monday 5 October (9.30am – 12.30pm)

Session 1: 2020-21 Economic Outlook (Daniel Casali, Chief Investment Strategist, Smith & Williamson)

Session 2: What Now for the Charity Sector? – panel discussion including:

  • Rachael Maskell MP (Shadow Minister for the Voluntary Sector and Charities)
  • Debra Allcock-Tyler (CEO – Directory of Social Change)
  • Joseph Howes (CEO - Buttle UK)
  • Simon Gillespie (former CEO - British Heart Foundation)

Session 3: Navigating the Crisis and Preparing for the Second Wave – sharing ACO member perspectives and experiences through the Covid-19 pandemic

Day 2: Tuesday 6 October (9.30am – 12.30 pm)

Session 1: Embracing Income Diversification in an Economic Downturn


  • Optimising your existing endowment income stream - Smith & Willliamson
  • Rebuilding Income Streams – Culture of Philanthropy
  • Developing your legacy income - Farewill
  • Contactless fundraising - TapSimple
  • Cardless cash solutions – Pin4

Session 2: How Can Charities Better Reflect the People They Serve? – Building Diversity and Inclusion in the Sector

Day 3: Wednesday 7 October (9.30am – 1.00pm)

Session 1: Appliance Poverty: Living Without During Covid-19 – panel discussion including:

  • Piers French – Chair (AO Business)
  • Jamie Greer (Turn2Us)
  • Cheryl Ward (Family Fund)
  • Claire Donovan (Furniture Resource Centre)

Session 2: Breakout Workshops:

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing – Smith & Williamson

Charity Mergers and Collaborations – Russell-Cooke LLP

Grant Management in a digital world - Pangaea Consulting

Getting Back to Work After Lockdown – Croner HR

With thanks to Smith & Williamson as official event sponsor