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Last updated September 2018


Every year ACO organises an Annual Conference with excellent speakers, a thought-provoking programme and unparalleled networking opportunities. It has become an unmissable date in the diary for organisations helping people in need. This year's Annual Conference is on Friday 27th April.

"The New Normal"

This year's Annual Conference has a strong cast of expert speakers around the subject of 'The New Normal' - recognising that the very nature of charity is changing - including Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO; Helen Barnard, Head of Analysis at Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Alan Bryce, Head of Development & Operational Intelligence at the Charity Commission; Craig Dearden-Phillips MBE. Craig is the author of two best-selling business book for social entrepreneurs, is a regularly columnist for The Guardian, Third Sector and MJ magazine and a sought-after public speaker. Click here to book your place now

Grant Making Forums

We also run quarterly Grant Making Forum meetings in London, Manchester and York and quarterly meetings for organisations with small staff teams in London, which are all free to members. Potential members can be invited to attend to get an idea about ACO and its membership.

ACO also organises an Autumn Summit. 

What our members say:

"We have found the ACO conferences an invaluable and cost effective method of inducting new Trustees. The high quality speakers added with the unrivalled opportunity to network with other Trustees, staff and volunteers who work within the benevolent sector really helps to embed the uniqueness of the work which we do and the context in which we operate. We aim to engage every Trustee with ACO events as a part of the Board's development plan".

"We have always found the ACO to be an immensely helpful and important resource in our grant making. Events such as the Annual Conference and Forums are important opportunities for sharing working practices and we have appreciated fellow members' willingness to offer help and advice over similar issues."


AGM 2018

See page for details

Ruffer LLP Logo - Corporate member logo

ACO Conference 2018 - follow-up

A BIG thankyou to everyone who attended our Annual Conference on Friday 27 April, to Quilter Cheviot for kindly sponsoring and to our fantastic line-up of Speakers. A very enjoyable day was had by all and the feedback has been great - thankyou!

ACO Annual Conference 2018 - Graphic depicting a speaker addressing an audience at a conference

Grant Making Forum

Meetings are held at the British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS, from 11am-1pm. This is a "Members-only" event, everyone is welcome and attendance is free. No need to book (unless we ask), just turn up!

Grant Making Forum & Under Fives Meetings - Graphics

Under Fives Meeting

A group meeting for solo workers and small staff teams ("under 5 employees"). The meeting is Chaired & Minutes taken however there is no agenda and members discuss topics of interest and pose questions. This is a great forum for support/ advice/ Best Practice and general sharing. No booking required. ACO members only.

Grant Making Forum & Under Fives Meetings - Graphics

Charity Times Awards 2018 - 3 October 2018

The Charity Times Awards celebrate best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector and are now in their 19th year.

Charity Times Awards 2018 - Graphics from the Charity Times website

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