Charity Finance Summit 2019

10 October 2019 Events

Now in its 13th year, we bring you two streams of VAT and tax content, along with streams on investment and risk & strategy. Across these broad themes, we will bring you a heady mix of practical instruction and high-level strategic insight.

Incorporating the Charity VAT & Tax, Strategy & Risk and Investment conference streams, the Charity Finance Summit has grown to become the key learning and networking event for charity finance teams in the autumn conference season.

We have carefully chosen sector experts who can provide you with relevant insight, informative case studies and compelling seminar sessions.

Tickets to the Summit give you the flexibility to select sessions from any conference stream. This means that you can tailor the sessions you or your team attend on the day to ensure you address your charity’s needs. 

Download the brochure and booking form



10 October 2019

  • 8.45AM - 9.20AM
    Registration, refreshments, networking & time to visit exhibition
    Registration, refreshments, networking & time to visit exhibition
  • 9.20AM - 9.25AM
    Chair's welcome
    Welcome from Gareth Jones, editor, Charity Finance
  • 9.25AM - 10.00AM
    Keynote address
    The financial stability and sustainability of ActionAid UK is key for that of the entire ActionAid Federation. At a time when accessing institutional income is increasingly challenging and public trust in charities is declining, ActionAid UK has had to rethink its operational model and seek to grow income while also being a credible voice in influencing public policy. In this high-level presentation, Girish will highlight some key steps that ActionAid UK is taking to grow the right kind of income while building financial sustainability.

    Girish Menon, chief executive officer, ActionAid UK
  • 10.00AM - 10.45AM
    1A. Case law overview and recent developments
    In this session Socrates will review recent case law and any announcements or changes made by HMRC that might affect the charity sector.

    Socrates Socratous, VAT consultancy partner, Buzzacott
  • 10.00AM - 10.45AM
    1B. Latest update on employment tax law
    Nick will outline forthcoming changes to the IR35 legislation, which are designed to combat tax avoidance among workers supplying their services via an intermediary, and how they will impact the sector in a number of different ways. The session will also incorporate some wider employment status issues as well as issues arising from an employment tax perspective.

    Nick Bustin, employment tax director, haysmacintyre
  • 10.00AM - 10.45AM
    1C. Risk appetite in a non-profit – it’s not about the money
    Recent experience has shown that it is not simply what organisations do but how they do it that is important. Leaders need to set the values of the organisation, but also need to show staff and volunteers how to interpret the values. This is setting the risk appetite – an exercise that is much harder in non-profit organisations where not everything can be measured in financial terms. This session will look at how leaders can articulate risk appetite as
    attitudes rooted in the organisation’s values, and plan to change behaviours to align with the values.

    Jonathan Orchard, partner and Kate Sayer, consultant, Sayer Vincent
  • 10.00AM - 10.45AM
    1D. A practical guide to CC14, the Charity Commission’s guidance on investment matters
    One of the most important roles of a trustee is to manage their charity’s resources responsibly. That means exercising sound judgement and not taking unnecessary risks, particularly when it comes to investing. They need to make balanced and adequately informed decisions, which involves thinking about the long term as well as more immediate concerns. Andrew and Gareth will cover the duties of trustees relating to financial investments, how to set a charity’s investment objectives, and what should be included in an investment policy statement.

    Andrew Pitt, head of charities and Gareth Pearl, investment manager, Rathbones
  • 10.45AM - 11.15AM
    Networking and refreshment break
    Networking and refreshment break
  • 11.15AM - 11.55AM
    2A. VAT – Are you in business? How does this affect reverse charge?
    This session covers two linked areas which commonly cause unforeseen VAT issues for charities. The first is how to determine whether a charity is in business or not for VAT purposes. This will include a review of HMRC’s latest guidance on what constitutes a grant. Secondly, you will learn about the reverse charge for VAT purposes: how it works, what it applies to, and how it can impose a VAT cost to any services received by a charity (with business activities) from overseas suppliers. Although this will impact international charities more, it also applies to all charities which receive services from overseas.

    Kamlesh Chauhan, senior manager, VAT, haysmacintyre
  • 11.15AM - 11.55AM
    2B. Using certificates to qualify for VAT relief
    This session will discuss the VAT reliefs available for charities based on qualifying use where certificates need to be provided as evidence and support. Debbie will summarise the available VAT reliefs, explain how to assess the charity’s responsibilities, and explore the conditions for relief. She will also guide attendees on how to establish present and future criteria to meet conditions, understand the certificate issuing process, and examine the penalty regime. This session will include practical examples and lessons from recent cases where HMRC has taken legal action against a charity.

    Debbie Jennings, VAT director, Kingston Smith
  • 11.15AM - 11.55AM
    2C. Charities and disputes
    Disputes take time and resources to resolve and can damage a charity’s reputation, whether they are internal or external. Charity leaders need to spot the warning signs of potential disputes, take steps to avoid them escalating and, in the worst case, manage them effectively while complying with the complex regulatory regime. Join this session for an expert overview of the legal framework for managing disputes and practical insights from recent cases. Whether you need to enforce contracts with commissioners or suppliers, protect your charity’s reputation or navigate disputes, this session will help you get the best results for your charity.

    Shivaji Shiva, partner and Ben Holt, partner, VWV
  • 11.15AM - 11.55AM
    2D. Opportunities and risks in the real estate sector
    In the face of prevailing low yields from fixed income and cash markets, the income-generating real estate sector has been particularly attractive to investors. In this dynamic market, we look at key investment themes such as the coworking phenomenon, where businesses share office space to lower costs and workers gain more flexibility. Daniel will outline current opportunities, both inside and outside the UK, as well as the risks. The key challenge is to identify where and how to take advantage of these themes as an investor.

    Daniel Casali, chief investment strategist, Smith & Williamson
  • 11.55AM - 12.40PM
    3A. VAT registration
    This session will examine all aspects of VAT registration for charities. These include: identifying when charities have to register (mandatory requirement); when it is a choice; when they cannot register, and clarifying when is it better to register individually or set up a VAT group with one or more subsidiaries. Debbie will also explain the practical aspects of registration, the impact on VAT recovery and the administration and filing requirements. This session will focus on practical scenarios illustrating pros and cons of different approaches to VAT registration.

    Debbie Jennings, VAT director, Kingston Smith
  • 11.55AM - 12.40PM
    3B. VAT for fundraising events and dealing with corporates
    Fundraising by and with corporate partners is becoming hot topic in the sector as more and more corporate partners want to link with charities. We will look at event fundraising both by the charity and the corporate partners and also focus on sponsorship arrangements, charity of the year and other ways that charities and corporate partners work together. Often there are VAT and direct tax angles which have to be considered, and a need for written agreements between all the parties concerned.

    Alison Hone, VAT partner, Saffery Champness
  • 11.55AM - 12.40PM
    3C. Financial reserves
    According to the Charity Commission, less than a quarter of larger charities accurately reported in their trustees’ annual report the level of financial reserves they hold. The Commission says its findings suggest an incomplete understanding of what reserves are, which could lead trustees to make poor decisions about their charity’s finances. But is that the whole story? Join this session to understand the essentials for reserves in the charity sector.

    Nick Moore, strategy consultant and former head of support services, Methodist Church
  • 11.55AM - 12.40PM
    3D. The good, the bad and the ugly – preparing for a new stage in the cycle?
    Join this session to hear Conan expound the importance of taking a flexible approach to managing challenges and opportunities on the global investment horizon during the latter stages of this current market cycle.

    Conan McKenzie, multi-asset portfolio manager, BlackRock
  • 12.40PM - 1.50PM
    Lunch, networking and time to visit exhibition
    Lunch, networking and time to visit exhibition
  • 1.50PM - 2.30PM
    4A. Direct tax and property transactions
    This session will explore when direct tax may be an issue in a property transaction. Mark McGarry will look at when HMRC may consider a sale to be part of a trade and where charities may be affected by land anti-avoidance legislation.

    Mark McGarry, partner, Saffery Champness
  • 1.50PM - 2.30PM
    4B. Gift Aid surgery
    During this interactive and hands-on session, Luke Savvas will answer questions from the audience around Gift Aid and how to manage it effectively. If you are able to submit questions to Luke in advance of the Summit, he will be prepared on the day to answer specific challenges that you are facing.

    Luke Savvas, charity tax partner, Buzzacott
  • 1.50PM - 2.30PM
    4C. Spreadsheet modelling
    Spreadsheets are arguably the most utilised tool in an organisation. Even the most advanced finance teams rely to varying degrees on the use of spreadsheets to help record, calculate or model a variety of tasks. However, the use of spreadsheets is not without risk, and research has shown that a large proportion contain some form of error. With so much focus on risk and best practice within the sector, has your organisation ever considered its reliance on spreadsheets? Join this session to learn how to embed good spreadsheet practice.

    Irfan Umarji, head of finance and procurement, The Royal Society
  • 1.50PM - 2.30PM
    4D. ESG investing
    Taking environmental, social and governance factors into account when making investment decisions is increasingly common. But what is it and how should you go about it? Incorporating issues of financial governance, best practice and innovation, Nancy will discuss how ESG investing can lead to enhanced returns and how to make sure your fund manager is really walking the walk rather than just talking the talk.

    Nancy Kilpatrick, head of unit trust relationships, Legal & General Investment Management
  • 2.30PM - 3.15PM
    5A. Making Tax Digital: Update from HMRC
    Making Tax Digital is changing the landscape of VAT administration and payment, and the challenges for charities are not inconsiderable. By the time of the Summit, charities will have just passed the deadline for compliance and entered the “soft-landing period”, during which HMRC has promised to be understanding of any teething troubles. In this session, delegates will hear how the implementation is going from HMRC’s perspective and have the chance to debate any outstanding issues.

    Verna Gellvear, Making Tax Digital for business, customer readiness and external stakeholder team, HMRC
  • 2.30PM - 3.15PM
    5C. Are annual reports an effective communication tool?
    Ensuring that funders, public officials and journalists hold a positive view of your charity is important for your future success. So, are charities doing a good enough job with their annual reports? Many of the larger charities are ensuring that annual reports are clear and well written but could charities get their message across more concisely? Are annual reports still too focused on income and spending ratios, rather than value for money and impact? Does an exclusive focus on positive achievements undermine trust?

    Kevin O’Brien, director of finance and corporate resources, CLIC Sargent
  • 2.30PM - 3.15PM
    5D. The tipping point: managing investments through a transition
    Join us for this practical workshop, which applies the findings from ASC’s Tipping Point report, based on research by Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness. This workshop unpicks the barriers facing charities as they approach an investment transition point, whether that’s moving from cash to investing for the first time, or dusting off long-held investments or an historic investment policy statement. After sharing an overview of the research findings, the workshop will enable participants to map their charity’s own investment journey and create an individual action plan to take away.

    Julie Hutchison, charities specialist, Aberdeen Standard Capital
  • 3.15PM - 3.40PM
    Networking and refreshment break
    Networking and refreshment break
  • 3.40PM - 4.20PM
    6A. Panel discussion

    In this interactive closing session, you’ll have the chance to quiz our panel of experts on the most relevant VAT and tax issues of the moment. Our panel will highlight the key topics, discuss how these may play out, and answer any questions from the floor about any VAT and tax matter. The session will be conducted under the Chatham House Rule and delegates are encouraged to submit questions in advance.

    The session will be led by Richard Bray, who is vice-chairman at the Charity Tax Group and finance, regulatory and taxes manager at Cancer Research UK

  • 3.40PM - 4.20PM
    6C. Implementing effective change management
    During this session Pat will focus on defining your charity’s culture, identifying key influencers and overcoming barriers to change. The charity sector is unique in having to implement strategy with a wide range of  stakeholders, and this session will look at managing the double bottom line of financial results and social impact whilst still focusing on the long-term direction of the organisation. It will outline effective strategic planning techniques including examining the decisions, processes and changes required to get where the organisation wants to be.

    Pat McArdle, chief executive officer, Mayday Trust
  • 3.40PM - 4.20PM
    6D. The physics of investing
    In the modern world of finance, complex dynamics and interactions have made it increasingly difficult for investors to understand why markets and economies develop in the way they do. Often it is useful to refer to the disciplines of physics to provide explanations. One can observe the formation of bubbles, the collapse of a pile of sand or the boiling of a kettle and find parallels in markets. If you have ever wondered why it’s impossible to reach Heathrow at 8am precisely in a car and how that relates to the difficulty of reaching investment objectives, then this talk will be right up your street. And you will gain a greater understanding of the forces driving markets today.

    John Wyn-Evans, head of investment strategy, Investec
  • 4.20PM - 4.55PM
    Closing keynote: From filmmaking to finance

    Jo Keaney, Director of Finance and Corporate Services at St John Ambulance talks about her career journey; the experience and skills learnt, the lessons that shaped and influenced her and how that has helped develop St John Ambulance in a time of evolution in charity finance.

    Jo Keaney, director of finance and corporate services, St John Ambulance

  • 4.55PM - 5.00PM
    Chair’s closing remarks
    Gareth Jones, editor, Charity Finance
  • 5.00PM - 6.00PM
    Networking drinks reception
    Networking drinks reception


Well organised event with very informative and inspiring speakers. I liked that delegates were encouraged to interact and ask questions
Janet Quinn, Cancer Research UK

This event is great. The topics are relevant and really interesting. I would definitely recommend it for any individuals working in charity finance, regardless of level
Ingela Ekstrom, Personal Support Unit

Always a useful and informative conference which is on point with current issues
Karyn Hood, East Malling Trust

Good range of relevant subjects and great location
Deb McQuillan, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care

Excellent event. Well organised and focussed on topical aspects in the charity sector at the moment
Hugh McCash, Chartered Certified Accountants’ Benevolent Fund

Informative and enjoyable as always
Jacqueline Hall, SSAFA

A great event for gaining further insight into topical issues
Deva Wijeyesekera, Royal College of Anaesthetists

A well informed charity event
Hannah Dalgleish, Alzheimer’s Research UK

An interesting event
Zoe Jones, Cancer Research UK

Great conference with practical and implemented ideas and learning at both operational and board level, Exceeded my expectations
Angie Rusbridge, Christians Against Poverty

The event provided in depth analysis and insight into a range of charity finance related topics
Carole Britton, Greenwich Mencap

An excellent opportunity to hear professionals talking about complex issues with clarity
Philip Town, SSAFA

The event provided useful insight to some important issues facing charities
Peter Owen, Energy Projects Plus

Always a good selection of presenters, and a useful and interesting range of topics covered
Stuart Ryland, Three Cs Support

An essential update of knowledge in a broad variety of areas
Antony Byatt, Vegetarian Society

A really interesting and informative day – I particularly enjoyed the risk and strategy elements of the day
Kevin Gunton, Julian Support Limited

A well run event, well targeted and timely relevant topics
Andy Barnes, Deafblind UK

As a novice to these sorts of events, I didn’t have much expectation; I found the whole thing useful and incredibly informative. I discovered lots of things I did not know in the world of charity finance. I will definitely be back next year
Krystle Dowding, FSRH

Good opportunity to bring the sector together and share knowledge, best practice and emerging issues
Fran McCloskey, St Peter’s Hospice

Very well organised conference with some excellent speakers
Fiona Russell, Elton John Aids Foundation


With thanks to our Investment sponsors







With thanks to our VAT and tax sponsors







With thanks to our Strategy and Risk sponsors







  Early bird
(booking made by 6 September)
Booking after 6
Small charity rate (income under <250k) £199 £199
Charity rate (income above 250k) £269 £319
Team ticket £669 £789
Corporate delegate £749 £799


Social highlights from Charity Finance Week 2018

Read on for social media highlights from our inaugural Charity Finance Week.


With thanks to our exhibitors









For sponsorship and exhibition queries contact Yvette Micallef

For speaker queries contact our event team

For registration queries contact Carys Pugh

For media partnerships and marketing queries contact Kirsty Brown


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Terms & Conditions

Please note that speakers and topics were confirmed at the time of publishing, however, circumstances beyond the control of the organisers may necessitate substitutions, alterations or cancellations of the speakers and/or topics. As such Civil Society Media Ltd reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or topics if necessary. Any substitutions or alterations will be updated on our web page as soon as possible.

Substitution and cancellation policy: On receipt of your booking form, your place is confirmed. Delegate substitutions are allowed. Refunds on cancellations will only be issued (less a 15% administration charge) up to and including 14 days prior to the event. Refunds will not be issued after this date. Confirmation of cancellations MUST be in writing and sent or faxed to Civil Society Media at 15 Prescott Place, London, SW4 6BS 020 7819 1200 (fax: 020 7819 1210).


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