Charity Finance Summit 2023

5 October 2023

The leading conference for charity finance professionals

We are delighted to announce the return of the 16th annual Charity Finance Summit.

The programme has been developed in response to feedback and insight from sector experts and will deliver the most up-to-date developments in key topic areas of VAT, tax, investment, risk and strategy, alongside networking opportunities.

In 2023, the Charity Finance Summit will take place at 155 Bishopsgate, London. Always a sell-out event, we encourage you to book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, and we look forward to seeing you on the day. 

Download the 2023 programme.



05 October 2023

  • 8.45AM - 9.20AM
    Registration, refreshments, networking & time to visit exhibition
  • 9.20AM - 9.25AM
    Welcome from Tristan Blythe, editor, Charity Finance
  • 9.25AM - 10.10AM
    The future of UK economic thinking
    Professor Tony Travers, visiting professor in LSE department of government and director of LSE London As charities increasingly face having to do more with less, Professor Travers will draw on his vast experience as a political economist to present some thoughts on the wider public finance environment within which they operate. A well-respected commentator on the public sector and local government, his key research interests include public service reform. He is currently an adviser to the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families, and Communities and Local Government, select committees. He is a board member of the Centre for Cities and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy.
  • 10.10AM - 10.15AM
    Stream chair's welcome

    Stream A - VAT & Tax 1
    Chair’s welcome: Richard Bray, finance regulatory & taxes manager, CRUK

    Stream B – VAT & Tax 2
    Chair’s welcome: Ian Allsop, contributing editor, Charity Finance

    Stream C – Risk & Strategy
    Chair’s welcome: Rob Preston, news editor, Civil Society Media

    Stream D – Investment
    Chair’s welcome: Tristan Blythe, editor, Charity Finance

  • 10.15AM - 10.55AM
    1A. Employment tax update

    Nick Bustin, director of employment, haysmacintyre

    This session will provide an update on topical employment tax issues, which may include announcements made by the government and HMRC, trends including recent IR35 cases, hybrid working, and salary sacrifice arrangements and cost-ofliving issues.

  • 10.15AM - 10.55AM
    1B. VAT update
    Socrates Socratous, VAT consultancy partner, Buzzacott

    Hear about the latest VAT developments, updates on new cases, and other topical issues including barter transactions.
  • 10.15AM - 10.55AM
    1C. Legal and regulatory update
    Session now full
    This session will ensure you are up-to-date with key legal and regulatory changes, including the Charity Commission’s guidance on both social media and responsible investment, the latest news on the implementation of the 2022 Charities Act, and other less high-profile developments that you may have missed.
  • 10.15AM - 10.55AM
    1D. New inflationary era? Ensuring sustainable withdrawals for the next decade
    Gareth Pearl and Olivia Marlow, investment directors, Rathbones

    What does the uncertain outlook for growth and inflation mean for investment returns, and how can charities ensure their withdrawals balance current and future needs?
  • 10.55AM - 11.25AM
    Networking & refreshment break
  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    2A. VAT inspections at charities

    Alan Collins, VAT manager, Bishop Fleming

    What kinds of questions do HMRC ask? This session will highlight some practical examples and case studies.

  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    2B. Taking responsibility for tax in a charity
    Vikki Watts, tax director and Parul Anand, VAT director, BDO

    What are the key governance issues affecting the sector that you need to be aware of? This session will focus on effective approaches to tax risk management and ensuring efficiency of delivery.
  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    2C. How to deliver a successful digital transformation project
    Session now full

    Taylor Stevens, senior project manager, Xledger, and Bex McGann, head of finance, Comic Relief

    This session will discuss the potential perils and pitfalls of implementing a digital transformation project.

  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    2D. Positioning portfolios for the changing world order

    Rob Clarry, investment strategist, Evelyn Partners

    The current world order was thrashed out in the aftermath of World War II. But growing and important economic powers, notably China, did not sign up for this framework and want the world’s economy to work differently. Russia’s attempts to redraw the map of Europe provide further confirmation we have moved into a new paradigm. This tension is likely to lead to a long-term realignment of the global economy, with new rules and new thinking. This session will shed some light on these themes, and provide some ideas for how investors might navigate growing geopolitical risks.

  • 12.10PM - 12.50PM
    3A. Working with corporate partners

    Luke Savvas, partner, Buzzacott

    A review of the tax considerations of fundraising initiatives with corporate partners, such as commercial participator agreements, and entering into joint ventures

  • 12.10PM - 12.50PM
    3B. What does good compliance look like?

    Debbie Jennings, VAT director, Moore Kingston Smith

    This session will include a look at the new penalty regime, practical considerations for charities, and discus recommendations for demonstrating reasonable care and managing risk. VAT is a self-assessed tax, so the taxpayer, ie the charity, needs to take necessary steps to ensure compliance, while taking advantage of all potential VAT efficiencies.

  • 12.10PM - 12.50PM
    3C. Moving beyond crisis mode: how charities can adapt to a landscape where change is constant
    Session now full

    Alison Taylor, CEO CAF Bank and CAF Charity Services

    CAF’s research into how the cost-of-living crisis has affected charities and charitable giving in the UK will be covered in this presentation. It will examine the impact on finances, look at how charities might need to adapt, and provide some ideas about actions charities could take to help them emerge stronger and more resilient.

  • 12.10PM - 12.50PM
    3D. Investing for a brighter future
    Conan McKenzie, portfolio manager and Victoria Matthews, managing director, BlackRock

    Energy, food, and climate are inter-related crises that have the potential to create feedback loops from which it is very hard to escape. Higher energy and food prices are directly and indirectly impacting the operating costs of charities, as well as their fundraising and investments. This session will explore the opportunity to help alleviate these issues by directing capital towards innovative companies, and also to deliver long-term sustainable returns.
  • 12.50PM - 1.50PM
    Lunch, networking and time to visit exhibition
  • 1.50PM - 2.35PM
    4A. International remote working
    John Williams, employment tax director, Moore Kingston Smith

    What are the risks and opportunities of international remote working? This session will cover employer responsibilities for both UK and local tax, payroll implications, alternative hiring options, and recommended policy.
  • 1.50PM - 2.35PM
    4B. Recovering VAT on costs – basic principles
    Phil Salmon, head of VAT, haysmacintyre

    This session will introduce the basic principles relating to the recovery of VAT on costs, including partial exemption and business/non-business methods.
  • 1.50PM - 2.35PM
    4C. Reinforcing compliance with AP automation

    James Smith, head of commercial UK, Kefron

    Both Pancreatic Cancer UK (PCUK) and Mencap have utilised accounts payable (AP) automation to enhance operational efficiency and manage financial risks more effectively. This session will explore how AP automation benefits charities, unravel the connection between AP automation, compliance and risk management, assess measurable outcomes from PCUK and Mencap, and examine how to measure the impact of AP Automation.

  • 1.50PM - 2.35PM
    4D. AI revolution: how might AI impact charity investments?

    Andrew Maxwell, investment director, charities, Investec

    This thought-provoking presentation will delve into the potentially profound impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the investment industry, and explore its implications for charity investments. AI has the capacity to reshape the landscape of investment management, introducing cutting-edge technologies and advanced analytics that may revolutionise portfolio management, risk assessment, and impact measurement. But the path ahead is uncertain, both investment managers and charities.

    [Please note title and synopsis of this presentation were created with the help of ChatGPT, but will be given by a human being!]

  • 2.35PM - 3.15PM
    5A. Getting the most out of fundraising income – the tax considerations

    Paul Knight, partner and Parul Anand, VAT director, BDO

    Tax and gift aid can impact the money your charity actually receives from all your hard work when fundraising. To ensure you get the most out of your income, this session offers some top tips on managing the tax on diversification and partnership working.

  • 2.35PM - 3.15PM
    5B. Tax implications of reorganisation, including property
    Jon Sparkes, partner, Bishop Fleming
    As charities evolve they will often come up against the need to reorganise their existing operations and corporate structures. These changes will usually have tax implications and this session consider some common issues that arise, as well as the bear traps to avoid.
  • 2.35PM - 3.15PM
    5C. Beyond automation: taking digital finance transformation to the next level
    Session now full
    Darren Cran, COO, AccountsIQ

    Automation is just the start of your charity’s digital finance story. Once you’ve built that foundation, the next chapter is where the more impactful transformation emerges. This session explores what happens when finance – and the wider organisation – is empowered with real-time visibility of data insights. By sharing the right data with the right people at the right time, charity finance leaders become facilitators and not just problem solvers.
  • 2.35PM - 3.15PM
    5D. Inflation and volatility – what does this mean for charity portfolio construction?
    Ajay Johal, investment director, Ruffer

    We are entering in an environment starkly different to the one we have experienced for the past 40 years, one of more volatile – but higher – inflation. What does this mean for charities looking to build resilient portfolios that can serve their beneficiaries for the future? This session will discuss how the investment landscape has changed, question whether the current typical charity portfolio will work, and suggest some rules that could be followed to help weather the storm.
  • 3.15PM - 3.35PM
    Networking & refreshment break
  • 3.35PM - 4.25PM
    6A & B. HMRC Panel: Latest updates and your questions answered
    Charities are operating in an increasingly complex regulatory environment where good practice is essential to ensure the financial health and reputation of an organisation. This session will help you to safeguard your finance function by staying top of the recent VAT and tax developments affecting charities. Representatives from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will present short updates on key areas, and the prerequisites for compliance. They will then be available to answer your questions on a range of taxation topics including VAT, employment tax and gift aid.
  • 3.35PM - 4.25PM
    6C. Linking risk to strategy
    Session now full

    Simon Hopkins, director of finance and corporate resources, Versus Arthritis

    Versus Arthritis has recently restructured its approach to risk management to put much greater emphasis on major, thematic risks as well as addressing operational risk. This piece of work is part of much bigger exercise to look at the charity’s underpinning business management practices, known as the foundations review. This session will discuss the thinking that led to this change, as well as how this approach provides a more intuitive link to Versus Arthritis’ new strategy which was launched in early 2023.

  • 3.35PM - 4.25PM
    6D. Never say never again: Bonds are back (sustainably)
    Madeline King, head of research and engagement, LGIM

    The low bond yields of the past decade left charity investors focused on equities in the belief that there was no strategic alternative. But has the recent sharp rise in yields changed all that? And if so, how can investors look to invest in bonds sustainably?
  • 4.25PM - 4.55PM
    Closing keynote: A force for the future – Artificial intelligence and charities
    Ravi Gurumurthy, chief executive, Nesta

    The latest extraordinary developments in artificial intelligence are widely acknowledged as having the potential to fundamentally transform the world as we know it. This wide-ranging tool is already being applied across numerous sectors and changing the way we learn, work and interact. The crucial question is how to maximise the benefits for public good while avoiding the biggest risks and managing the ethical implications. This session will consider the latest wave of developments in machine learning and how this might influence and impact the future of our sector.
  • 4.55PM - 5.00PM
    Chair’s closing remarks, Tristan Blythe, editor, Charity Finance
  • 5.00PM - 6.00PM
    Networking reception

Testimonials from 2022

Great event. Excellent topics discussed and the speakers were very welcoming when spoken to after presentations
Jakina Matthews, Motor Neurone Disease Association

Really relevant and thoughtful presentations addressing the concerns of charity finance professionals in 2023
Nicola Silverleaf, The Honorary Treasurers Forum

A brilliant day with minded individuals discussing interesting charity finance related topics
Natalie Swallow, Macmillan Cancer Support

Great event, informative and engaging
Corrie Irwin, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

Good to be amongst fellow colleagues within the sector, sharing key learnings
Moyenul Islam, Islamic Relief Worldwide

Fantastic summit. Really informative and helpful. Thoroughly recommend
Andrea Kingsley, The Earthshot Prize

Great content, really relevant sponsors, a good use of precious time and money
Tony Dowrick, Young Lives vs Cancer

Lots of food for thought as usual. Lots of homework as usual. Also nice when presentations give us the reassurance that we’re doing things right!
Antony Byatt, Vegetarian Society

A great opportunity to meet with like-minded professionals and to understand how we have got to where we are and what we need to do to move forward
Kevin Gunton, Julian Support


Great ways to save!

  1. Be a Charity Finance subscriber: subscribers save an extra £50 off the charity early-bird rate. Subscribe today. 
  2. Small charities: Charities with an annual income of less than £250,000 can save up to £100.00 off the ticket price
  3. Be an early bird! Book your place by 8 September to save £50.00 off the ticket price.
  4. Attend with your team! Ensure your whole team benefits from a great day's learning. With the Charity Team Ticket you can send up to four people for less than £170 each, saving your charity 40% on the booking fee. 
  Early bird
(booking made by 8 September)
Booking after 8
1. Charity Finance subscriber rate 249 299
2. Charity rate  269 319
3. Team ticket (4 places) *  669 789
4. Small charity rate (income under <250k) £199 £199

All prices exclude VAT.

*Limited quantity available due to restrictions in numbers at the event. Places available on first come serve, first serve.  


Investment sponsors:




  Investec 2021-black-version.png


  Evelyn Partners 2022







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VAT & Tax sponsors:






Bishop Flemming 2022.jpg




Buzzacott l2019


haysmacintyre logo Jan 2019 - purple.png






Strategy & Risk sponsors






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Event partner





With thanks to our exhibitors 

AccountsIQ.png      Baillie Gifford.png      Barclays-Logo.png
BDO_Logo_72dpi_100px.jpg   Bishop Flemming 2022.jpg   Blackrock 2019


  Buzzacott l2019   CAF 2022.JPG
Cazenove_Logo_Prussian-Blue_CMYK.jpg   The Co-operative Bank Logo_3 Lines Stacked_White_DarkBlue.png  


Edentree 2022.jpg
epworth.png   Evelyn Partners 2022   haysmacintyre logo Jan 2019 - purple.png
Investec 2021-black-version.png   iplicit-512.png   LGIM_RGB_Black_4_colour.jpg




MooreKingstonSmith_Identity_RGB.gif   Newton.png   PITCH LOGO.PNG




Ruffer website compatible.png
Sarasin logo.jpg   VWV-Logo-RGB.jpg   Waverton_IM_pos_rgb.jpg
Willis-Tower-Watson.jpg                                           Xledger    



155 Bishopsgate


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 

Terms & Conditions

  1. Payment
    1. Registrations will not be fully confirmed until correct payment is received. If you have any issues with payment, please contact [email protected]
  2. Programming
    1. 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.
  3. Event attendance
    1. Delegates are required to observe and comply with all laws, regulations, rules and requirements relating to COVID-19 and which Civil Society Media has adopted as part of its operations. Civil Society Media will communicate the COVID-19 Measures to you from time to time including and without limitation via pre-Event emails, its social channels and the event website
    2. Civil Society Media reserves the right to alter or remove its COVID-19 Measures at any time in response to the latest guidance or legislation from the UK Government or as otherwise deemed necessary by Civil Society Media in its discretion.
    3. Civil Society Media reserves the right to eject you or refuse you entry from the event if, in our reasonable opinion, you are refusing to comply with any COVID-19 Measures without reasonable grounds.
  4. Cancellation or reimbursement
    1. 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 30 days prior to the event. Refunds will not be issued after this date. Confirmation of cancellations MUST be in writing and sent to [email protected]
    2. Individual registrants who registered as part of a discounted group registration are not eligible for refunds, unless the entire group cancels. Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same organisation at any time.
  5. Postponement or Cancellation of the Event by the Organiser
    1. Should we have to cancel or postpone we will endeavour to give you as much notice as is reasonably possible.
    2. In the event that we have to postpone, we will transfer your ticket to the next alternative date.