Governance & Leadership presents Trustee Exchange 2024

24 April 2024 London

A conference for charity trustees and senior leaders

It’s our great pleasure to welcome you to the 16th incarnation of Trustee Exchange, the UK’s foremost event for charity trustees, executive leaders and anyone else who is interested in how charities are governed.

Charities continue to require expert advice and guidance on several perennial issues, and this year’s conference will cover many of these, including investment, finance and audit, fundraising, technology, regulation, and the Charity Governance Code. But the sector is also facing many new challenges, particularly around diversity, social justice, and the difficulties of ensuring that boards, organisations, values and services are genuinely reflective of the people charities serve. We have tried to incorporate some of these complex considerations in the programme too, and are delighted to welcome trustees from Lankelly Chase to open the event with a talk about their decision to wind up the foundation and disburse all its funds to other charities that it believes can have more impact with its money.

This keynote will be followed by a panel of sector experts discussing trends, innovations and risks in their own area of charity governance and leadership, providing useful context for the rest of the day’s presentations. And for the first time we are also testing out a new approach to networking, with a session dedicated to allowing delegates to get together in small groups and continue the discussions on key topics from the day’s programme.

Trustee Exchange usually sells out, so be sure to get your (team) tickets asap. We can’t wait to see you back in the room on 24 April.

Download the 2024 programme.



24 April 2024

  • 9.00AM - 9.20AM
    Registration, coffee & networking
  • 9.20AM - 9.30AM
    Chair’s welcome – Jenni O'Donovan, events director, Civil Society Media
  • 9.30AM - 10.00AM
    Opening keynote: Bold action in the service of social justice

    In the summer of 2023, the Lankelly Chase Foundation announced it would do something that is extremely rare in the charity sector: it would disburse its £100m+ endowment. In its announcement, the 60-year-old foundation said it viewed “the traditional philanthropy model as so entangled with colonial capitalism that it inevitably continues the harms of the past into the present”. In this fascinating opening keynote providing plenty of food for thought for all types of charitable organisations, Myron Rogers will lead a conversation including other board members and staff to recount the process and discussions that led to this momentous decision, as well as the practicalities of enacting such a move.

    Myron Rogers, trustee and former chair, with other Lankelly Chase board members and staf

  • 10.00AM - 10.45AM
    Plenary panel discussion – State of the Sector in April 2024
    In this fascinating snapshot of the UK's charity sector, our expert panel will share their insights and reflections on the challenges, opportunities, threats and innovations that are coming across their desks as we approach the end of the first quarter of the 21st century. What key trends now characterise a sector that has been rocked by Covid and a cost-of-living crisis? What type of financial and strategic dilemmas are charities seeking help with? Has it become easier or harder to find trustees, and is the quality of governance improving? What sort of internal conflicts and governance disputes are arising within trustee boards? Are charities really getting on top of equity, diversity and inclusion? Hear about all this and more in this intriguing and entertaining state-of-the-sector discussion which will set the scene for the rest of the day's agenda.

    Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board (chair); Atif Choudhury, CEO, Diversity & Ability and trustee at Disability Rights UK; Rachel Gomez, senior economist, Pro Bono Economics; Beryl Hobson, executive director, Professional Governance Services and trustee at St Wilfrid's Hospice; Priya Singh, chair, NCVO and executive director, the Society for Assistance of Medical Families
  • 10.45AM - 11.10AM
    Morning refreshment and networking break
  • 11.10AM - 12.00PM
    1A. Investment policy health check

    After several years of consultation, a court case and various delays, the Charity Commission published updated investment guidance in August 2023. In this session we will look at the practical implications of the guidance alongside broader charity investment trends including spending, set against the inflationary backdrop of the last few years and sustainability, as well as opportunities when investing for the long term.

    Tom Montagu-Pollock, Co-Head of Charities and Amelia Thornton, Portfolio Manager, Cazenove Capital

  • 11.10AM - 12.00PM
    1B. The future charity chair

    The pace of change over the past 10 years has been unrelenting and shows no sign of slowing down. How does the role of the Chair adapt and evolve to provide leadership when faced with continued uncertainty? This engaging session will explore some the emerging findings from an in-depth research project into the skills and attributes required for future charity Chairs.

    Alex Skailes, Director, The Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), Leila Baker, Researcher, and Véronique Jochum, Researcher.

  • 11.10AM - 12.00PM
    1C. Charities, reputation management and the Charity Commission's social media guidance
    The Charity Commission's guidance on charities' use of social media was issued in autumn 2023 following revisions made in response to sector comments. So, what do you need to know, what are the key practical issues for charities, and what else should you do to manage the risks of social media?

    Ben Holt and Shivaji Shiva, partners, VWV
  • 12.00PM - 12.45PM
    2A. Maximising your charity’s impact in difficult economic times

    In this era of high inflation, climbing costs and ever-growing competition for funding, charities need to do everything they can to seek out efficiencies and ensure their organisation is delivering maximum outcomes while being as lean as possible. Key to this is ensuring that your governance and corporate structure are suitable and aligned with your future strategy. Join this session to learn how to identify the best options available for your organisation, and what trustees can do to help ensure that the charity is prepared for its annual audit in order to keep costs down.

    Richard Weaver, charity and not-for-profit partner, haysmacintyre

  • 12.00PM - 12.45PM
    2B. Pursuing diversity, equity and inclusion in the boardroom

    In this insightful 45-minute panel discussion delving into the pivotal role of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in charity boardrooms, our seasoned trustee panelists will explore the transformative potential of technology in fostering diverse perspectives and equitable practices within charity governance. By navigating the intersection of DEI principles and innovative approaches using technology, our expert panel will address common challenges and relate success stories of inclusive decision-making.

    Ed Rees, senior director, sales, BoardEffect

  • 12.00PM - 12.45PM
    2C. A case study in collaboration

    For the last dozen or so years, three of the UK's foremost mental health charities have collaborated on a partnership that works to tackle the UK's mental health crisis. The partnership between Mind, Scottish Action for Mental Health (SAMH) and Inspire extends across a range of areas including fundraising, research, communications and policy influencing. In this session, architect of the collaboration Billy Watson will describe the nuts and bolts of the deal, explain how the various parties benefit, and reflect on how it has evolved over the years. If your charity is considering collaborating with others to maximise its revenues, influence and impact, this session is a must-attend.

    Billy Watson, chief executive, Scottish Action for Mental Health

  • 12.45PM - 1.50PM
    Lunch break
  • 1.50PM - 2.15PM
    Reflections on seven years at the Charity Commission

    As the longest-serving chief executive the Charity Commission has ever had, Helen Stephenson has worked with three chairs, managed several hundred staff, and overseen the rollout of a more accessible contact centre, a raft of user-friendly five-minute guides on the regulator's guidance, and the new "digital front door" that is the My Charity Commission Account. She will step down in the summer. In this candid afterlunch address, Helen will reflect openly on her time in post and her view of the sector's future prospects.

    Helen Stephenson, chief executive, the Charity Commission

  • 2.15PM - 3.00PM
    3A. Navigating financial challenges as a board

    This session will cover the key building blocks of effective financial governance, to maximise the chances of your charity being resilient and sustainable. It will also focus on what to consider when your charity might be faced with the need for fundamental change in operations or potential closure. This will include looking at how your financial governance might need to pivot during this time and how the board financial lead can support management and fellow trustees through the journey - whatever the outcome.

    Judith Miller, partner, Sayer Vincent

  • 2.15PM - 3.00PM
    3B. How charities are using new AI tools

    You've probably heard of ChatGPT, Bard and perhaps even Grammarly, but these are merely the tip of the AI iceberg. Machine learning and other types of AI tools are already available for all manner of applications across many industries, and the charity sector is no exception. In the latest Charity Digital Skills Report, a quarter of respondents said they were already using AI every day, and another quarter said they were planning to. But how? In this session, our expert panel will outline how each of their organisations are currently using AI, as well as explaining how they are navigating the risks and ethical questions surrounding this transformational technology.

    Zoe Amar, digital skills consultant (chair); Fatima Talidi-Marrero, head of individual giving, Parkinson's UK; Ian McLintock, founder and director, Charity Excellence; Laura Hamzic, director of digital and communications, Brook; Michelle Hill, CEO, TLC: Talk, Listen, Change

  • 2.15PM - 3.00PM
    3C. Tackling conflict before it takes hold

    Tales of charities being riven by internal conflicts are sadly all too common in the sector, and can have devastating consequences for workplace morale, retention of talent, resource allocation, and organisational and individual reputations. But disagreements don’t always have to escalate into full-blown grievances – tools such as mediation can help charities spot and resolve any issues early on. Join this session to hear how disability charity the Brandon Trust has successfully implemented mediation – both internal and external – as part of its wider people strategy, to help create a culture where different views can be aired safely and potential disputes nipped in the bud before they can spiral out of control.

    Helen England, chief executive, Julie Plant, head of learning and development and Donna Colley, chief people officer, the Brandon Trust

  • 3.00PM - 3.25PM
    Refreshment and networking break
  • 3.25PM - 4.15PM
    4A. The meet market

    Keen to meet other delegates, or speakers from today's presentations? Got a governance or strategy challenge you'd like others' views on? In this structured networking session, you can join roundtables of people discussing key issues arising from the day's conference. Each table will spend 20 minutes considering one of the following questions, and you can join two tables during the session, on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Q1: How can boards ensure sustainability when costs and demand are constantly rising?

    Q2: What can boards do to ensure their charity's efforts to improve diversity and inclusion have meaningful and lasting impact?

    Q3: How can charities identify potential collaboration partners and how can boards decide if they are right for your charity?

    Q4: What can trustees do if there are disputes or conflicts on the board?

    Q5: How might your charity use AI?

  • 3.25PM - 4.15PM
    4B. Where climate campaigners are going wrong

    The climate emergency affects everyone in Britain, but evidence suggests not in the same way. Therefore, it is crucial that the responses needed to tackle it cannot be one-size-fits-all, either. Yet in too much environmental campaigning the voices of those disproportionately impacted are missing. In this thought-provoking session, Karin will draw on evidence and insights from workshops facilitated by the Race Equality Foundation throughout 2023 to underline the importance of applying a race equity lens to climate action and offer guidance on how charities of all kinds can help to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.

    Karin Woodley, chair, the Race Equality Foundation and chief executive, Cambridge House

  • 3.25PM - 4.15PM
    4C. Boosting board performance with the Charity Governance Code

    Recent research into charities’ use of the Charity Governance Code found that despite adoption of the Code rising steadily from 2019 to 2021, by 2022 only a quarter of charities referenced it in their annual report, suggesting that its application may be starting to wane across the sector. Yet those charities that have embedded the Code and its principles in their governance swear by its efficacy as a framework for improving board evaluation, performance and diversity. In this session, the chairs of two organisations – one large, one smaller – will outline how their board has implemented the Code and what difference it has made to their governance.

    Anna Laszlo, chair, Tearfund and Alison O'Sullivan, chair, National Children's Bureau

  • 4.15PM - 4.40PM
    Closing keynote – Oiling the wheels of the vital chair/CEO relationship

    The dynamic between a charity's chief executive and chair can supercharge a charity – or bring about its downfall. In this enlightening closing keynote, Susan will outline the duties and responsibilities of each role, and offer tips for success from her long experience on both sides of the table – as well as priceless insights into the traits, values and behaviours that characterise the best of these relationships.

    Susan Daniels, chief executive, National Deaf Children's Society and chair, Groundbreakers

  • 4.40PM - 4.45PM
    Chair's closing remarks
  • 4.45PM - 5.45PM
    Networking reception


For sponsorship and exhibition queries contact Yvette Micallef

For registration queries contact Dilan Ucer

For media partnerships and marketing queries contact Bethany Dawson


(booking made by 8 March)
Bookings after 8 March
Small charity rate (<250k income) 199 199
Governance & Leadership subscriber rate  229 279
Charity delegate 269 319
Charity extra place(s) 169 219
Charity team ticket (up to four places) 649 779

All prices excluding VAT




    Diligent logo.jpg




haysmacintyre logo Jan 2019 - purple.png


  Sayer Vincent 2018









    Diligent logo.jpg


    Brown Advisory-Thoughtful Investing.jpg








haysmacintyre logo Jan 2019 - purple.png


                           M&G.jpg 2                






         Sarasin & Partners 2021



Sayer Vincent 2018












BMA House
Tavistock Square,

Nearest tube/train:

  • Euston (5 min walk)
  • St Pancras International (10 min walk)

Further directions to BMA House


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 due to COVID-19 we will endeavour to give you as much notice as is reasonably possible.
    2. In the event that we have to postpone the Charity Finance Summit due to COVID-19, we will transfer your ticket to the next alternative date.