“Through their role in resource management, finance
directors are part of the conscience of a charity”,
said Sir Christopher Kelly, speaking at the Charity Finance
Directors’ Group (CFDG) Risk Conference 2009: Securing
Sir Christopher was speaking about the lessons to be learnt
from Age Concern England's Heyday membership scheme.
He gave an insightful presentation on the strategic and
operational failings of the scheme, and why they occurred.
In speaking about the role of boards and governance he
said, “broadly speaking, charity boards need to be
smaller in order to be effective; we should expect the same
standards in the boards of large charities as in listed
Securing Your Foundations saw over 190 delegates convening
at the Royal College of Surgeons, to discuss the pressing
issues surrounding risk in the current climate.
The conference covered a wide range of topics, from insurance,
audit and budgeting, to risk in particular arenas, such
as international development, public service provision and
Many sessions focused on risk in the current economic climate,
but some focused on the political environment. Rosie Chapman,
director of policy and effectiveness at the Charity Commission,
spoke on charities and political campaigning in the run
up to the general election.
She reiterated that political campaigning was a legitimate
role for charities and, for many, crucial to their success,
saying it is 'fundamentally wrong to maximize the risks,
although like any other activity they should be properly
She emphasized the need for charities to take a strategic
approach and to stick 'single-mindedly' within their objectives
when undertaking campaigning work.