Finance: CFDG conference to examine role of charity finance directors

Mathew Little

The Charity Finance Directors' Group's annual conference next month is to look into the part played by finance directors in the changing social role of charities.

The first conference since Keith Hickey, former finance director at Help the Aged, became chief executive at the umbrella body will confront issues such as impact reporting and accountability to stakeholders.

Hickey has promised to be a "sponge" in the first few months of his tenure, seeking the views of members.

The CFDG said the conference on 31 May would influence the kind of work it will undertake over the next year.

"Senior finance professionals in charities face an ever-widening spread in their roles," said Hickey. "The finance director will often take the lead in the strategic development of the charity and have a responsibility for its long-term financial viability.

"Although CFDG's activities throughout the year do address the different individual areas, we want the conference this year to encourage a discussion of a vision for how finance relates to the broader role of charities in today's society and the skills required for it to do so."

Speakers at the conference include Geraldine Peacock of the Charity Commission on financial management in a 'beyond profit' economy, Chris Harris of Action for Blind People on successful contracting with the public sector, and Paul Palmer of the Cass Business School on the image of the voluntary sector and how finance directors should respond.

"It has been important for us this year to have even more charity professionals speak from personal experience than in past years, as well as other sector experts," said David Membrey, deputy chief executive of the CFDG.

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