Charity Governance Conference

Maintaining purpose, making a difference

Charity Governance Conference took place on 8 March 2019 at ICSA, Saffron House, London


A number of high-profile scandals in the past year created a challenging environment for charities. To win back public trust, the Charity Commission has continued to appeal to the sector to invest in promoting integrity and ethical values within organisations.

The starting point is a thorough review of your governance arrangements, to send a clear message both internally and externally that your organisational culture supports your charity’s mission, vision and values.

ICSA’s Charity Governance Conference focused on helping charities stay the right path, from examining core governance principles to exploring a variety of recent developments in the sector.

feedback and related news

"Absolutely inspiring speakers, particularly Andrew Wallis, excellent content especially getting feedback on Charity Governance Code compliance."

"Excellent Chair, as always. Good pace of sessions - not too long. Good range of topics. Fantastic closing keynote."

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09.00 Registration and tea/coffee

Opening remarks

Cecile Gillard, Company Secretarial Manager, BWB


Opening keynote: Having a purpose matters

Tom Rippin, CEO, On Purpose


Charity Governance Code: application and effectiveness; what are the challenges?

The Charity Governance Code, which replaced the “Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector” in July 2017, is an essential guideline to ensure that appropriate governance standards and continuous improvement are met by charities. Eighteen months after its release, RSM has analysed its adoption rate, quality and effectiveness; in this session we share some of their findings.

Nick Sladden, Head of Charities and Independent Schools, RSM UK Audit


Achieving a fully diverse board

Improving gender and ethnic representation on the board has been the recent focus of most charities, but there’s more that can be done to improve diversity of thought. In this session, we look at the psychology of a board and the benefits that true diversity can bring.

Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board

Samuel Kasumu, Managing Director, Inclusive Boards
Jenny Knott, Chairwoman, EQUIIDA
Robbie Tilleard, Senior Advisor, Employment and Labour Markets, The Behavioural Insights Team


Networking and coffee break


How to organise effective meetings

Organising meetings that support and enable high-functioning boards is a challenging endeavour. In this session, we discuss some key techniques to ensure meeting effectiveness, from setting the agenda and circulating papers to moderating discussions and keeping board members engaged.

Theodore Spyrou, Associate Director, Ashridge Associates


Safeguarding and protecting people: a key governance priority

The public has high expectations of charities’ conduct and behaviour because of the importance of the work they do and the vulnerability of some of their beneficiaries. How should trustees approach their fundamental responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting people and ensure that their charity is a safe environment? 

Jane Hobson, Head of Guidance and Practice, Charity Commission


Midday keynote: The role of the Chair in creating an effective board

Anne Heal, Chair, Volunteering Matters; Trustee, NCVO


Networking Lunch


Leading by example: modern slavery and supply chain governance

Compliance with the Modern Slavery Act is one of the UK government’s top priorities. As organisations with strong ethical values, charities should look at how they might go about implementing the ‘four Ps’: pursue, prevent, protect and prepare. Here, we discuss what charities can do to assure themselves of an ethical supply chain.

Andrew Wallis OBE, CEO, Unseen


Embracing the digital revolution

Keeping up with the digital advances can be quite overwhelming, but adopting them can be massively beneficial. What are the onboarding challenges that charities need to overcome? How can technology help in achieving your goals? Jonathan Chevallier leads an essential session detailing how charities can embrace and benefit from the digital revolution.

Jonathan Chevallier, CEO, Tech Trust


Closing keynote address: We are doing our best. But is it good enough for the 21st Century? 

Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith, Director, Anona Development Consultancy


Final remarks and summing up

Cecile Gillard, Company Secretarial Manager, BWB

16.00 Close of conference

*This is a draft programme and may be subject to change


Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith, Director, Anona Development Consultancy

Esua works as an independent energiser, motivator and strategist in the not-for profit sector. She founded Anona Development Consultancy In 1995, offering dynamic participatory strategic planning, management and governance development, facilitation, training, and team-building. Esua has worked with over 100 different groups, networks and organisations on five continents, specialising in diversity, governance and international development.

She draws on 30 years’ experience as a feminist activist in the women’s movement and human rights worldwide. She was former Commissioner for the Women’s National Commission, Chair of the Fawcett Society, Chair and Co-founder of the Gender and Development Network, Vice Chair of ActionAid leading on Diversity, Trustee of Akina Mama Wa Africa, and VSO. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leicester in 2015 for her contribution to women’s rights. Her memoir exploring Mixed Race identity, The Space between Black and White, will be published by Jacaranda Press in 2020.

Anne Heal,Chair, Volunteering Matters; Trustee, NCVO

Anne Heal chairs the Thames Water Customer Challenge Group, is a non executive director of the Office of Rail and Road, a board member of ELEXON, the electricity settlement body, a lay member of the General Dental Council, and an independent member of the Bank of England Enforcement Decision Making Committee. She was previously Director of Regulatory Affairs for BT Group, leading the regulatory negotiations that led to the creation of Openreach, where she then became MD, Strategy. She has also been a board member of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator. Anne chairs a charity, Volunteering Matters, is a trustee of NCVO and BalletBoyz, She sits on the Governance and Nominations Committee of Diabetes UK and is a director of the London Design and Engineering UTC.

Jane Hobson, Head of Guidance and Practice, Charity Commission

Jane is the Charity Commission’s programme manager for regulatory guidance designed for trustees and others which enables charities to comply with the law and to be managed effectively. She works with stakeholders including other government departments, charities and representative bodies to understand the needs of charities and draws on the Commission’s wider experience of working with charities though casework and other engagement. Her goal is to help trustees get things right before they go wrong and to help increase the difference they make in their communities and for society.

Samuel Kasumu, Managing Director, Inclusive Boards

An award-winning social entrepreneur, Samuel Kasumu is currently Managing Director of Inclusive Boards, an agency that supports organisations seeking to improve diversity at board level. He is the youngest member of the Prime Minister's Race Disparity Advisory Group, and the Chair of the African-Caribbean Alumni Network (A-CAN). Other board membership includes currently being a trustee of the Ovo Energy Foundation and of Elevation Networks, a charity focused on helping to tackle gender and race inequality within the workplace, which he founded at the age of 19. Samuel is a local Councillor in Hertfordshire.

Jenny Knott, Chairwoman, EQUIIDA

Jenny Knott is both a board level investment banker with over 30 years’ experience as well as a leading innovator in financial technologies.

Jenny has extensive prudential board experience having served on Boards of Global Investment Banks, Financial Services Corporates and Charitable organisations for over 25 years, her roles ranging from Chairwoman to member of Board, Board Audit, Board Risk, RemCo and Technology Sub-Committees. Jenny is currently the Finance Trustee for OCA a scientific research based charity for female cancers. Jenny is the Chairwoman of Equiida a global, senior executive leadership advisory firm founded on the science that greater inclusivity improves business performance. Jenny’s own company, FinTech Strategic Advisors, assists Clients with their FinTech investment strategies, undertakes due diligence on investees, as well as helping Clients select the right solutions to meet their needs. Jenny also supports start-ups achieve scale and commercial success.

As an investment banker, she has been a CEO, CFO and COO, widely respected for leading the modernisation and transformation of her organizations and for her knowledge of the technical finance, emerging technology and regulatory environments.

Jenny believes that inclusivity and cognitive, demographic and experiential diversity are a ‘must’ for a successful business and acts as mentor and advisor to a number of CEO’s. Jenny is a public speaker on emerging FinTech namely Blockchain and Crypto as well as the commercial benefits of truly inclusive Board and Corporate cultures.

Tom Rippin, CEO, On Purpose

Tom Rippin is the CEO and Founder of On Purpose that develops leaders who will help bring about an economy that works for all. He has spent his career at the intersection of the private, public and non-profit sectors, exploring how we can better run our economy. After a PhD in cancer research, Tom worked for management consultants McKinsey & Company working with clients across the private, public and non-profit sectors. He transitioned into the social enterprise space, working first for the CEO at Comic Relief and then running the international operations of (RED), the business founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. As well as running On Purpose, Tom is a Trustee of Global Action Plan. He was the first Chair of Tempo Time Credits and has been an Advisory Board Member of Big Society Capital.

Nick Sladden, Head of Charities and Independent Schools, RSM UK Audit

Nick is Head of Charities at RSM and a client partner responsible for a portfolio of the firm’s largest charity clients, including a number of Top 100 charities. Primarily working in the areas of assurance and financial reporting, he has worked with charity clients overseas including projects in France, Germany, Ireland and Romania with RSM International. He has national responsibility for ensuring the needs of clients in the not for profit sector are planned and delivered to the highest standards. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, holding the Diploma in Charity Accounting, and has completed a non-profit governance program at Harvard Business School. Nick is currently a trustee of two national charities.

Theodore Spyrou, Associate Director, Ashridge Associates

An international speaker with academic background and ministerial level engagement. An award winning charismatic and result orientated senior executive in the top 2% of successful UK business leaders’ As an inspirational speaker and facilitator, Theodore holds 3 University degrees including an Executive Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and is a visiting lecturer at the CASS Business School, London. He leads on Entrepreneurialism, Social Enterprise, NGO Development, and Voluntary Sector Management. He is a specialist facilitator, executive mentor and founding member of the Cass China Symposium.

As a Senior Executive with Ashridge Associates, Theodore specialises in the sectors of Associations, Federations, Membership and Trade Bodies, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events, Travel, Tourism, Business, Finance, Investment and Property. As a matured Leader he has worked as consultant to boards, presidents and CEO’s engaged at an International level and cooperating directly with government ministers and senior officials.

He has been appointed in CEO roles and grown enterprises to financial stability and international standing. Theodore has been honoured with the roles of advisor to the European Union for the European Social Fund (ESF), UK ambassador to Japan for the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), UK ambassador to Europe for Euclid - the pan European NGO leaders network, specialist advisor to the Mexican Government Secretariat of Tourism, chair of events at the Institute of Associations Management (IofAM), trustee for the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, (ACEVO), and chair of the Aspiring Leaders Forum for the Association of Association Executives (AAE).

Theodore has received awards throughout his career, including three academic scholarships, the Pewter’s Award for Contribution to the UK Industry and The John Boston Award for Academic Achievement. In 2013, he was awarded “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Charity Staff Foundation and in 2014 was shortlisted for the Chief Executive of the Year Award by the Associations Network.

Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board

Penny Wilson is CEO of trustee recruitment charity, Getting on Board. Getting on Board supports individuals to become charity board members (trustees) and supports charities to recruit trustees effectively. Previously, Penny was Director of Partnerships for national charity The Brilliant Club and CEO of disability charity, Styleability. She was Head of Community Affairs at the University of Cambridge for several years, overseeing large public events like the Cambridge Science Festival and promoting volunteering by university students and staff. She started her career at the Association of Charity Shops and Barnet Voluntary Service Council. Penny is a trustee of Cambridge Student Community Action and the National Migraine Centre.

Media Partner

Charity Times

Charity Times is the leading business and management magazine for UK non-profit professionals. Every two months it offers a wide range of in-depth, independently-written features and news analysis.

Charity Times online complements the printed publication, offering breaking news, a bi-weekly e-mail newsletter and in-depth features, plus jobs, full diary listings, archives and access to the largest marketplace of services for non-profit organisations.

This total package combines to offer comprehensive coverage of all the financial, legal, fundraising, marketing and technology management issues facing charities, voluntary groups and non-profits.

Advice, information and news from business experts and leading figures in the charity sector make Charity Times essential reading for every non-profit professional.

For further information please visit our website:

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