CFDG supports strong relationships amongst Northern charities

17th June 2008

Do you know what other teams in your charity need from you, and why? Delegates at the Charity Finance Directors' Group's Manchester conference were told last week that understanding and managing relationships in their charities is key to efficient performance; building strong relationships across a charity supports excellence in governance, resource allocation, fundraising and reporting. Over 170 delegates attended CFDG's successful one-day conference in Manchester, on 12th June, representing charities from across the North of England.

Delegates were told that finance directors need to be able to build solid working relationships upwards to their chief executive and trustees, outwards to colleagues and stakeholders, and downwards as leaders within the finance function. Carol Rudge, Head of Not for Profit at Grant Thornton, highlighted the need to bring trustees on board in setting strategic direction and signing up to new initiatives, like those designed to embed environmental sustainability.

Pesh Framjee, currently Head of Not for Profit at Deloitte, drilled deeper into internal reporting, and asked whether finance teams were looking first at what knowledge, information and data they needed to add value? Framjee told delegates that in order to avoid being swamped with data for internal reporting charities must understand the differences between inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts, and they must marshal these measures by understanding the detail of a charity's processes.

Joe Saxton, who also spoke at the conference, gave a similar message, highlighting the need for finance teams to understand fundraisers need for clear - even exciting - information on projects, accounts and targets, in order to form the human link between charities' annual reports or reviews and their supporters.

Keith Hickey, Chief Executive of CFDG said in his address that "charities need to make cultural changes in order to be more accountable to their stakeholders, and finance director's can play an important role in showing leadership in this area."

The conference was kindly sponsored by The Co-operative Bank and Grant Thornton.

- Ends -
Notes to Editor:

1. The Charity Finance Directors' Group was set up in 1987 and is an umbrella group that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions.

2. CFDG's 1,450 plus members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Between them our members manage some £13.7 billion in charity income per year.

3. CFDG has an active northern members group. They meet six times a year with internal and external speakers, covering a range of topical issues that impact on finance professionals in the voluntary sector. For more information please contact mark.hilton@museums-sheffield.org.uk.

4. For further information please contact our Policy Team.

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