CFDG’s ‘Understanding the Voluntary Sector’ course launches in Birmingham

16th February 2009

On the 18th March the Charity Finance Directors' Group (CFDG) will be holding their new training course, ‘Understanding the Voluntary Sector,’ in Birmingham. This will be the first time they have held a training course outside of London, and is an exciting extension of their services.

The course was launched in London in January 2009, and was described by participants as ‘excellent’, and ‘really enjoyable, interesting and informative.’ Participants commended the format, which is a mixture of presentations, Q&A, group work and case studies – ‘a great idea to aid the learning’ – the balance of general and financial information, and the ‘fantastic’ atmosphere. One participant noted, ‘I would definitely recommend this to others within my organisation.’

CFDG’s Chief Executive Keith Hickey said, ‘Over the last three years CFDG’s membership outside of London and the South East has increased by 44%. In 2008 we held our first conference outside of London, in Manchester, which will be repeated in 2009 along with a further conference in Cardiff. We are very pleased to be holding our first raining course outside London, in Birmingham, and look forward to the continued expansion of our services to members through England and Wales.’

The course is designed for people new to the voluntary sector, and in particular finance professionals and treasurers who have recently made the move from the private or public sectors. The course will focus on the environment in which charities operate and the sector-specific governance, management and finance issues. The courses will be run by two leading advisors to the sector, Moira Protani, head of the charities team at law firm Wilsons, and Kate Sayer from Sayer Vincent, consultants and auditors to the sector.

The course will cover:

The role of the Charity Commission and how charities are regulated;
The definition of a charity and of public benefit;
Important aspects of charitable status;
Good Governance and how governance structures work;
The role of trustees in a charity;

Investment policies and issues for charities;
The reporting requirements in charity accounts;
Charity Tax issues.
Reference material will be provided during the day, alongside a list of useful websites and guidance so that participants know where to find out more.

Future courses will be run in London on 9th July and in Bristol on 22nd October.

- Ends -

Notes to Editor:


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. CFDG’s 1,560 plus members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Between them our members manage some £14.7 billion in charity income per year.

Sayer Vincent ( is a specialist firm of consultants and auditors for the charity sector. With five partners and over 30 professional staff we are one of the largest teams of charity specialists. As well as external audit and internal audit, we work with charities to implement their strategies, get more out of IT and help to handle mergers and other major change.

Wilsons ( is ranked as one of the leading charity law firms in the UK and acts for over 400 of the nation's leading charities. The firm's clients include Cancer Research UK, the RNLI, the RSPCA, and Guide Dogs for the Blind. The core team of 11 specialist charity lawyers advises on all aspects of a charity's legal needs, to include all constitutional and governance related matters and those relating to legacies (both contentious and non-contentious), commercial, employment and property issues.


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