Day 1

What Covid-19 has shown us
about the state of society, civil society
and foundations’ role and mission

Wednesday 25 November

On day 1 we will enable participants to stop and reflect on how foundations and civil society have responded since the pandemic struck, and the strategies and actions members are taking forward into the recovery period. It will provide evidence, ideas and draw lessons from the pandemic about what is working well and what needs to change in individual foundations, the foundation sector, and wider civil society.

For further information about our speakers click on their names.

Session 1: 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Welcome, Keynote, Plenary


Janet Morrison OBE, Chair, Association of Charitable Foundations

Keynote – Stronger Foundations: Reflect. Recover. Renew.

Carol Mack, Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations

The state of the foundation sector after 2020 and the challenges ahead. ACF’s Chief Executive looks at how foundations have stepped up to the challenges of 2020 and how to draw on the excellent practice that exists in the sector that the Stronger Foundations programme has shown.

Plenary – What Covid-19 has shown about society and how funders should respond

Baroness Manningham-Buller LG DCB, Chair, Wellcome Trust

Wellcome’s outgoing chair offers us the view from a foundation working at the heart of how societies across the globe are dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. The keynote speech will outline how Wellcome has responded, how different societies and governments are managing the pandemic, and what the crisis shows us about the strengths and weaknesses of our society and the role that foundations play in it.

Coffee Break 10:50 AM – 10:55 AM

Grab yourself a coffee and some biscuits! Or why not check out our Official Partners?

Session 2: 10:55 AM – 11:45 AM
Question time

Question time – Covid-19: Civil society lessons for the future

Sufina Ahmad MBEDirector, John Ellerman Foundation 
Yvonne Field, Executive Director, The Ubele Initiative
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations 
Simon Parker, former Director of Strategy, Redbridge Borough Council 

Covid-19 has affected everyone but the effects of the pandemic – both direct and indirect – have impacted in different ways on diverse groups in society. This interactive session will discuss how the impact has played out and how different actors have responded and the tensions it has revealed – centralisation or localism; Whitehall and devolved governments; communities of place and communities of identity. Participants and panellists will also draw out the lessons for how foundations can work together as they face an uncertain future.

Coffee Break 11:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Grab yourself a coffee and some biscuits! Or why not check out our Official Partners?

Session 3: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Participant choice
Participants will need to indicate a session choice during the booking process.

Participants will be provided with the option to pick one of the following choices of content, and will be allocated all sessions in that choice

Choice 1 – Workshop

Intentional Investing 2020

Kate Rogers, Co-Head of Charities and Head of Sustainability Policy, Cazenove Capital
Guest speakers to be confirmed

It has been five years since the original ‘intentional investing’ research was published, considering how foundations can align their mission and their investments. We will look at new research examining the current responsible investment practice in UK foundations. Intentional Investing 2020 shows that 77% of charity investors now have a responsible investment policy and highlights a huge increase in climate change and fossil fuel divestment policies across the sector. With guest speakers talking through their foundation’s policy, the session will be interactive and is designed to help participants share best practice.

Supported by Cazenove.

Choice 2 – Webinar

Collaborating in a crisis: case studies of foundation collaboration

Rob Abercrombie (Chair), Project lead, Funders’ Collaborative Hub
Clare Carter, Deputy CEO, The Access to Justice Foundation
John Dawson, Head of Social Investment Programmes, Power to Change
Jenny Field, Deputy Director, City Bridge Trust
Katie Le Quesne, Chair, Jersey Funders Group

While the context has changed dramatically for us all over the last 12 months, the pandemic has shown it’s more important than ever that foundations are ambitious and effective with all their resources. Whether it’s to maximise impact, avoid duplication of effort, reduce the burden on applicants and grantees, or share learning, thinking and acting collaboratively can be a key driver of stronger foundation practice.

Foundation collaboration can happen in a variety of ways. A pooled fund or implementing a common application or reporting process can be valuable. However collaboration – while it may involve these elements – is also a mindset that encompasses shared learning, and values contribution above attribution. In practice, it might be joining learning, sharing data, joining sector-wide initiatives or, if appropriate, aligning processes and practice.

This session will hear from four current funder collaborations from across the UK and the Channel Islands, each of which is responding to the current complex and challenging context in different, innovative ways.

Spaces in workshops are limited. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Lunch break 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Following a morning of discussion, now is your opportunity to take a breather and enjoy lunch! Have some spare time, why not check out the On Demand content?

Session 4: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Participant choice
Participants will need to indicate a session choice during the booking process.

Participants will be provided with the option to pick one of the following choices of content, and will be allocated all sessions in that choice.

Choice 1 – Webinar stream: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversifying our board: our journey and learning

Sarah Benioff, Director, Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving
Allyson Davies, Independent Consultant
Manny Wiafe, Trustee, Cripplegate Foundation

As a 500 year-old, place-based funder, Cripplegate Foundation had been talking about diversifying the board for some time, but just hadn’t done it. We embarked on the process just after the pandemic struck, and through a range of methods, managed to recruit eight (yes 8!) extraordinarily diverse local people to join our board as governors/trustees and advisors. We’ll be sharing our approach and the many lessons we learned along the way. The session will include an overview of why we embarked upon this now, how we generated interest across our local community and attracted a wide range of local people – the majority of whom had never been trustees before – and how we ran an inclusive and engaging process entirely by Zoom.

Followed by

What charities really think (of you) – what needs to change

Aanchal Clare, Trustee, Peter Minet Trust
Laura Solomons, Trustee, Peter Minet Trust

Aanchal Clare and Laura Solomons (Trustees at the Peter Minet Trust and full-time fundraisers at Versus Arthritis and The Sutton Trust respectively) reveal what charities really think of grant-making practices. They will draw on their own experiences fundraising from trusts and foundations, and feedback from those raising funds from charities and causes of all shapes and sizes. In this session you will hear the good, the bad and the turn-the-webcam-off ugly! The session will also cover how research into different charity perspectives has helped shape Peter Minet Trust’s new strategy, and what change we feel is still needed in the foundation sector.

Choice 2 – Workshop

International funder response to Covid-19: Challenges and opportunities

Degan Ali, Executive Director, Adeso
Purity Kagwiria, Director, With and For Girls at Purposeful
James Logan, Director of European Office, Fund for Global Human Rights
Eva Rehse, Executive Director, Global Greengrants Fund UK
Klara Skrivankova, Grants Manager, Trust for London

In response to Covid-19, we have generally seen swift, decisive action from domestic trusts and foundations, providing flexible, responsive and coordinated funding across the UK. The international funder response has been slower and challenging, with some notable examples. Some have had to stop funding internationally to focus on Covid-19 response at home. This comes against the context of a shifting landscape for international funding, with dire consequences for civil society. What are the barriers for international funders to respond effectively to Covid-19, and what can we learn from each other for future recovery in this critical moment? This session will highlight good practice examples of international and UK grantmakers, and explore with NGO allies how international funders can respond to the challenges at hand.

Spaces in workshops are limited. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Coffee Break 3:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Grab yourself a coffee and some biscuits! Or why not check out our Official Partners?

Session 5: 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
In conversation, Day 1 review

In conversation – 2020: Leading in a time of turmoil

Janet Morrison, Chair, Association of Charitable Foundations
Paul Ramsbottom OBE, Chief Executive, Wolfson Foundation
Danielle Walker Palmour,
Director, Friends Provident Foundation
Jo Wells,
Director, The Blagrave Trust

Foundations have been at the centre of the turmoil of 2020. As well as dealing with the impacts of Covid-19, they have also been facing up to criticism about their historic and contemporary role from movements who challenge where foundations’ assets have come from, and from critics who see philanthropy reinforcing present day inequality. This session hears from leaders of foundations about how they have responded and the ways in which they approach ensuring their organisations are ambitious and effective in a changing world.

Day 1 review

Carol Mack, Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundation

Break 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Take some time to reflect on the day, or maybe scrub up on your ACF/foundation sector knowledge for our 5.30 PM quiz!

Social 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Quiz, supported by CCLA

Quiz, supported by CCLA

Can you guess how many of ACF’s members existed before 1500? Or which member has links to a character from a famous children’s tale?

Join fellow participants for our fun and interactive quiz – the social highlight of ACF’s conference.

Top quiz tip – you might want to look up what the initials CCLA stand for …