Day 2

Looking ahead. What’s coming next
and how do we respond?

Thursday 26 November

On day 2 we challenged participants to think more widely about what the changes to the economy and society mean for civil society, and how foundations can adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the challenges and maximise the impact they make in the future. The day also included the launch of new resources from ACF as part of the Stronger Foundations programme to support foundations to pursue and achieve stronger practice. 

For further information about our speakers click on their names.

Session 1: 10:00 AM – 11:10 AM
Welcome, Keynote, Plenary

Welcome – Day 2

Carol Mack, Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations

Keynote – After the storm: our world in 2025

Will Moy, Chief Executive, Full Fact
Rebecca Willis, Expert Lead for Climate Assembly UK, the national Citizens’ Assembly commissioned by Parliament
Rachel Wolf, Founding Partner, Public First

To set up day two, we had three presentations looking at the big changes our society faces over the next five years, from rapidly shifting to be on a path to net zero carbon emissions, how Brexit might play out for the Government’s domestic agenda and how to maintain evidence-based debates in an era of social media and fake news

Interactive polling session

Max Rutherford, Head of Policy, Association of Charitable Foundations

This was an opportunity for participants to respond to what they had heard on day one and to the presentations on what the future holds. The polling helped set the focus for the interactive sessions through day two.

Plenary – Minister for Civil Society

Baroness Diana Barran MBE, Minister for Civil Society

The Minister for Civil Society set out the Government’s thinking on civil society and foundations after the Kruger report on communities and levelling up, and on how Government views foundations’ role in “building back better” after Covid.

Coffee Break 11:10 AM – 11:15 AM

Check out our Official Partners

Session 2: 11:15 AM – 11:55 AM
Government reflections

How government, foundations and civil society can work together after Covid

Rushanara Ali MP, All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Philanthropy and Social Investment
Andrew Barnett (Chair), Director, UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Danny Kruger MP

Rushanara Ali MP and Danny Kruger MP discussed with participants how government, foundations and wider civil society can and should work together, drawing on their experience in the charity sector and as prominent backbench MPs in the new Parliament.

Coffee Break 11:55 AM – 12:00 PM

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

The end of the road for the traditional 60/40 portfolio?

Ajay Johal, Investment Manager, Ruffer
Ed Donati, Investment Manager, Ruffer

We discussed whether the 60/40 equity/bond portfolio, the bedrock of charitable investment portfolios for the past four decades or so, is still fit for purpose as we enter into a potentially new regime for investment. We discussed potential challenges to the 60/40 – both now and in the future – and what alternatives trustees can consider to protect and grow their investment portfolio.

Supported by Ruffer.

Choice 2 – Webinar stream: Looking ahead

Emerging Futures – building infrastructure for communities and civil society to better anticipate and shape the future

Cassie Robinson, Senior Head, UK Portfolio, The National Lottery Community Fund

During a time of such ongoing uncertainty and change, there is an opportunity and need to imagine alternatives, as well as to ask better questions rather than assume answers. How can grant-making be used for enquiries about where we go from here? And how can this kind of grant-making start to seed a new listening, sensing and imagination infrastructure in communities across the UK? The National Lottery Community Fund launched the Emerging Futures Fund five months into the crisis, as an experiment in doing this. Cassie Robinson, Senior Head of the UK Portfolio will share what they are learning about the 52 initiatives they funded across the UK, and the potential of the longer-term infrastructure it’s laying the foundations for.

Followed by

Long crisis scenarios – exploring impacts on communities and funders

Alex Evans, Founder, Collective Psychology Project
James Goodman, Director of Partnerships, Local Trust

The Long Crisis Scenarios describe four alternative futures that could emerge as a result of the pandemic, exploring possible trajectories at a local, national and international level and related impacts on power, prosperity, places and people. Alex Evans, one of the authors of the report, explored the scenarios and what they might mean for the charitable foundations of the future. The conversation was stimulating and challenging and also introduced attendees to the use of scenarios for strategic conversations in their own organisations.

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

Lunch break 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Session 4: 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Stronger Foundations Programme

An introduction to Stronger Foundations

Stronger Foundations is a flagship ACF project that aims to help grant-making charitable foundations identify and pursue excellent practice, it is the largest foundation engagement initiative globally, engaging over 100 foundation representatives. Participants heard about the Stronger Foundations story so far from ACF and members who have been involved in the initiative, reflecting on their journey and how ACF plans to support members in the future.

Session 5: 2:30 PM – 3:30 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: Empowering others

Lessons from the CAF Resilience Programme

Anisha Chaudhuri, Senior Manager, Advisory and Business Development, Charities Aid Foundation
Beth Clarke, Programme Manager, CAF Resilience Programme, Charities Aid Foundation

CAF Resilience was launched as a £2.2m collaborative funding model to enable ten small charities (income < £1m) with unrestricted funding, advisory support, peer-networks and learning. This unique funder plus approach provided the flexibility to design bespoke solutions based on a charity’s needs rather than the funder mandate. With the programme coming to an end after four years, we have the opportunity to reflect on the key levers of the programme that have now been stress-tested by the Covid-19 crisis. Anisha Chaudhuri and Beth Clarke used the CAF Resilience end-of-programme report to unravel what resilience is, what resilience funding could look like and the role of a thoughtful funder in enabling charity resilience.

Followed by

Covid-19 beyond the frontline: investing in community infrastructure

Suzanne Halliwell, Senior Manager, Whitley Bay Big Local
Jayne Humm, Head of Research and Learning, Local Trust
Angus McCabe, Senior Fellow, TSRC/Birmingham University
Sarah Sutton, Community Involvement Coordinator, Whitley Bay Big Local

Much of the emphasis in policy and funding circles remains on emergency responses to the pandemic and its immediate aftermath. However, Local Trust’s research illustrates the value of long-term investment in community infrastructure which facilitates rapid, flexible and appropriate responses to the crisis and also helps to enable communities to build rich local ecosystems of voluntary action for the longer term and to withstand future shocks.

Choice 2 – Workshop

Funding Women and Girls: An introduction to key principles and practices in grant making

Baljit Banga, Executive Director, Imkaan
Lisa Raftery, Grants Manager, Homeless Link
Rehana Reid, Head of Grants, Rosa Fund UK

This workshop explored the key difference between funding work with women and the key principles that underpin funding that is gender informed and delivered from an understanding of women’s lived experience of inequality. A collaboration between Rosa the Fund for Women and Girls, Homeless Link’s Ending Women’s Homelessness Fund and Imkaan, this workshop shared good practice and learning on what is involved in funding from an ethos that recognises gender inequality, the intersectionality of gender and race and supports women’s empowerment and access to gender specialist services. During the first three weeks of lockdown 14 women and 2 children were killed, yet emergency responses for women locally were minimal with very few areas opening women only emergency accommodation, and many refuge spaces unavailable. The continued need to advocate for women’s voices to be heard was seen in stark reality during the pandemic, and funders can play a huge role in changing this reality by how we fund women and girls.

Choice 3 – Webinar stream: Stronger Foundations

How to implement the recommendations from Stronger Foundations

Melanie Griffiths, Director, Cloudesley
Carolyn Sawers, Deputy Chief Executive, Corra
Matthew Whittell, Head of Finance & Resources, John Ellerman Foundation

In this session we heard directly from foundations about how they have begun to implement the recommendations from Stronger Foundations in their own work.

Followed by

The NEW Stronger Foundation self-assessment tool 

Sally Boylan, Stronger Foundations programme manager, ACF
Chris Llewellyn, Director, CriSeren Foundation
Max Rutherford, Head of Policy, ACF

In this session we heard about ACF’s self-assessment tool; how to use it, how ACF will use the data gathered and how we expect it to benefit the sector as a whole.  

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

Coffee Break 3:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Check out our Official Partners

Session 6: 3:45 PM – 4:40 PM
In conversation, Day 2 review

In conversation – The future for foundations, how do we recover and renew?

Dawn Austwick OBE, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Community Fund
Hetan Shah (Chair), Chief Executive, The British Academy

Our final plenary session heard from outgoing Chief Executive of the National Lottery Community Fund Dawn Austwick, outlining the lessons she has learnt about the sector from her seven years in charge, and suggestions for how funders can move forward. We also heard responses to the speech from participants who’d been part of the conference and who outlined their take-aways for how foundations can best deliver their mission in a changing world.

Day 2 review, summary and thanks

Carol Mack, Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations

Network: Foundation governance check-in
Supported by Mercer
Throughout week 23 – 27 November

Foundation governance check-in, supported by Mercer

Design your blueprint for resilience.
Prepare yourself, and your portfolio today to stay on top of whatever lies ahead.

As part of ACF’s Annual Conference, Mercer offered a dedicated governance check-up for your individual foundation. Using the framework of Mercer’s governance checklist, meetings were arranged during conference week (23-27 November) for foundation representatives with Mercer’s governance experts.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with ACF’s Investment Learning Team.