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Stronger Charities for a Stronger Suffolk conference: The Workshops

Following the publication of the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities report in March 2017 (Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society), CAS has decided to bring the report to life in a practical way here in Suffolk: “Stronger charities for a stronger Suffolk” conference on Wednesday 7 February 2018.

More information can be found here, below are further details of the conference workshops.

Leadership, Trustee Skills and Board Diversity

Action Learning set focusing on Trustee skills diversity and Leadership. We recognise that it’s more difficult in being a chief executive of a charity or social enterprise than that of being a CEO of a “for Profit” organisation. This workshop will help attendees to understand the challenges and get support from peers to deal with them.

Led by: Brian Chernett is the founder of ella forums and prior to that founded the Academy for Chief Executives. Brian has enormous knowledge as a Coach, Mentor and facilitator. Brian’s purpose is to help small and medium charities to create an environment where leadership flourishes.

Financial Planning Challenges

Charities and community organisations are facing ever increasing financial challenge.

Government funding constraints, and the increase in competitive, contract based funding, have contributed to this. These changes have disproportionally affected local and regional charities who often bear the financial risk of these contracts, struggle to cover their core costs and don’t have the security of funding or resource to innovate or develop as they would wish.

In this workshop we will explore these challenges, what your organisation can do, and also what collectively the sector can do locally, to address them. We will also consider your strengths as a smaller charity, and how you will ensure your charity is financially sustainable, to continue to deliver high quality local services.

Led by: Larking Gowen is one of the leading accountants and business advisory firms in East Anglia, with eight offices and a team of around 350 people. Larking Gowen is committed to working in partnership with the local community, and its specialist not for profit team are proud to act for over 300 entities in the sector. Clients range from small local charities to some of the region’s leading charities and other not for profit organisations.

Use of Digital Technology and Skills

This workshop will explore the digital tools, resources and skills that can enhance and improve how charities are run, how they market themselves and how they communicate.  The recommendation in the Select Committee report was that every charity should have its own website as a minimum but there is so much more than can be achieved.

Led by: George Banner from MacBank – IT enthusiast with a strong background in media. Experienced in website design, social media management, advertisement and internet presence. Supported by Robert Barker, also of MacBank.

The future role of volunteers

This workshop session will consider the recommendations in the House of Lords report that relate to volunteering. There will be an insight into three local case studies of organisations who have used innovative approaches to engage volunteers. There will be a chance to find out more about local volunteering figures and trends and what this means for the VCSE sector in Suffolk. Finally we will consider how we can improve and influence volunteer practice and experiences.

Led by: Janet Perry, Jo Belfield – Community Action Suffolk Volunteering Team

Fundraising and income diversification

There will be case studies from the facilitators as to how they have raised significant funds for their projects.

Ann will tell you how constant fundraising enables the Rural Coffee Caravan to run such a valuable service tacking rural isolation and loneliness.  In particular in this workshop you will hear and be able to explore how social media fundraising came to the rescue when the rural coffee caravan was stolen in 2017.

Richard Browne has been involved in fundraising for 2 community projects in Somersham.  Firstly the community shop which the community undertook as a project when the village shop had closed a year previously.  Following this success the community rallied together again in 2017 when the village pub Duke of Marlborough was closed as a business.

Led by: Ann Osborn joined the Rural Coffee Caravan in 2004 after 20 years as a stay at home Mum. The RCC was one caravan when I joined and now has two vehicles making over 150 visits a year. Ann says “I’m fortunate to love my job and believe passionately in our objectives of alleviating the stresses of rural isolation and loneliness”

Richard Browne has had a long career in financial Services in London.  Richard is now a parish councillor and Chairman of the Parish Council.  Richard is also a trustee for the Rural Coffee Caravan.

Social Media: Remember, you’re talking to social animals

Social media continues to grow and is beginning to dominate the communications of everyone from the President of the USA to local government, the private sector and charities.

But social media isn’t new at all – in fact we have always been social animals, its just the methods we are using that are changing.

This workshop will explain why social media works by focusing on behaviours and not technology.  We will discuss your audience and the “tribes” that can help you spread your message, how to spot them and how to communicate with them.  We will be asking you to think about your charity, what is its goals, aims and how do you think you can better communicate them.  And we will discuss the power of authenticity in this world of “Fake news” and spin.

Led by: Matt Woor is the Social Media Channel Manager for Suffolk County Council.  Matt joined the council in 2008 in the Communications team and eventually specialised in areas of social media and digital marketing. A member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Matt was shortlisted in the Local Government Chronical awards of 2017 as a “Rising Star” in local government nationally for his work in culturally shifting the council towards social media.

Other workshops include:

  • Transparency, accountability & impact: Hannah Reid, Associate Director Business Development, Community Action Suffolk
  • Collaboration, partnerships & mergers: Alex Till, Chief Executive, MENTA
  • Contracts, commissioning & Social Value: Katrina Browning, Procurement Manager – CYP, Suffolk County Council

More information and book your place