Westminster Social Policy Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Priorities for the UK charity sector - the response to COVID-19, and key issues for standards, data protection, fundraising, regulation and building trust

Morning, Wednesday, 14th October 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference examines key issues, priorities and next steps for the UK charity sector.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the pandemic - the sector’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on those it serves, and priorities for its own recovery and sustainability
  • trust - and communicating the value of the sector following the Value of the Charity Sector report
  • the regulatory landscape - and navigating it post-GDPR

The discussion in detail:

The impact of the pandemic

  • the sector’s response - innovation, learning from the ways services have been maintained to provide support through the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak
  • sustainability - looking at the long term, including
    • support during the crisis - assessing its effectiveness and options going forward, with the DCMS Select committee Government warning of it not being enough to prevent closure of charities
    • international aid charities - their prospects with the majority ineligible for government-related funding during the COVID-19 crisis
    • Gift Aid - calls from a coalition of charities and sector bodies it to be temporarily increased
    • a changing environment for fundraising - looking at priorities and strategies for meeting the possibly long-lasting challenges into the future
  • the regulatory response - including the approach and guidance in supporting charities and maintaining standards during the pandemic, including the guidance from the Charity Commission
  • volunteering - progress following the Government’s call for volunteers as part of its pandemic response, and maximising the ongoing role that it can play in communities
  • preparing for possible further waves - what has been learned that can be applied going forward in the face of resurgence of the virus

Policy and regulation

  • the Fundraising Regulator - looking ahead as it works on a strategic plan beyond 2021
  • the Civil Society Strategy - three years into its ten year vision, how effective has it been in bringing together charities, social enterprises, social investors, community groups and businesses
  • the Charity Commission’s Value of the Charity Sector report - a year on from publication
  • compliance - the impact of the Fundraising Regulator’s updated Code of Fundraising Practice - and guidance on statements, Charity Commission expectations, and audits and independent examiners
  • safeguarding -  assessing progress, with the online portal giving guidance for charities on reporting safeguarding allegations and concerns, government funding to develop safeguarding training

Data protection

  • GDPR and the Data Protection Act - key issues and the experience of the charity sector since implementation
  • the emerging landscape - with the post-Brexit transition period due to end later this year

Innovation in fundraising

  • technology, data and social media platforms - assessing their use, with shops, attractions, and charity-run venues closed and fundraising events cancelled through the pandemic
  • CAST - examining collaborations between charitable organisations and the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) to maximise opportunities presented by data collection and use, in light of the recent £4.95m digital fund launch

The agenda:

  • The role of charities within the Civil Society Strategy and approaches to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Funding for charities during COVID-19, supporting smaller charities, innovative ways of adapting and meeting demand, and looking ahead to the environment for charities post-COVID-19
  • Building trust in the charity sector and measuring and communicating the value the sector provides to society
  • Priorities for encouraging volunteering - and the role of volunteers in the charity response to COVID-19
  • Navigating the regulatory landscape post-GDPR
  • Key priorities going forward for the regulation of charities - the view from Scotland
  • Improving safeguarding standards, reporting procedures, and the protection of vulnerable groups
  • Priorities for fundraising regulation: protecting the public and supporting the vital work of fundraisers
  • Charity fundraising and the impact of COVID-19 - responding to the needs of charities across the third sector and those they serve, learning from innovation during the pandemic, and priorities for fundraising engagement into the future

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords, and a range of officials from DMCS, as well as from The Information Commissioner’s Office; the Home Office; and OFCOM.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Claire Dove

Crown Representative for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector

Keynote Speakers

Catherine Edginton

Senior Safeguarding Lead, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Claire Dove

Crown Representative for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector

Matthew Bell

Director, Frontier Economics

Gerald Oppenheim

Chief Executive, Fundraising Regulator

Jude Turbyne

Head of Engagement, Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

Steve Eckersley

Director of Investigations, Information Commissioner’s Office, UK Data Protection Regulator


Baroness Cox

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART)

Lord Bichard

former Non-Executive Chairman, National Audit Office


Daniel Fluskey

Head of Policy and External Affairs, Institute of Fundraising

Steven McIntosh

Director of Policy, Campaigns and Influencing, Macmillan Cancer Support

Helena Wilkinson

Corporate Partner, Head of Charities and Not for Profit, Price Bailey

Rita Chadra

CEO, Small Charities Coalition

Hannah Kubie

Partner, Charity and Social Enterprise Team, Stone King

Louise Balaam

Director of Fundraising, Youth Adventure Trust

Andy Williamson

Chief Executive Officer, The Air Ambulance Service

Phil Geraghty

Founder and Chief Crowdfunding Officer, Crowdfunder UK and Founder, CrowdfundReady.com

Andrew Bathgate

Founder, Good Innovation