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Charity Community

The Charity Community celebrates its first birthday!

Author: Kristina Kopic, Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector, ICAEW

Published: 29 Nov 2023

At the start of 2023, the Charity Community became the new one-stop-shop for finance professionals in their roles as charity advisers, finance leaders and volunteers. With over 13,500 members and subscribers, we look back at the Community’s 2023 highlights and share our plans for 2024.

Firstly, I want to thank you for being a member of our new Charity Community and for your work in the charity sector. Your engagement with our newsletters, webinars and events has been incredible and I hope you have found the Community valuable this year.

2023 highlights

We started the year with over 600 of you joining our Charity Conference in January 2023. We were delighted to receive so much positive feedback, including this comment from one of the attendees:

“Once again, it was put together very thoughtfully, covering the financial, reporting and governance issues of most concern to charities in a very helpful and practical way.”

Hopefully, our upcoming 2024 Conference will live up to your expectations and help you meet your CPD requirements – more on that later...

In 2023, we offered 14 free webinars to Community members, covering topics such as:

  • Forecasting and going concern reviews in an inflationary environment
  • Auditor perspectives: Dispelling common myths about charities
  • Managing your risk as a charity trustee
  • The Charity Commission’s revised guidance on internal financial controls (CC8)
  • Communicating your charity’s reserves position and policy
  • Generative AI: A powerful tool for charities
  • The journey to the first International Non-Profit Accounting Guidance (INPAG)
  • Fund accounting – pitfalls and new opportunities
  • Lessons from internal audit: how charity trustees can gain assurance
  • The latest research on charity fraud

If you have missed any of these webinars, all recordings are available within the Charity Community’s library of webinar recordings.

We also published a guide tackling common misconceptions about how the sector operates to help you address these myths head-on.

Volunteering: ICAEW members continue to shine

I’m always heartened that so many ICAEW members volunteer their expertise. In 2023, nearly 29,300 ICAEW members worldwide undertook over 34,200 regular voluntary roles in the third sector. As a charity trustee and treasurer, I know first-hand about the benefits of volunteering, and I also understand that it requires your time and energy. Thank you for continuing to support charities in these challenging times. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, the time is now, because the number of volunteer vacancies is rising fast.

I encourage you to look for a role on our ‘voluntary job site’ ICAEWVolunteers.com. ICAEWVolunteers.com has been connecting charities with finance professionals around the world for over a decade and facilitated over 2,000 applications for voluntary roles in the last year, and I’m sure we can help you to find the perfect role for you.

In November, we relaunched our refreshed Trustee Training Modules. If you haven’t explored it yet, this free online course invites members and non-members to explore the knowledge and skills required to be an effective charity trustee through a range of reading materials, video recordings and reflective activities. I’m proud that over 1,750 existing or aspiring charity trustees enrolled for the training in the last year – clear evidence that you are not only generous with your time but also keen to learn more.

In addition, we will soon launch our free CPD course for charity trustees – a 65-minute video recording designed for chartered accountants who act as charity trustees. It covers the legal responsibilities of charity trustees, recent changes and upcoming developments that are relevant to your role, and it signposts further resources for you to explore. We will let you know when the course becomes available, so watch this space!

Plans for 2024

We’re starting the year again with our virtual Charity Conference. With technical updates on charity accounting, taxation and governance, joining the Conference could contribute over 7.5 hours of verifiable CPD, so long as you can demonstrate that the content is relevant to your role (find out more).

Conference highlights include:

  • Charity Commission address: Find out about the Charity Commission’s 2024 priorities from the regulator’s Chief Executive, Helen Stephenson CBE
  • Butler-Sloss and its impact on CC14: Hear about the Butler-Sloss court case from Mark Sainsbury, the founder of one of charities that took part in the legal action, and find out from Bates Wells partner Luke Fletcher how the CC14 update impacts trustee responsibilities
  • Bringing charity to life – ethics in practice: How does your charity live its values? Thinking about some typical ethical dilemmas, this session, presented by Kate Sayer FCA DChA, will explore how your charity’s values can guide decision making
  • Demystifying AI for charities: Hear from Adapta Consulting and the Trussell Trust about how you can evolve your charity’s digital strategy and AI use, from practical first steps through to blue-sky thinking
  • Demonstrating your impact: Could impact reporting improve your charity’s strategic and operational decision making? Join us for practical insights from Crowe’s Naziar Hashemi and Brooke’s Clare Twelvetrees who will share learnings from the charity’s impact journey

We are also planning a face-to-face breakfast event for charity trustees at Chartered Accountants’ Hall and plenty of webinars, covering the topics that you have requested the most. All upcoming charity events and webinars will be listed here once they’ve been launched.

We will continue to provide monthly newsletters, trusting that this strikes the right balance of keeping you updated but not inundated.


Finally, if I had one wish for 2024, it would be that you all join and actively engage with the Charity Community’s LinkedIn Group. This group currently has around 650 members while we have over 13,000 Community members. Why should you join? LinkedIn is the easiest and fastest way for me to share information with you, but, more importantly, we created the group so that you can be a support network for each other and ask your peers for advice. We hope the LinkedIn Group can provide you with a supportive community. Click here to join.

I wish all of you a peaceful and relaxing December and look forward to meeting more of you in 2024.