Welcome to Charity Forum

Charity Forum is the successor to Charity 2000 and Charity 2020 which was
established in 1998 by a group of people associated with the voluntary sector to highlight and promote excellence and high-level achievements in public and professional life.


Photo of Lincoln’s Inn Fields by Tony Nunn

We send a warm welcome to the new Charities Minister

Stuart Andrew MP has been appointed as the new Charities Minister in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), having been made Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DCMS and Minister for Equalities at the Department for International Trade on 27 October 2022.

As well as becoming the new minister for civil society and loneliness he is also responsible for Sport, Tourism, Youth, Ceremonials (including the Coronation), Events including Eurovision, Unboxed, City of Culture and Arts and Heritage in the Commons. We are delighted that we have a Minister with a background in the charitable sector as he has been with the British Heart Foundation and Hope House Children’s Hospice and East Lancashire Hospice.  He was fundraising manager at Martin House Children’s Hospice being responsible for leading a team charged with raising £4m a year.

We are hoping that he will accept an early invitation to come to talk to us.

******** NEW event Thursday 19 January 2023

We are delighted that Stone King have kindly agreed to host us on this day – so please put it in your diary: 12.00-14.00.  We are especially pleased that Alex Kann, Chief Executive of Together TV, the TV channel inspiring positive change will speak.

As a social purpose broadcaster, Together TV operates a UK-wide TV channel (Freeview, Sky, Virgin, freesat), a streaming and as engagement platform that encourages people to take up new interests and actions, and in doing so our viewers improve their mental health, feel alone, more connected to their community and participate more fully in local groups.

85% of viewers report that they have done something new in the last year as a result of watching Together TV (Opinium Research, June 2022)

Its model combines media messaging and behaviour change, engaging millions of people each month across various channels. Quarterly themed Challenges engage tens of thousands of people in multi-week behaviour change journeys that help embed new habits and shared accomplishments. Together TV also runs the BAFTA-winning Diverse Film Fund, providing funding, training and mentoring to new filmmaking talent from underrepresented social groups.

Together TV is the world’s only cooperatively-owned charitable national broadcaster, and is underpinned by support from 20 leading media companies including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Paramount, Sky and Virgin, along with digital giants and newspaper groups.

Alex has been with Together TV and its previous incarnation Community Channel since 2010, and prior to this Alex was at the BBC and BBC Worldwide for eight years, working on BBC iPlayer’s launch team, global VOD projects, digital commissioning, continuing dramas and corporate M&A.

Alex is also the proud father of three girls and alongside family life he is also the Chair of the dementia charity My Life Films, Chair of the TV On Demand Industry Forum, a council member of the British Screen Forum and a BAFTA member. Alex was also a director of the VOD regulator ATVOD.

Further postponement – our apologies for any inconvenience

The conversation with Holly Riley – Head of Strategic Policy at the Charity Commission – has been postponed. We know that many organisations are experiencing a lower uptake of in-person events generally. The recent rise in Covid cases has definitely made delegates think twice about attending, particularly if they have planned holidays and do not wish to risk being positive. We are delighted that Rathbones will now be discussing with us a new date on which we shall keep everyone informed. We shall keep you posted about this date once it is fixed.

About this event

This was to be our first in-person meeting since the lockdown started thanks to our sponsors. As Head of Strategic Policy Holly oversees the policy function at the charity commission. This covers both proactive policy objectives (outlined in the department’s business plan) and also reactive policy interventions driven through casework and wider engagement.


Rathbones, 8 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7AZ

How do I register?  Please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/charity-forum-15th-july-2022-tickets-376007387217 or write to keithbest@hotmail.com for any further details.

Our Event on Wednesday 21 September 2022 (a conversation with the new CEO of NCVO, Sarah Vibert) was a great success with a lively question and answer session and excellent hospitality courtesy of Sarasin & Partners at Juxon House 100 St Paul’s Churchyard London EC4M 8BU.


Charity Forum brings together people in the charitable sector to meet leading figures from this and other sectors to gain the benefit of their views on major topics of current interest.

The Charity Forum is the successor to Charity 2020 and Charity 2000 which was established in 1998 by a group of people associated with the voluntary sector to highlight and promote excellence and high-level achievements in public and professional life.  Our LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/82187032/admin/

IMPORTANT. Even if you are on our existing mailing list or know of anybody who would be interested in our events PLEASE re-register on our MailChimp site as we are updating our records: https://tinyurl.com/2dwe65yr

Our meetings

Meetings are held up to three times a year, with a mixture of lunchtime, early evening and virtual meetings. The occasion provides the opportunity to mix informally before a talk by the guest speaker followed by a lively question and answer session.

Where are the meetings held?

Currently in-person meetings are held in London. We are grateful to sponsors who provide their venue to us free of charge.

What are the costs?

Charity Forum is a non-profit-making body and at present we make no charge for meetings. There is no subscription.

About our sponsor

Sarasin & Partners are one of the leading charity investment managers in the UK, with a focus on global, thematic investments that secure tomorrow through shaping a sustainable future. They believe that investment has the power to grow and protect wealth in a way that benefits society. They currently manage portfolios on behalf of over 480 charities who receive a dedicated client service from one of the sector’s largest and most experienced teams.

As at 31.12.21 they manage assets of £21.0 billion on behalf of charities, individuals, intermediaries and institutions.

How do I register?  Please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/charity-forum-21st-september-2022-tickets-306472295887 or write to keithbest@hotmail.com for any further details.


With charities in no less turmoil than others during this unprecedented and tragic pandemic, which has caused so much misery and restricted so many of our activities, we need to hear what is being done to help as well as the Government’s future plans and prognosis for the sector.
Baroness Barran, the Minister for Civil Society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spoke and took questions at our webinar on Wednesday 25 November at 2pm via Zoom.

During the troubled times of the pandemic we hope that all our regular participants, their loved ones and colleagues have been keeping well and staying safe. We are at last able to resume more of our normal physical meetings as well as webinars online.

For our first meeting in 2021 at 2pm on Tuesday 19 January we had Matt Whittaker, Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics, who is driving the Law Family Commission on Civil Society and who talked about its objectives. The Commission on Civil Society will run from December 2020 to the end of 2022 and will seek to explore the various ways in which the social, private and public sectors can come together to more fully unleash the potential of charities and other civil society organisations to make a difference to UK wellbeing. The Commission is being run by Pro Bono Economics, and in this talk Matt Whittaker will outline its scope and aims. He will also provide us with information on how charities can engage with what promises to be a major undertaking. To register for this important event please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/charity2020-19th-january-2021-tickets-130222389673

Previous events:
Tuesday 30 June 12.30-13.30 thanks to Sarasin & Partners a virtual meeting at which Julia Unwin DBE spoke about challenges facing the sector and conclusions from her keynote report. A recording of the event can be seen and heard here:
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Tuesday 21 July 12.30-13.30  
A discussion on the current economic environment and attempting to explain what has been driving the strong recovery in equity markets
Charity2020 is pleased to welcome Sarasin and Partners who are very kindly hosting this meeting. Ruadhri Duncan and Thomas Lindsey will be discussing the current economic environment and attempting to explain what has been driving the strong recovery in equity markets. This will be set in the context of history and they will discuss whether this time may be different from previous crises.
Ruadhri Duncan
Ruadhri has over 20 years in the fund management industry where he has operated as both a fund manager and a charity trustee. After leaving the Army he started work with Leopold Joseph and Sons where he completed his fund management exams. In 1999 he moved to Newton Investment Management, where he worked within the charities department for over 12 years, managing charitable funds. Ruadhri is an associate of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and holds a number of charity trusteeships.
Thomas Lindsey
Prior to joining Sarasin & Partners in 2017, Thomas worked for Standard Life Investments managing multi-asset and absolute return portfolios for corporate pension schemes and institutions. He graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2011 with a degree in English Literature & Philosophy. Thomas is a CFA Charterholder®, a holder of the Investment Management Certificate (IMC), the CISI Capital Markets Program and is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of the UK. Thomas is also a trustee of the Jeevika Trust, an Indian poverty relief charity seeking to implement smart technologies to address rural food scarcity & mitigate the impact of climate change.

About Sarasin and Partners. Sarasin & Partners (£12.9 billion* AUM) are a leading global thematic investment manager specialising in charity portfolios worth £6.1bn for 443* discretionary clients. Our commitment to ‘stewardship’ principles embeds environmental, social and governance considerations into our investment process. We offer bespoke investment solutions: via segregated portfolios, single asset class funds or through our range of Charity Authorised Investment Funds (CAIFs), one of which is a Paris-aligned Climate Active Fund. Over the past 20 years we have built a reputation for consistent performance and unusually detailed and informative reporting packages designed specifically for charity trustees. We are known for our strategic thinking and the time we spend with trustees ensuring that their portfolio genuinely matches their specific requirements. This is exemplified by the Compendium of Investment, which has been published for over 20 years. This book is the basis for our successful trustee training programme; we have trained over 5,000 trustees in recent years. We are regular participants in charity sector working parties and have worked closely with the Charity Commission (most recently on the launch of the new CAIF structures). We are active members and supporters of ACEVO, CIG, CFG, CLA, NCVO, and ACOSVO. A selection of our recent articles can be found HERE. Please contact John Handford on 020 7038 7268 or john.handford@sarasin.co.uk www.sarasinandpartners.com

As usual, bookings are done through Eventbrite. All meetings (other than virtual) start at 12pm for an informal buffet lunch so that everyone can network followed by the speaker at 1pm followed by questions and answers concluding at 2pm precisely. At the moment we are able to offer these luncheon meetings without charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsor hosts, to whom we are most grateful, but donations to Charity 2020 are always welcome so that we can cover overheads. Our bank details are a/c Charity 2020, a/c no.96878592, sort code 60-18-20 NatWest Bank.
Finally, if you know of anyone who would wish to be included on our mailing list for further notifications (or if you wish to be removed from our mailing list or your details have changed) please let me know with name of the person, position and charity/organisation and email address.

Charity 2020 brings together senior people in the charitable sector to meet leading figures from this and other sectors to gain the benefit of their views on major topics of current interest.

Details of our meetings, both past and future, can be found on our Meetings page: we have an exciting programme with keynote speakers. Previous meetings include an inspiring talk from Caroline Mason CBE, CEO of Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, who spoke about a partnership between funders and charities and a fascinating address by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE on Constructive Journalism which left us all with a spring in our step – reporting of positive as well as negative events.

On Wednesday 29 May 2019 Baroness Tina Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, gave an inspiring and challenging address about the future of the charity sector and the issues we must confront. She then fielded a wide range of questions from a capacity audience. [see her full speech under Presentations]
Farrers’ Charity Partner Julian Smith, Baroness Stowell & Keith Best 
On 23 September Mark Astarita OBE, a highly distinguished and experienced fundraiser, spoke authoritatively on the current situation for the Third Sector in both fundraising and recruitment and the challenges for the future.

Mark is widely known in fundraising both in the UK and internationally. He holds the record for being voted the most influential person in fundraising in the UK four times. He held the position of Executive Director of Fundraising for 14 years at the British Red Cross, where he was responsible for raising £1.7bn during his tenure. He has probably managed more emergency appeals than anyone one else in the UK and arguably fundraised more than another other UK fundraiser. Almost 2 years ago Mark was asked to lead a new virtual fundraising Hub for 191 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the world a role intially managed by his new company Astarita Aldrich & Ward. Essentially the Hub will act as an internal consultancy for the world largest humanitarian movement.  AAW is a Global  Fundraising & Recruitment Agency manged by 3 former successful directors of fundraising and communications. Mark is the first A in AAW! In addition to being a past Chair of the Institute of Fundraising, Mark has been Chair of the Board of the Jaipur Limb Campaign and a trustee of VSO’s  International Board.  He was a trustee of St Joseph Hospice and is currently a trustee of St Clare’s Hospice in Harlow. In his proudest achievement he was the principle advisor the Boards of the London Bombing Charitable Relief Fund, Manchester One Love Emergency Fund and the London Emergency Trust. He was awarded an OBE in 2015. Mark and his colleagues advise charities specifically in developing robust fundraising and marketing strategies and or supporting the recruitment of the finest charity talent in the world.

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For our Tuesday 26 November 2019 meeting Philip Kirkpatrick, Deputy Managing Partner and Head of Charity at solicitors Bates Wells & Braithwaite, agreed to come to speak to us. Some of you may have read in the latest Civil Society News, in which he was quoted, about his proposal for an alternative governance model for charities styled an “assured unitary governance” model, that would put paid trustees at the heart of running large charities. He stated that the usual board structure of an unpaid group of trustees who meet a few times a year is not an appropriate way to govern large, complex operational charities and said: “The governance model for large complex charities is completely broken…. It is starting to look a little backward.”  This was a fascinating session for all those with views on how governance can be done better – his full presentation can be found under the page on this website Presentations.

For 2020 we planned to be kindly hosted at a number of venues:
on Tuesday 30 June 2020 a virtual meeting thanks to Sarasins,
on Tuesday 22 September 2020 at Stone King and
on Wednesday 25 November 2020 at Carter Lemon Camerons
as usual, at 12pm there will be the buffet lunch followed by our speaker at 1pm and questions finishing on the dot of 2pm.
We are most grateful to these firms for so kindly agreeing to sponsor us. The identities of the speakers on each occasion will be announced in due course.

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