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Thursday Conference Workshops 2021

We need to talk about reserves

Charity income is meant to be spent on the charity’s objects to benefit the charity’s beneficiaries. The current rule of thumb is charities should not hoard reserves in order for the charity to continue in perpetuity or to allow trustees to sleep better. In fact, there is a strong argument that high levels of reserves can lead to complacency and poor financial practices, such as allowing long credit terms to those who owe the charity money. Yet for many charities, their high reserves have offered a much needed safety blanket when the pandemic blindsided the sector in March 2020. 
How many of us feel we have a strong reserves policy?
Do we have a sufficient level of reserves?
Do funders need to change their approach to charity reserves?
How can charities make their reserves work harder?
In this workshop, we will seek the views of a range of leaders on what needs to change when considering charity reserves.

Chris O’Neill, Smith and Williamson 

Patrick Minne, Director Of Business Development, CO3 and Director of Engage Executive Talent

Frances McCandless, CEO, Charity Commission NI

Frances was appointed to the Commission in April 2010 as its first Chief Executive. Prior to taking up this post, Frances was employed as Director of Policy at NICVA, an umbrella body which provides advice, information and policy analysis to the voluntary and community sector.
Frances’s career in the voluntary and community sector goes back nearly 30 years and she has worked with young people, women returning to work, in housing, with older and disabled people and as an international volunteer in Prague with the YMCA.  She has also been a board member of organisations working in the areas of environment, ethnic minorities, reconciliation, community arts, audience development, mediation and physical activity.
Frances has a BA (Hons) from University College, Oxford, an MPhil from Trinity College, Dublin and a Diploma in Public Administration from Warwick Business School, where she has also taught and been an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Governance and Public Management.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director, National Lottery Community Fund 

Kate Beggs was appointed as The National Lottery Community Fund's Director for Northern Ireland in January 2019. She leads the Fund’s National Lottery grant-making activity, relationship management and operations in Northern Ireland. In the last year she has overseen the launch of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI and delivery of the COVID-19 Charities Fund for the Department of Communities. 
Kate was previously Deputy Director in the Northern Ireland Office, leading its strategic external and community engagement. Before joining the NIO, she held a wide-ranging series of roles in the Diplomatic Service, in the UK and abroad.

Declan Cunnane, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke 

Declan is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience of working in the private and voluntary sectors, including 15 years in professional practice as an advisor to the voluntary sector. He was awarded Institute of Directors NI/First Trust Bank Third Sector Director of the Year 2017 and was Highly Commended in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category at Chief Officers Third Sector (CO3) Leadership Awards 2017. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the UK Health Forum and a member of the European Heart Network (EHN). Through his membership of the EHN he has access to the World Heart Federation and the international heart network. He is Honorary Treasurer and Board Member of a number of other charities.


You will be sent a separate link to the workshop prior to the day. 

If you still need to register for a workshop please contact Nichola - nichola@co3.bz

Workshops are only available to those who have booked a place at the Conference. 

What does Cross-sectoral collaboration look like through a pandemic? What worked, what didn’t, and learning to build back better

The Emergency Leadership Group (ELG) was established by the Minister for Communities to lead and co-ordinate the voluntary and community sector response to the Covid19 pandemic.   Group members came from the voluntary, and community sector, government departments and agencies, and from local government.   Working in close proximity on new projects during very uncertain times,  ELG members forged partnerships and ways of working that crossed sectoral and departmental boundaries and delivered impressive and impactful results.

This workshop will explore what worked, what didn’t work and how do we ensure the learning from this time allows us to build back fairer.




Moira Doherty, Deputy Secretary for Engaged Communities Group, DfC 

Moira Doherty is the Deputy Secretary for Engaged Communities Group in the Department for Communities. The Engaged Communities Group is responsible for:

  • Historic Environment Division, which surveys, records and maintains an archive about the historic environment and designates its most important features as: Monuments in State Care; Scheduled Monuments; Listed Buildings; and Historic Parks and Gardens
  • Public Record Office NI (PRONI), which  was established for the reception and preservation of public records including records of Government Departments; courts of law, public bodies and NDPBs; and records deposited by private individuals, churches, businesses and institutions
  • Culture Division, which has responsibility for policy development and delivery on Irish, Ulster Scots and sign language; oversight of the North/South Language Body; Arts infrastructure and strategy; the creative industries; community festivals, museums & libraries and architecture and built environment for Northern Ireland
  • Active Communities Division, is responsible for policy development and delivery; governance and accountability; and operational management of the bodies responsible for sports and Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. It also has responsibility for Regional and Sub Regional Stadia Programmes.
  • Voluntary & Community Division, which supports vibrant, effective and more sustainable Voluntary & Community Sectors through a range of programmes and initiatives and acts as sponsor Division for the Charities Commission NI.
  • Community Empowerment

Kate Clifford, Director, Rural Community Network 

Kate holds the post of Director since April 2013 within RCN having previously worked as a Rural Enabler (Institutions) within the Rural Enabler Programme working with the Orange Order, the GAA, Churches and others to address issues of sectarianism and racism.
Kate is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, with a BSc in Agricultural Economics and Management and an MSc in Rural Development. She has a strong background in creative thinking techniques, facilitation skills, research techniques, and supporting groups in the areas of project development and implementation. Kate has tutored on the MSc in Rural Sustainable Development for the past ten years and also co-ordinates, designs and teaches on the NUI Galway Community Development Practice Diploma course.
In the past, Kate has been a mentor for the International Fund for Ireland’s Community Leadership Programme and was Vice Chair of Rural Community Network, she was part of the DARD Monitoring Committee for the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, a member of CFNI’s Communities in Transition Team and their Supporting Communities Initiative.
Kate’s particular interests are partnership co-ordination and development, storytelling for peace building, networking and managing local development.

Lisa McElherron, Group Director of Insight and Engagement, Inspire 

As Group Director of Insight and Engagement, Lisa has responsibility for policy, research, innovation, public affairs, communication and fundraising across the Inspire group. Lisa has over 20 years’ experience in the community, voluntary and social enterprise sector. Her first role was in community development and welfare rights before moving to information, research and policy. Lisa has worked with key decision-makers at local, regional, national and EU levels and is currently an external advisor to the Northern Ireland Procurement Board.


Jim Girvan, Vice Chair, Upper Andersontown Community Forum

Jim has been working and volunteering for 20 years within the community and voluntary sector at a neighbourhood, west Belfast and wider Belfast level. His working and volunteering life has been to help reduce poverty, increase educational attainment, create employment and reduce health inequalities. His current role within Upper Andersonstown Community Forum includes overseeing a social economy childcare service; running a youth club and youth development programme; and organising, planning, and delivery of accredited and non-accredited courses for adults to help with employment, mental health and lifelong learning. Jim has also been a member of the Emergencies Leadership Group, established by the DfC Minister, Deirdre Hargey MLA in response to Covid-19.

You will be sent a separate link to the workshop prior to the day. 

If you still need to register for a workshop please contact Nichola - nichola@co3.bz

Workshops are only available to those who have booked a place at the Conference.