Charity Leadership Festival 2023



This is exactly the kind of content we need in 2023. Have bought my ticket! – Phil Kerry, Chief Executive at New Horizon Youth Centre

Leadership Fest 2023 is the virtual conference for leaders that want to see, and be part of, proactive and positive change in our sector.

It exists to make sure that every fundraising leader, present or future, understands what they need to do to make the right decisions, hire the right people, and lead in the right way.

With three virtual ‘tents’, the conference will help attendees to lead with confidence, build teams that thrive, and look after themselves in the process.

Sessions include:

  • Trust-based management
  • Investing in your team and innovation
  • The power of vulnerable leadership
  • Recruiting, and retaining, diverse team
  • Demystifying unions
  • Inclusive leadership

And more!

And because we know you’re busy, all sessions can be watched live or on-demand in your own time until July 21st (or for an unlimited time if you join as a Member).

All Fundraising Everywhere events are subtitled and held online on the Everywhere+ virtual event platform. You’ll receive a bonus digital delegate bag and live attendees can access our online networking room to meet other attendees.

For questions about the conference, please contact [email protected]

Want to partner with this event? Contact [email protected]


Sessions include:

Room 1 – Lead

The Leadership Landscape
Speaker: Anaish Yilma-Parmar
Leadership comes in many forms, but what is universal is that we will face wider challenges, out of our control. Impacts of changes across spheres from socio-economic, political, and environmental, mean that leaders must constantly have their ears, minds, and hearts open. This can be a challenge, to remain authentic and empathetic, whilst balancing the needs of your organisation to thrive. Through clear and honest leadership, showing up and demonstrating vulnerability, we can continue to navigate the path to doing the right thing.
This session will kick off the conference with Anaish’s reflections on leadership in his current world; from being a head of team, trustee, tennis captain and eldest sibling.

How finding joy outside of work can make you better leader
Nana Crawford
I didn’t really know what it meant to be a leader until I started learning samba. I’m going to talk about how important it is to find joy/passion outside of work and how it can help you become a better leader. In this session I will discuss: finding joy is important for your mental health; the skills you gain outside of work can be applied to your job; and finding joy in movement is so important to your self-confidence.

Why charity workers are unionising – and how this benefits the sector
Speaker: Asha Pond
In this session, we’ll explore why increasing numbers of charity workers are unionising in order to tackle these problems together, and hear examples of where collective action has benefited not only workers, but the organisation as a whole. We’ll look at some common arguments against unions in the third sector, and why they’re wrong – and why taking workers’ rights and wellbeing seriously is a prerequisite for a strong and effective charity sector.

Insight-led leadership
Speakers: Alf Cowan, Marcus Orme & Rebecca Cogswell
Discover the power of insight-led leadership in fundraising with Medialab, the UK’s leading independent media agency. Gain invaluable knowledge from Rebecca Cogswell, Director of Communications and Marketing at The British Horse Society (formerly of The National Trust), as she reveals how they revolutionised the BHS fundraising strategy using a data-driven approach. Don’t miss out on Medialab’s exclusive showcase of new opportunities, designed to empower charities of all sizes to supercharge their fundraising strategies.

Women of colour in leadership – we have a problem that needs to be fixed
Fozia Irfan & Jenny Garrett OBE

How to manage hybrid teams well
Speakers: Lilian Rose & Charlotte Campbell
Looking after teams with a mix of office and at-home working can be a challenge; and charity leaders need answers and support to make sure everyone is included in an accessible and engaging way. In this live Q&A, we chat with Charlotte (CHUF – small, local charity) and Lilian (Mencap – medium, national charity) to get tips and advice from their organisations. Both teams come highly recommended by one of the UK’s leading recruitment companies for their staff happiness and efficient ways of working. So we’re excited to delve a little more into how they do that…

Awesome Team Resilience in troubled times!
Speaker: Dee Solley
In this session I will tell you how at Crisis during the Covid pandemic and since, with the added pressure of economic uncertainty, a focus on compassionate leadership and staff wellbeing, ensured my team remained on track, motivated, and continue to thrive.

Your Story is Worthy Too
Dana Snyder
We’re often so focused on our organization’s mission that we miss out on the opportunity to connect through relationships. Without realizing it, we curb our impact and diminish our influence when we hold back from telling our unique story. How do we release our internal self-doubt, imposter syndrome and comparison mentality to grow visibility for our personal brands and thought leadership? Through a series of comedic stories, I’ll share hard-won personal branding lessons that will help you gain credibility and be recognized as a thought leader in your industry.

Room 2 – Build

What does inclusive leadership look like?
Speaker: Sophia Moreau

Your confidence matters when you take on the world (or workplace, team, boss, you)
Speaker: Sarah Tite
Leaders are the driving force behind organisations, working hard while understanding the importance of supporting the mental wellbeing of their team, and themselves. These expectations can be challenging. Sarah is a certified leadership coach and trainer, in this session she will bring these skills along with her 30 years of experience in the charity-sector, leading teams at charity’s such as WaterAid, Marie Curie Cancer Care and most recently as Director Fundraising and Communication, Mental Health Foundation to look at why confidence is important, three corner-stones to your confident leadership and share tools to support you and your team manage day to day stresses with ease.

Investing in your team – how to do it and measure it’s impact
Speakers: Lucy Philipson & Sarah-Jane Pickering
People do business with people! If I had a penny for every time I had been told that I would be a very rich woman! It is true and can be a blessing and a curse for small charities like us. I have been CEO at COCO for 11 years and with the organisation for 18. Throughout that time I have recruited fantastic people and not so fantastic people but what I have learnt is that when they are fanrtastic, you need to keep a hold of them! Recruiting is really tough right now and we have to look within our organisation to see if we have the right talent and if we do, we need to invest in them. From training to flexible working, being emotionally intelligent and supporting with a shoulder to cry on or a cake and a cuppa, there are lots of ways to invest in your team, if you do, and they stay, you retain talent, ensure loyalty and build a team that people want to work with. Join me to hear about the highs and lows of people, the quick and not-too-expensive wins and the benefits of speculating to accumulate.

Fundraising strategy – what do leaders need to do?
Speakers: Richard Sved & Desiree D’Souza
In this session, Des and Richard will look at what fundraising leaders and the leadership team across charities need to do to develop and implement their organisation’s fundraising strategy successfully. They will consider key issues such as how to get buy in, mitigating risk, and the importance of storytelling. Finally, Des and Richard will consider the importance of focusing on team wellbeing, how to focus on the bigger fundraising picture and think about the time when you will pass the fundraising baton on to your successors. We also look forward to hearing your thoughts on these pressing issues so we can fundraise brilliantly and change the world with our success!

Supporting the talents of Neurodivergent colleagues
Speakers: Will Sadler & Zosia Feher
In this short presentation Will Sadler and Zosia Feher from Beacon Films will explore what ‘neurodivergence’ is and how we best support the talents of neurodivergent colleagues in our workplace. The session will begin by exploring what we mean by the words ‘neurodiversity’ and ‘neurodivergence’. We’ll briefly explore the Social Model of Disability and how we apply this to concepts of neurodiversity, before heading into a conversation about how we practically apply everything we’ve discussed so far to supporting neurodivergent colleagues in our workplace.

How to recruit and retain diverse teams
Speakers: Ellen Drummond & Hanan Kasmi
Ellen and Hanan are going to be providing practical advice on how to make your recruitment process inclusive, discussing ED&I best practice. We will also be talking about organisational culture and how important this is in regard to retaining diverse talent.

Step Up in your Leadership Development
Gabi Field
Are you ready to step up into a Senior Leadership role? Are you thinking ‘Am I ready for it’? Do you want to be the next Head of or Director in your organisation?
I will be sharing my insight, learnings and tips from my first year as a Director of Fundraising and Communications. This session will cover how I prepared for the step up, what mechanisms I put in place for support, hindsight learnings and how my organisation supported my step up. I will share my top tips on how to get ready for applying for your next role and how to work to your strengths for success.

Room 3 – Self

Why Vulnerable Leadership is Your Superpower
Speakers: Sally Insley & Fidelis Navas
Did you know that vulnerability could be your hidden superpower? During this session, we’ll highlight examples of when we’ve been impressed by authentic leadership and highlight occasions when it’s been needed. We’ll share when we’ve been vulnerable leaders and how it’s positively impacted on our teams, supporters, and donors.

Duolingo’s Method to the Madness
Speaker: Zaria Parvez
Duo, a sassy and fiercely loyal owl, has landed countless viral TikToks by riffing off of trending audio clips. Whether it’s fan-girling over Dua Lipa or getting in trouble with Legal, Duo has stolen the hearts of gen-Z and #brandtok.
Hear from the brains behind language-learning platform Duolingo’s TikTok account, Zaria Parvez about the entertainment-first account. We’ll take a peek into how Duolingo implemented a test-and-learn approach, empowered Gen-Z talent to take the reigns, and flipped the script on traditional marketing.

The Power of Working with Disabled Talent
Speaker: Aman Ahluwalia-Hinrichs
In this session we briefly explore the importance of working with disabled people like Aman! We focus on the benefits to your organisation and beneficiaries as well as the importance of representation of disabled people in movements for social justice. We also look at some of the challenges we create when we welcome disabled people into a workplace or culture not designed to accommodate our needs. Aman will also look at some solutions and share some learnings on her long, sometimes painful but always life-giving journey!

Session information will be updated regularly when speakers return their information. In the meantime, check out the programme tab for more details…


Speakers are added to our events as we receive their details and are updated continuously. These events achieve the goals set out in our EDI commitment.

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