Dorset Charities Conference Round up


Last month saw the 9th Annual Dorset Charities Conference held by Ward Goodman.  As with many events in the past 18 months this became a virtual affair, but that did not stop over 100 charities from being represented as the delegates watched and listened to experts and professionals within the charity sector from Dorset and nationwide.

The keynote presentation entitled ‘The State of The Sector’ was given by Rita Chadha, CEO of the Small Charities Coalition.

The Small Charities Coalition helps small organisations with a social purpose to change lives, improve communities and broaden people’s opportunities.

Rita joined the Small Charities Coalition in July 2019 as CEO. Starting at the age of 15 as a volunteer, Rita has worked for a number of local and national charities on issues related to inequality and social justice and also remains a volunteer and trustee of a number of organisations.

Next up was Alex Picot from Dorset Community Action. DCA are a charity that exists to support charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises across the Dorset community. Their mission is to bring people together to develop community based solutions that deliver better services for the benefit of all. They support new and established groups and projects though 1:1 advice, tailored consultancy and group-based training to enable them to be successful and financially sustainable.

Alex is CEO for Dorset Community Action and provided a presentation entitled ‘Is there life after COVID?’

Further presentations covered investments, accounting updates, legal updates and charity banking from :-

James Johnsen – Director, Church House Investment Management

Paul Zoltowski – Client Director, Church House Investment Management

Jen Richardson – Head of Charities, Ward Goodman

Sophie Cass – Associate, Bates Wells

Ben Harris – Business Development Manager, CAF Bank

The final presentation came from Jane Galloway, Senior Lecturer at Chichester University and Lead Consultant at Arclight Solutions Ltd.

The University of Chichester is home to the world’s first degree in fundraising, Charity Development BA (Hons.). It offers students a unique opportunity to learn the skills essential to successful fundraising, such as marketing, planning, event management and donor care. The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

Charity Development students, at the University of Chichester know how to work hard and play hard, and it’s all for a good cause. This year they’re putting on a show, all in aid of the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth and have an ambitious target to raise £20,000 for the theatre, which has been really badly affected financially, during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The arts have suffered greatly throughout 2020/21 and the New Theatre Royal is no exception, as it’s facing its biggest challenge in its 160 year history, and we are immensely grateful to the Chichester University students for all their fundraising support.” Sheena Hulme. Operations Director, New Theatre Royal.

Donna Day Lafferty, the course founder explained that “The intention is to offer students plenty of real-life fundraising opportunities, while giving them a firm foundation of applicable theory. There is a lack of highly trained fundraisers ready to hit the ground running, and an ever growing need.  A career in charitable fundraising is often overlooked and many people ‘fall’ into fundraising without qualifications. Virtually everyone’s life is touched by the work of the charitable sector, so we all benefit from knowledgeable fundraisers who raise funds efficiently while showing donors the respect they deserve.”

Rounding off the conference was a Q&A session hosted by the Managing Director of Ward Goodman, Ian Rodd.  Delegates were able to put a wide range of questions to the expert panel from what Covid support is still available to ways to scale up fundraising requirements to cover shortfalls in operational funding.

You can watch all of the presentations and download all slides via


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

More like this

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Celebrates Successful 5K Twilight Shift Event at Henstridge Airfield

For the third consecutive year, the life-saving charity Dorset...

Sign up today for Air Ambulance 5K Twilight Shift

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is hosting their...

Hall & Woodhouse’s Community Chest launches for 2024

Independent family brewer Hall & Woodhouse’s 2024 Community Chest...

Winging it (on little legs)

In spite of her terminal illness, 73-year-old Marilyn McDonald...