Staff and trustees from all 48 of the UK’s community foundations gathered at the inspiring and thought-provoking event in Belfast. As well as the sharing of ideas and success stories via targeted workshops, participants had the chance to hear talks from renowned speakers, including former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward.
Sir Clive addressed community foundations on the final day of the conference, with a thorough and insightful analysis of what composes the ‘DNA’ of a champion – providing the chance to reflect on how the lessons he had gleaned from his years on the rugby pitch might apply to the everyday mission of a community foundation. His talk was the highlight of an exceptional programme of speakers, which also included Big Lottery CEO Dawn Austwick; Paul Schmitz, community advisor to the Obama administration; crossbench peer and UKCF Honorary President Baroness Prashar; and philanthropy campaigner John Nickson, who will also be speaking at our Oxford Union debate. John delivered an energising talk on how community philanthropy was a key factor in ensuring that the next generation inherits a truly civil society as the state’s role in community engagement recedes.
OCF staff and trustees attended workshops on social enterprise, fund development, impact reporting, making the case for support, effective grant-making, using data to understand social problems and innovative leadership, amongst many others. We were lucky to be joined by representatives from community foundations across the world, especially Canada, where community philanthropy is a pioneering leadership force. We have returned to the office buzzing with ideas for how we can improve our work in Oxfordshire!
Sponsored by charity investment managers CCLA, the conference took place in the stimulating surroundings of Northern Ireland capital Belfast, which provoked much discussion about the role of a community foundation in a post-conflict context. This and the motivating content of the conference was the subject of live tweets from participants, which can be seen at #UKCF15.
To find out more about our own thought leadership, have a look at our blog.