Suffolk voluntary sector prepares for first virtual conference

Charity leaders and community organisations are set to unite in a virtual conference as they show their muscle in the face of the devastating effects of Covid-19.

For the first time, Community Action Suffolk will host a fundraising conference for hundreds of voluntary sector managers and staff, entirely via the medium of online video conferencing.

The announcement follows a period of huge demand upon the sector in the region, and a chapter which has seen high profile charity casualties, such as Age UK Suffolk.

Taking place on Tuesday 8th September, the Virtual Fundraising Conference for Suffolk has a theme of Financing, Sustainability and Resilience. It will run between 9.30am and 1pm.

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Presenters at the event include those from bodies such as the National Council for the Voluntary Organisations, and from Just Giving.

Online workshops will also allow participants to learn more about fundraising strategies, overcoming challenges associated with the pandemic, and exploring long term income generation.

Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, West Suffolk Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Babergh/Mid-Suffolk Council will also be involved in delivering workshops during the event.

Christine Abraham, from Community Action Suffolk, said: “Never has this event been more important to the organisations of Suffolk. The voluntary sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, and while we had already intended to run this as a ‘physical conference’ back in March, its purpose is more pertinent in light of everything we’ve seen play out in recent months.

Christine Abraham

“This will be a very timely and valuable conference, run via our own bespoke platform, and Zoom, and opening up our audience to as many opportunities to network, learn, share opinion and understand good practice, as if they were all in one physical venue.”

She added: “A common theme among our members even before the onset of Covid, was that of voluntary sector organisations saying how difficult they found the funding and fundraising environment to navigate and how hard financial sustainability and resilience was to achieve.

“The conference timetable will cover so many of the important topics across these themes and will help leaders and decision makers within charities and organisations to develop their own sustainable roadmap when it comes to financial sustainability.

“The learnings from this event will be truly enabling and impactful, in helping our members move beyond what has been a terribly difficult and worrying period for all those delivering in the voluntary space.

Among the speakers will be Elizabeth Chamberlain, Head of Policy for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Lauren Levy from JustGiving.

To book your place, visit this link.

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