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Neil Heslop, OBE - Charities Aid Foundation. London, , GB

Neil Heslop, OBE Neil Heslop, OBE

Chief Executive, Charities Aid Foundation | Charities Aid Foundation


Neil Heslop is a business and charity leader, connecting private philanthropists, governments, charities and not-for-profit enterprises.






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Neil Heslop is the chief executive officer of the Charities Aid Foundation. He has a distinguished career spanning both business and the charitable sector and joined CAF in October 2020 after four successful years at the international pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire, where he served as Chief Executive.

Under Neil’s leadership, funds entrusted to CAF topped £1 billion for the first time, in 2020/21. As a result, tens of thousands of charities in more than 100 countries have been supported to deliver lasting benefits in communities around the world. Neil has also led CAF throughout the establishment of CAF International, a global network in which CAF will continue to build on and expand its partnerships with independent philanthropic organisations across the world.

In 25 years in business, Neil held senior leadership roles in the telecoms industry in North America and Europe. These include Head of Strategy and General Manager of Retail and online at O2, CEO of Cincinnati Bell Wireless and Director of CTIA the Wireless Association.

Neil is a law graduate from Newcastle University. He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Neil is also a co-founder of the charity Blind In Business, serving as a Trustee since 1992 and acted as an advisor to the UK government on the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act. He lost his sight aged 21 and has since advocated actively from within the vision-impaired community for inclusivity initiatives and the uptake of new technologies in the workplace. He was also previously Co-Chair of the Disability Charities Consortium, a group of the eight largest disability charities dedicated to promoting the rights and interests of 13 million disabled people in the UK.

In 2002 he was awarded the OBE for services to British Telecommunications and charity.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)

Business Transformation



Executive Management

Telecommunications Industry

Education (2)

Cranfield School of Management: M.B.A., Strategy and Marketing 1992

University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne: L.L.B., Law 1988

Affiliations (1)

  • ACEVO: Trustee

Volunteer Experience (1)

Blind In Business

Co-founder and Trustee 1992-present.

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Media Appearances (14)

Generous Sir Lewis Hamilton is 5th on Sunday Times’ 2022 Giving List for charitable donations with Mo Salah 8th

The Sun  online


"The new generation of younger philanthropists are using their platforms to exert influence, and amplify the impact of significant sums of money responding to climate change. Next generation givers are driving real change in the sector."

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Majority of sector leaders believe charities will be expected to fill public service gaps over next 5 years

UK Fundraising  online


91% of sector leaders believe that charities will be expected to fill gaps in providing public services over the next five years, according to research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

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Levelling up: Charities have a ‘huge’ role but fear it could be a ‘missed opportunity’

Civil Society News  online


Charities and social enterprises feel there is a clear role, and opportunity, for the sector as a partner in the levelling up agenda, after the government published its white paper yesterday.

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Why a dearth of data is blocking disabled access to the boardroom

Raconteur  online


After Neil Heslop graduated from the University of Newcastle with a law degree in 1988, he conducted an experiment.

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Coin hording at home leads to charity plea

BBC News  online


UK residents are hoarding an estimated £50m in loose change, with little sign of it all being spent as Covid restrictions ease.

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Political Pain: Should Charities Be Allowed to Campaign?

The House  online


“There is a strand of political opinion that believes charities should confine themselves to their role as a service provider. Our position is this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the legal roles of charities,” Heslop says...

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Neil Heslop appointed next CEO of Charities Aid Foundation

UK Fundraising  online


Heslop has been CEO at Leonard Cheshire since 2016. During his career, he has held senior leadership roles in the telecoms industry in North America and Europe...

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Charities Aid Foundation appoints Neil Heslop as chief executive

Third Sector  online


The Charities Aid Foundation has appointed Neil Heslop as its next chief executive...

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UK drops out of CAF World Giving Index top 10

UK Fundraising  online


Neil Heslop, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “This year’s World Giving Index makes for sombre reading as it lays bare the lost potential to support charities that was the result of the UK’s lockdowns...

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Small charities face 'existential threat' from Covid crisis, CAF boss warns

Civil Society News  online


Neil Heslop was speaking online at an event about the challenges facing UK and US philanthropy, arranged by the think tank NPC...

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UK cuts grants for small aid charities to save ‘less than cost of No 10 press room’

The Guardian  online


Neil Heslop, the chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Small UK charities stepped up brilliantly to support British values at home and abroad in the face of the pandemic. Aid cuts at this level risk permanent damage to dozens of international development charities and their delivery of life-saving programmes for the poorest … Without support, vital services will go and lives will be lost...”

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Charity boss praises Prince Philip’s ‘profound’ contribution to the sector

I News  online


Mr Heslop said the Duke brought together officials from government, business and philanthropy in the 1980s as part of his work with Charities Aid Foundation, to “challenge them to do more”. ..

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Covid: Small charities face 'slow death'

BBC News  online


The foundation's chief executive Neil Heslop said the "Protect the NHS" slogan and support for Captain Tom Moore's bid to walk 100 laps around his garden in April for NHS Charities Together had led to an outpouring of support for causes considered on the the frontline of the pandemic...

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Neil Heslop: Loud and clear on protecting disability rights

The Guardian  online


Neil Heslop, the new chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, welcomes the government announcement earlier this month that people with the most severe, lifetime conditions will no longer be assessed again and again to qualify for their out-of-work benefits.

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Articles (2)

Encouraging Tax Effective Donations to International Charities

Bloomberg Tax

Neil Heslop


Donor-advised funds have soared in popularity for cross-border giving in recent years, in part because they’re flexible, cost-efficient, easy to set up, and allow donors to remain anonymous. They’re also tax effective, says Charities Aid Foundation CEO Neil Heslop, because clients can donate cash, stocks, shares, art, antiques, and even property.

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Fundraising and giving during COVID


In many ways the experience of charities during the pandemic has mirrored the experience of the country as a whole – many dark times, but also shining points of light that give us hope for the future.

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