Could becoming a charity trustee be the opportunity you’re looking for?30.11.2016
Henry Wrigley FCA, took up an overseas assignment through AfID back in 2011 when he supported ChildReach in Tanzania, an organisation working with local communities to develop primary and further education. During his two weeks, Henry successfully helped the new finance officer prepare their first ever quarterly report and bank reconciliation, and created templates to help them with future reporting.
This was just one of a number of short term volunteer projects he has undertaken due to his longstanding interest in international development. He got back in touch with AfID earlier in the year to express an interest in becoming a trustee of a charity to enable him to continue pursuing this passion on a more ongoing basis.
In April, Henry became a trustee for Concordis International, who work alongside those involved in, or affected by, armed conflict across Africa. We caught up with him to find out about his first few months in the role.
What does being a charity trustee actually involve?
I have committed to six half days to attend Board and Finance Committee meetings, as well as time at weekends and evenings to review papers. Cash flow and unrestricted funds are tight and need constant monitoring, which is often the case in small NGOs, and I am hopeful that my experience in budgeting and financial strategy will be of real benefit to them.
Why was Concordis the charity for you?
I felt a particular desire to support Concordis as I felt the area they work in probably has less resonance with the general public than other charities, and as such receives less support. The work they do - peace negotiations in Africa - is incredibly difficult but worthwhile. I could never even begin to do their amazing project-delivery work myself, so I'm happy to help in the small ways I can!
Do you feel you’ve had much of an impact so far?
So far I have helped with retendering the audit, by getting three highly motived firms to pitch for the work. This resulted in not only saving money, but also some fresh ideas to improve financial reporting from the pitch documents. I have also helped them improve the way data is presented to enable better decision making and been able to offer clarity and insights in cost benefit analysis on proposed new systems, as well as suggesting alternatives.
It sounds like you will be a great asset to the Board. Has it been a fulfilling experience for you?
It’s early days in the new role, but gaining regular exposure to a new organisation and its systems and the interesting work they do has been great. As I grow into the role I am hoping to use my professional skills to create significant impact, which I have always found highly rewarding.
Many of AfID’s charity partners are seeking trustees and treasurers and would love to secure the services of an accountant to take on this highly rewarding role. For more info about what the role entails and latest opportunities click here.