Adding value to the Board of Trustees27.03.2020

All We Can is an international development and emergency relief organisation.For a variety of reasons, UK based Methodist relief and development charity, All We Can, found themselves with a much-reduced number of Trustees and no Treasurer.


They were finding it impossible to effectively populate the four committees that report to the Board, and crucially, there were no remaining Trustees with a finance background.


In response, the charity started a recruitment campaign, part of which was to engage Accounting for International Development (AfID), in their efforts to get their Board back to full strength.


All We Can FD, David Fletcher, said: “It was felt that potential Trustees with a finance background, coupled with some experience of international development, would be an ideal skill set and fit”.


As a result of the campaign All We Can appointed ten new Trustees, five of whom came through AfID. Three of these were appointed to the Finance & Audit Committee, one of whom became Treasurer, and two to the Programmes & Partnerships Committee, where according to David Fletcher “their experience of international development is proving invaluable”.


Let’s meet some of them…


Chris SuttonChris Sutton while on assignment with AfID in Rwanda


Chris, FCA, has thirteen years of senior accounting and consulting experience, followed by fifteen years of general management experience. He has undertaken three overseas volunteer placements with AfID, supporting organisation in Kenya, Malawi and Rwanda.


“My role is as a main Board member and I also sit on the Programmes and Partnerships subcommittee of the Board. In this role, together with three other trustees, I support the Programmes and Partnerships team in examining policy and delivery in areas such as country selection, partner selection, monitoring and evaluation. The programmes and partners are typically based in some of the poorest areas of the world.


“As a management consultant and chartered accountant, I bring the ability to ask challenging questions and bring external insights and work well in a team environment, while at the same time totally recognising that I, like the other trustees, are there to support the CEO and not try to do his job for him.


“It is a great experience to work with such a professional executive team, and fantastic other trustees. Our strategy workshops together have been a real highlight.”


Phil Crosby


Phil, ACCA, has 25 years of financial management experience, a significant part of which has been within the international development sector.


“I am a Trustee, and in addition I chair the Finance & Audit Committee. We address governance and oversight questions, and provide support to the Finance Director - a sounding board where needed.


“I have worked in the charity sector for many years and have always found it interesting and rewarding. I was looking for an opportunity to use my experience in a different way, and to broaden my experience.


“Becoming a Trustee has given me a different insight into how charities operate, as well as a different appreciation for the value of sound governance. For any charity it is important to be able to demonstrate that funds are used appropriately and prudently and good Trustees play an important part in that.


“For me the most rewarding aspect of the work has been hearing the stories of individuals and communities around the world and the benefit they receive from the support of AWC - although the charity sector reaches millions of people in different countries and from different walks of life, the stories of individuals capture the imagination more than any dry statistics can ever do.”