3rd February 2017

About this time last year, I started to tackle the question of what next?

As a second-year sabbatical officer, I had to seriously consider what next. Run for an NUS full-time officer position? Go back to full-time study? Get a job? I opted for the latter, but I thought it might be helpful to others to share five challenges I’ve faced to give you a head-start. 1)   Work out your why. Make sure that whatever you do next is something that excites you. I can’t stress this enough, you are about to take the next journey in your own adventure. Only you know what makes you get out of bed in the morning. If you’re proactive and start your job hunting early it means you can explore opportunities without the time or financial pressure and provides the ability to reject offers if they are not right for you. As a rule of thumb if you’re not excited about the prospect of being offered that job don’t waste your time applying – the passion won’t come through and you probably won’t secure an offer anyway. 2)   Have THAT conversation with your team. You are going to be leaving so you need to consider your exit before it’s forced upon you. It’s worth having a conversation with both your […]
14th September 2016

Why New Philanthropy Capital are missing the point regarding paying charity trustees.

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) recently released a report called IT STARTS FROM THE TOP, IMPROVING GOVERNANCE, IMPROVING IMPACT. I wait with baited breath, sad I know, for such reports in the hope that one day I will be further enlightened. The UK, across all sectors, has an opportunity to lead the world in its governance practice and I’m keen in my own small way, as an advisor to Boards and as a trustee, to pick up new thinking. One of their recommendations is that The Charity Commission should its amend guidance on paying trustees to avoid disincentivising charities from exploring payments and empowering individual charities to make the decision about paying trustees if they wish to do so. This is not a new issue, but the guidance is helpful. I’m all for promoting more freedom for charities to test new ideas that promote better governance. In my experience this is a question increasingly asked when recruiting Chairs of Boards of Trustees, as these roles are particularly onerous and almost part-time employment. In many cases a Chair will give 1-2 days per week of their time and sometimes more when an organisation is going through a period of major change or […]
5th September 2016

T.M. Lewin, What to Wear at Work

We often get asked by people what they should wear to interview in different work environments. Whilst charities are often more informal than public sector organisations each work environment is unique so it’s worth finding out directly in advance of any meetings. We hope this style guide is useful as broad overview.
2nd September 2016

The Grind Behind the Gold

As we bask in the late summer glory of Team GB’s magnificent performance at the Rio Olympic Games the athletes who so notably achieved such astonishing feats are rightly receiving the plaudits they deserve. London 2012 was a notable high point for both this country’s ability to stage such a wonderful global event and also the level of performance by our athletes; levels unprecedented in living memory. This time around expectations were lowered. No country had improved their medal tally after hosting the Games and there was no expectation this time around that Team GB would put paid to that statistical quirk. That they did is a fantastic achievement and the fact that medals came thick and fast in such a diverse range of sports is testament to the breadth and depth of talent this country produces. Who would have thought the nation would be gripped by canoeing, taekwondo or synchronised diving and a British gymnast winning not one but two Olympic gold medals was frankly inconceivable not that long ago. The athletes will rightly be lauded for a long time to come but what did it take to get them there? During my 20 years in the sports industry […]
7th July 2016

“Increasing fundraising governance skills and leadership on trustee boards” – The GetRaising! Report

In early June 2016, Peridot Partners and the Social Change Agency brought together a group of professional fundraisers keen to explore the idea of becoming a charity trustee with the charities who are keen to improve fundraising skills and experience on their boards. Today sees the launch of our report, GetRaising! Increasing Fundraising Skills on Trustee Boards. Having surveyed the professional fundraising market, we knew that there was a need for this event. Of the 250 people surveyed, 81% of them said that fundraising is an unrepresented skillset on their trustee board. Coupled with that, changes in fundraising legislation alongside the continuing challenging fundraising landscape for many charities means that they can no longer afford not to have professional fundraising representation at board level. Both parties seemed in agreement that the days of purely ‘traditional’ trustee skills of finance, legal and HR were numbered, with charities requiring more modern and diverse skills at board level including fundraising, digital and comms to survive in a changing world. On a rainy summer’s day over 50 people attend our GetRaising! event, held at the premises of Baldeton Capital in King’s Cross. Teaming up with The Social Change Agency the Institute of Fundraising and […]
6th July 2016

Tom Sears joins Peridot Partners

Peridot Partners are pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Sears to develop our recruitment business in the physical activity/well-being/sport sectors. With increasing emphasis by local authorities, public health and clinical commissioning groups to look at the preventative role of well-being and physical activity, and a diversion of funding towards prevention rather than intervention, we have a new context for the future. There are also significant changes ahead in these sectors with the DCMS and Sport England reviewing their approach to sport and physical activity as well as a shift in emphasis away from traditional National Governing Body funding and delivery to alternative providers. These changes, combined with the emphasis on targeting the inactive population, is leading to significant changes in the governance and leadership requirements of many sports, well-being and physical activity focused organisations. In other words there are opportunities for growth in organisations who can secure the new sources of funding if they re-evaluate the way they are governed and led, and Tom Sears is well placed to help organisations in this sector make such a transition. Tom has 20 years’ experience in senior roles within the sports and physical activity industry worldwide. He has held CEO and other leadership positions in the UK, Europe, Australasia and […]
3rd June 2016

GetRaising! Let’s get this started.

On 7th June over 50 fundraisers, Trustees and CEOs will be at GetRaising!, talking about why more professional fundraisers don’t sit on Trustee boards, the impact this is having on the sector and what we can do about it. So, in the spirit of stoking the discussion, I’ve been reflecting on my own journey from fundraiser to trustee and wondering if part of the problem is a lack of appreciation of the high functioning fundraiser’s broader skill set.    As a corporate fundraiser in a large national charity, I remember being told that I would be judged by the amount of time my desk was empty.  Face time with donors, spent building relationships and closing deals, was prized above all else.    My focus was on building strategic partnerships with corporates, which were about more than money and required me to bring the donor into the heart of the cause to give their money, skills, time, knowledge, expertise and influence.  And, more often than not, what took up most of my time and energy was getting the charity to articulate what it really wanted to raise money for (beyond ‘meeting our fundraising targets’) and selling what my supporters could give back […]
27th May 2016

Professional Fundraisers as Trustees? GetRaising!

‘I just wish my board had more fundraising expertise, and better understood the opportunities and challenges ahead for our fundraising….. and cared more!’ I spend a lot of time working in partnership with charities to recruit Director or ‘Head of’ fundraising roles. This means I come into contact with a number of CEOs and hiring managers, many of whom, it’s fair to say, do not have boards who understand fundraising, or care particularly for it. In fact our recent survey conducted with the Institute of Fundraising, over 83% of fundraisers surveyed said that fundraising was a skill underrepresented at a board level in organisations they had worked with, or are working with.  This is not unique to fundraising (campaigners or digital teams may say the same of their boards!) but it happens often enough that we factor it into our briefing conversations with prospective candidates for the roles we’re recruiting. After all, a senior fundraiser will have multiple touch points at board level and across the organisation, so candidates will need to be aware of the board’s willingness to be involved in fundraising as well as their understanding of the role a board should play in driving a fundraising culture […]