What is your background?
I have been in operations, on a commercial side, I worked for 14 years in the leisure industry and from the leisure industry I went into contact centres. I’ve looked after both b2b and b2c so I’ve worked with all sorts of clientele across all sorts of sectors as well as people in their homes. From managing contact centres I went to work for a charity which was a fantastic experience for me. A lot of charities out there at the moment are losing their funding and they need to generate income, they need to increase reserves to keep the organisation going and this was something I knew I could contribute to and was excited about.
What took you to work for a charity?
Well I saw the vacancy and felt I had all the skills to be able to move the charity towards a more commercial mind set, using the charitable aims and align it more to generating income through a more saleable approach.
Why do you think it’s important for charities to move towards a more commercial mind set?
Charites have always been there and able to source funding as it was much more freely available with larger pots of money. Unfortunately grants and funding are not as easily and readily available as they were and sadly lots of charities have had to close.
For charities to continue to do their good work they need to look at what it’s costing them to do that piece of work then to start looking at what they need to do to start bringing in that income to try and cover that cost. As although they’re non-profit they need to cover their costs of staff, buildings, utilities etc. Bringing organisations into more of a business mind set. Really just in terms of, well if we’re going to do something, how much is it going to cost us and how are we going to be able to make sure we’re bringing that income in to cover it.
Tell us about your role at Arkom as a Charity Consultant
I feel really, really passionate about my role because, having worked on the commercial side, being an operations manager and having had my own business as well, I know how important it is to look at data in terms of any business and use it correctly to be able to move forward.
When I was working at a charity I could see how everything was being juggled on spreadsheets and the problems that resulted in like lack of communication between colleagues and missed opportunities. None of those things were any body’s fault, there just weren’t the right tools in place to help. I can see how Arkom is able to help with that by providing a system that will manage what the charity needs it to and that will help them grow and will then in turn grow with the organisation.
There are so many charities out there doing good and, on a personal level, I would like to see them be able to continue to do that. I feel that through Arkom, and the solution that we offer, we are genuinely helping them to sustain their work by showing them how they can save money, how they can save time and improve their reserves. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do that.
Until I actually came into this role I didn’t realise exactly how many charities there are out there. Another thing I’ve found really fulfilling is being able to put charities in touch with other charities. For example, an animal sanctuary that has over 150 horses and another charity that runs as a farm who help people with learning difficulties. They can actually take some of those horses and lessen the burden on the other charity because they use them for therapeutic reasons, so by doing that I feel personally that I’ve actually helped them. Its’ putting the word of Arkom out into the charity and not for profit community to generally help the northern region.