Connect with non-profits seeking volunteer financial skills
Ian Stanlake — understanding diverse backgrounds
Tushinde Children’s Trust, Treasurer — June 2021
“It’s a cliche, but meeting a diverse range of people and people who you would otherwise not meet in the corporate world. I have learnt a lot by listening to their stories, learning of their experiences and understanding their diverse backgrounds.”
How did you get involved in volunteering?
I have wanted to volunteer for some time but always found a reason not to do so. The pandemic changed that, it gave me the opportunity to invest the time to find an organisation I felt passionately about, a role where I could add value, and with a time commitment that was achievable around everyday life.
What do you most enjoy about volunteering?
It's a cliche, but meeting a diverse range of people and people who you would otherwise not meet in the corporate world. I have learnt a lot by listening to their stories, learning of their experiences and understanding their diverse backgrounds.
What has been your proudest moment as a volunteer?
Authorising my first bank payment…The process for setting me up on the bank mandate and mobile banking app was tortuous, involving many hours on the phone to the bank and multiple resetting of passwords. The sense of achievement when I authorised that first payment was palpable.
What has been the toughest time volunteering?
Familiarising myself with what Tushinde does and the challenges of operating in Africa during a pandemic. It was all new to me — child welfare, operating in the developing world, fundraising in a pandemic etc. I was very lucky in the the bi-annual board away day fell shortly after I joined which accelerated my learning.
How have your accountancy skills come into play?
As treasurer, my basic numerical/accountancy skills are used regularly but it is much broader that that. An accountancy background gives you a much wider range of skills that management and the other Trustees frequently leverage, be it thinking through problems or supporting organisational governance.
What have you learnt from volunteering?
This is a very long list, but my most valuable lesson is that I now better appreciate the skills I have and how they can benefit not for profit organisations.
What would be your one piece of advice for accountants looking to volunteer?
Find a cause you are passionate about and go for it! You will be surprised how much you can offer and how rewarding it will be.
How can get more accountants volunteering?
I really think accountants want to get involved, but they either don’t know how or don’t have time to invest. Charterpath addresses the how, but employers need to be much more proactive in promoting and supporting volunteering amongst their workforce. It is, and must be seen to be, career enhancing.