Being a Trustee

9th May 2013

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I was approached a few months ago by one of my clients to ask if I knew anyone who could help with the bookkeeping for the charity she was a trustee of. I said I’d have a think about who I knew and get back to her.

I pay small regular donations to a number of charities and for some time I had been thinking that offering my skills would make more sense. I can give more to a charity in time than I could ever afford to give in money and hopefully I can make more of a difference.

So I looked into Love Is All We Need and the work that they do in South Africa, providing for the basic needs of children suffering the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. What I liked about the charity is that it is run entirely by volunteers (most of who have full time jobs). Some of them are from the area in South Africa where the Hope Centre is located (The Hope Centre is the current beneficiary) and they visit on a regular basis to see what work is being done and what more can be done to help. The fact that everyone is a volunteer means that the running costs are very small and all the money collected can go straight to the beneficiary.

After reading about the work they were doing I was in, there was no more thinking required and I had already begun to feel a passion for the charity and its objectives.

I’m not going to lie, getting all the paperwork up to date and in order and the accounting systems in place was probably more work than I had bargained for but on the flip side there is a whole lot of good stuff that I hadn’t bargained for either. The small team are close knit and have known each other for years but they already make me feel like part of the family. Hearing the regular updates from the Hope Centre of how the children are doing is amazing and makes you want to help even more.

I’m now a trustee of the charity and I have to say it’s proving to be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Being involved in the community and with local charities is something that Carol and I feel passionate about and we strive to make this part of the ethos of the Bainbridge Lewis team.

From what I hear small charities can definitely benefit from working with someone who has business experience as it gives them a different perspective. So if you are running your own small business I’m sure there will be a charity out there looking for someone just like you, what are you waiting for?