My Week

Deborah Xavier, chief executive, Pilotlight London

Xavier: energised by lunchtime meeting
Xavier: energised by lunchtime meeting

Monday Our group chief executive Fiona Halton and I begin the week with our fortnightly catch-up. A fortnight is a long time in Pilotlight. I left my marketing career to join the charity in 2004, and I used to tell myself "when we've got this done, things will quieten down for a while". That quiet period never materialised. I have been begging my colleagues this month not to come to me with any new ideas for a week or two - thankfully, to no avail.

Tuesday At our weekly project management meeting we discuss two charities that want to work with us and are delighted to say yes to both. One is a campaigning organisation for inclusive education, the other supports people into employment. I then begin work on an induction for a charity we are working with that supports teenagers with cancer. They saw that young people were being stranded between child and adult services and needed the opportunity to communicate with other people of their own age going through the same experiences.

Wednesday Our evaluation manager and I meet John, one of our trustees, who is keen to find new ways to demonstrate to government the impact we have. We discuss the difficulties small charities have measuring outcomes when they don't have the time or money to carry out the analysis required to come up with meaningful numbers.

Thursday More meetings, this time happily interrupted by a birthday lunch with one of our two interns, Kathryn, who says birthdays are starting to lose their shine now she has reached the venerable age of 22. The day ends with a coffee with Annick Devillard, chair of the Executive Network. She invites me to the organisation's next gathering, where the speaker will talk about recent Norwegian legislation that requires corporate boards to include a minimum female representation of 40 per cent.

Friday I meet Sally Reynolds, chief executive of Social Firms UK. Her knowledge and commitment are really energising - quite a feat on a Friday lunchtime. The afternoon passes in a flurry of activity and I am ready to chivvy everyone out of the door at 5pm. Tonight we have a joint birthday celebration for two of the team. There has been judicious mixing and matching of discount vouchers to enable all 13 of us to have a fun-packed evening on a tight budget. That's what I love about the third sector - always creative and mindful of value.

Pilotlight gives free business advice to charities and social enterprises

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