FD in five minutes: Alison Hopkinson

The finance director of Tearfund took a 70 per cent pay cut to work at the Christian anti-poverty charity, which she says has a 'caring culture'

Alison Hopkinson says seeing Tearfund's disaster work in South Sudan made her realise she was in the right job
Alison Hopkinson says seeing Tearfund's disaster work in South Sudan made her realise she was in the right job

What's it like to work for a Christian charity? It's a caring culture with staff high on the agenda. Most meetings start with a prayer.

How does your faith affect your work? I took a 70 per cent cut in salary when I started this job. Normally I'd be looking for the next role after two and a half years, but I feel I still have a lot to give and Tearfund has a lot to give me. It's a role in which I can grow professionally and in my faith.

Do you see the charity's work first hand? I visit projects once or twice a year. We're encouraged to go out to get the charity's work from your head to your heart.

A few weeks after joining at Tearfund I saw our disaster work in South Sudan. It had a massive impact on me and made me realise I was in the right place.

What do you find most challenging in your job? At a charity, decisions take much longer than they do in the private sector. It is very deliberative - everyone is consulted and everyone is very passionate. Agreeing joint plans can take a long time.

What other job would you like to do? I'd like to be a social responsibility director for a major corporation.

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