FD in Five Minutes: Ayelet Fisher

Third Sector speaks to the head of finance at the Sick Children's Trust

Ayelet Fisher
Ayelet Fisher

Why did you choose finance as a career? I had always enjoyed maths and found it came quite naturally to me. When the Big Five accountancy firms visited my university during the milk round, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to get a good start in my career with a qualification that was highly transferable both abroad and in other sectors.

What made you work in the charity sector? After having worked in the corporate sector for 10 years, I took some time out to be a full-time mother. After I returned to work, the charity sector offered the flexibility I wanted to balance my career with parenthood.

What do you do outside work? Act as a social secretary and taxi service for my two daughters. Meet friends, walk, exercise and read books. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far? One of the Sick Children’s Trust’s trustees has probably been the biggest influence on my career. She was my first-ever manager after I left university and started at PwC, and continued to be during most of my career in the corporate world, even after I left PwC. The biggest influence on my personal life have been my parents, husband and daughters.

If you were charities minister for the day, what one thing would you do? I would look at ways to grow and support charity fundraising, in particular from corporate organisations. I would also ensure there was a separate charities minister, not a combined role for sport and civil society.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector? Public trust in the charity sector has fallen in recent years as the result of a few large, household-name charity organisations being exposed by the press for their failure to protect those who depended on them. As a result, a lot of safeguarding and governance has been prominent in the past 12 months. I believe that when these are embedded within the charity sector, public trust will begin to grow again. Furthermore, it has been recognised that younger donors are the most giving age cohort and are much more environmentally conscious and socially aware. I believe the future will see younger people coming on board the charity sector and bringing their desire for change with them.

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