FD in Five Minutes: Gordon Walker

Third Sector speaks to the Charity IT Association trustee who oversees the charity's finances

Gordon Walker
Gordon Walker

Why did you choose to take responsibility for finance management on the board?

The CITA provides me with a vehicle to “put something back”, which is corny perhaps but true. I worked in the IT industry for years, so it was a natural fit, while years of being accountable for financial outcomes mean I can read a balance sheet and work with accountants to predict cash flow. 

What is the proudest moment of your trustee career so far?

The day we secured our first corporate partner for the CITA. We demonstrated that even a small charity like ours, with indirect impact through our member charities, could attract such support. Intuitus provides us with IT professional volunteers and contributes to our operational funds.

What’s your biggest challenge at the CITA?

Raising funds. Most charities have a direct impact on society and have recognisable beneficiaries. The CITA helps other charities improve their use of IT to deliver their outcomes by providing access to affordable independent IT volunteer resources, so it’s difficult to attract direct grants. We also serve smaller charities that cannot fund technology improvements, so we rely on larger charities and corporate partnerships to fund our administrative costs. 

What do you do outside work?

I am a freelance executive coach. Outside that I am doing an MSc at Henley Business School and I scuba dive.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far?

Andy Rogers, my own executive coach, who helped me to explore how to apply my drive and experience when I left the corporate world and encouraged me to become a trustee.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Foresight.

Which three people would be at your fantasy dinner party?

Robert Rankin, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. For triangles, discs and improbabilities.

What three things would you take with you if you were exiled to a desert island?

My scuba diving kit, an everlasting supply of compressed air and a towel (for hitchhiking purposes).

If you were Prime Minister for the day, what would you do?

Apologise for all my shortcomings and those of all my predecessors and declare Lilliput a nation state.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector?

Yes. There will always be needs outside the reach and vision of the state and individuals who recognise those needs and address them. The state must get better at making that possible.

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