FD in Five Minutes: Isabel Dart

Third Sector speaks to the charity finance manager of Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

Isabel Dart
Isabel Dart

Why did you choose your current career?

I always believe you have to be passionate about what you do. Since my first role as a management accountant at Dogs Trust, I’ve never looked back. I love working for charities: colleagues have passion for the cause and the roles tend to be more interesting than in other sectors. Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is such a family-focused charity, so I really feel that I’m doing my bit to help make a difference when I come to work each day.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

Last month cashless giving was implemented in all McDonald’s restaurants across the UK through the self-service kiosk, and it is already making a huge difference to RMHC UK.

What’s your biggest challenge at work?

Trying to align finance, data, marcomms, donor journeys and operations. To achieve this, we have embarked on a project to implement a new ecosystem infrastructure for all our systems in 2021, for which we are trying to raise funding.

What do you do outside work?

I have a fabulous family of teenage children and a six-year-old who keep us busy with their various sporting desires. I’m training to become a gymnastics coach and love to run in my spare time.

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

My husband: he’s also an accountant in the third sector. He’s great with people and has shown me how to form really positive and effective working relationships.

If you had to work in another industry, what would it be?

I started in the music industry and enjoyed that immensely too.

Which three people would be at your fantasy dinner party?

Mark Owen, Tim Burgess and Adam Smith.

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

Give everyone a four-day working week.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector?

Absolutely. I think technological solutions, such as cashless giving at kiosks in McDonald’s restaurants, make for a really exciting time for us as a charity. Systems clearly have much more scope for not-for-profit customisation in terms of revolutionising important mechanisms such as fundraising and donations, leading to improved income generation.

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