FD in Five Minutes: Isobel Collinge

The life and career of the finance director at World Jewish Relief

Isobel Collinge
Isobel Collinge

Q Why did you choose finance as a career? It chose me really. I have always had a passion for maths and, after completing various temporary roles in the NHS, I was recruited to a role which required an accountancy qualification. In my 20s I lived in Paris and dreamt of earning a living translating French films. It turns out my maths is better than my French.

Q Why did you join the charity sector? I have always worked in the not-for-profit sector because I believe strong financial management is more important when resources are limited or when spending public money. I love that the staff, trustees and volunteers are so dedicated and talented and we are all united in our cause to make life better for people.

Q Who has been the biggest influence on your career or life so far? My mum and my first manager at Guy’s Hospital. Both made me believe in my ability, gave me the confidence to choose a career in finance and proved to me that having a rewarding career and being a mum aren’t mutually exclusive.

Q Are you optimistic for the future of the sector? Yes, there are many reasons to be optimistic. There are so many great charities working on amazing causes. Governance and regulation has become more and more important, but this is a good thing. Brexit is definitely causing uncertainty, but the public are brilliant at supporting charities and I am confident they will continue to do so.

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