Daniel Cheesman The Jessie May Trust

Speaker: Daniel Cheesman, CEO, The Jessie May Trust

Why did you engage with a part-time FD/CFO?

Daniel Cheesman: Jessie May started working with the CFO Centre at the end of 2022. As a charity, it’s really important to us that we have the right systems in place to ensure that we’re spending our money wisely meeting our charitable objectives and future proofing the charity in terms of our ability to fundraise for the future. Engaging with a part-time financial director initially to provide a health check for the charity has been a cost effective way of getting the right financial support for the charity when we need it, and ultimately to enable us to continue supporting seriously ill children and offering hospice support at home.

What issues or untapped opportunities were you facing before you started working with us?

Daniel Cheesman: The issues that we were facing before we started working with the CFO Centre were that our finance systems were clunky and our management reports complicated, both of which meant that there was a lot of time wasted with unnecessary admin systems and trying to interpret reports. This made it difficult to make strategic plans for the charity and potentially we missed funding opportunities.

How has working with Rachel helped early in the process and what excited you the most about working with Rachel?

Daniel Cheesman: Working with Rachel has been a game changer. I’ve been so impressed with how quickly she’s understood the charity. Her initial evaluation of our finance systems was spot on, and she’s worked with us to provide a step by step guide of what we needed to do. She understands that our long term aim is to support more children and families, and she’s supporting the team in making the changes we need to make to work more effectively.

What benefits to your business are you already seeing?

Daniel Cheesman: The benefits that we’re already seeing is a more joined up approach between our finance systems and our fundraising ability. We’re beginning to plan more effectively and being more ambitious, and the new systems are saving us admin time, meaning that more time is available to meet our charitable objectives.

What are you hoping to achieve over the coming 12 months with the support of your FD/CFO?

Daniel Cheesman: Our hopes in the next 12 months in working with Rachel and the CFO Centre is that we implement a new cloud based finance system. We agree our long term budget and forecasts for the charity, and we increase our fundraising return on investment and agree a new metric of how we’re measuring that.