Featuring candid, meaningful discussions that get beneath the surface of issues, this podcast aims to inspire, inform and deliver practical insights on the challenges affecting charity and nonprofit leaders today.
For the benefit of leaders across the sector and for people who care about the important work of charities.
Tackling a different theme each episode, Dhivya O’Connor, a charity CEO herself, invites top CEOs to share their unique insights, expert knowledge, and lessons learned running successful charities.
The Charity CEO Podcast is produced and hosted by Dhivya O’Connor.
For more details visit www.thecharityceo.com
Ep 35. Chris Bird, CEO The Raheem Sterling Foundation: Mindset of a Champion!
“Everybody’s got a talent, but not everybody gets the opportunity. And thats what we’re about; we’re about opening that door and getting people through that door… that’s what’s missing in a lot of communities and society today…
There’s a lot of talented young people out there… The Raheem Sterling Foundation is about capturing that (talent) and making sure the opportunities are there.”
This episode is a very special collaboration with The Olympic Mindset Podcast.
I have teamed up with its host, Dominic Broad, to bring you this conversation with Chris Bird, CEO of the newly formed Raheem Sterling Foundation.
Chris is also the Founder of EQ Esports, CEO of Sports Tours International, a Trustee of The Running Bee Foundation and in the late 90s was the COO of Manchester City Football Club.
We speak with Chris about leadership and what it takes to have the mindset of a champion - not just in sport but in any walk of life.
Chris shares his aspirations for The Raheem Sterling Foundation and how through its focus on education, employment and social mobility, it aims to create opportunities and change the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. We have a fascinating conversation about levelling up and what that means in reality versus just in a political manifesto.
And of course we also talk about football.
Recorded August 2022.
Ep 34. Mita Desai, CEO Young Trustees Movement: What is the role of charity Governance? (and what Boards must do to get it right!)
“It’s not the role of a Trustee to know all the answers; it’s asking great questions. And if we only have a homogeneous group of people on (a) Board, it lowers your ability to ask really great questions from different perspectives, which lowers our ability to manage risk.”
Mita Desai is the Chief Executive of the Young Trustees Movement.
The Young Trustees Movement aims to double the number of young trustees, so that charity boards can better navigate uncertainty, better reflect the interests of their communities and future-proof their decision making.
Currently only 3% of charity Trustees in the UK are under the age of 30.
Mita talks about the disruptive campaign her organisation is running to change perspectives on who a Trustee can be. They are also raising awareness on the role of governance and what charity governance is really there to do.
We talk about how organisations can create the culture for diverse perspectives to thrive, not just on their Boards but across their workforces. Mita shares practical advice on what Boards can do to ensure that representation is not tokenistic and that different voices are genuinely welcomed and valued.
Mita shares her own experiences of being a young Trustee and how the maxim ‘Never let fear get in the way of the choices you want to make’ has led her to where she is today.
Recorded July 2022.
Ep 33. Barbara-Anne Walker, CEO Ashgate Hospice: Changing the conversation about death and dying
“Part of Ashgate’s ambition is to change the conversation about death and dying… to enable conversations to happen in daylight, in general conversation, about death and dying. We’re all going to die, its not something that any of us can avoid… ”
Barbara-Anne Walker is the Chief Executive of Ashgate Hospice.
Ashgate Hospice is a specialist hospice, providing palliative and end of life care for the community of North Derbyshire.
Their vision is for people with a life-limiting illness to be able to live well, and have a good death. And for their families to be supported and comforted through the process.
Less than 30% of hospice funding comes from the NHS and yet the hospices provide a vital service within the UK healthcare system. Barbara-Anne and her team at Ashgate Hospice have been prolific in engaging the community, campaigning and raising awareness for hospice funding, both locally as well as on the national stage.
Barbara-Anne is emphatic about the need to change the conversation about death and dying.
We talk about the organisation’s iconic Sparkle Walk event. We also talk about Ashgate Hospice’s own podcast, The Life and Death Podcast, which explores frank and honest conversations about death and what ‘dying well’ really means.
Barbara-Anne shares her thoughts on the importance of visible leadership and her role, as a leader, in creating a learning culture. She also shares some practical learnings gained from working through the pandemic.
Recorded May 2022.
Ep 32. Sarah Woolnough, CEO Asthma + Lung UK: Breath is life!
“It’s terrifying not being able to breathe… and that’s informed a lot of our strategic thinking and our positioning, because nobody should have to struggle to breathe and we can do so much better for people with lung conditions.”
Sarah Woolnough is the CEO of the newly rebranded charity Asthma + Lung UK.
Poor lung health is the 3rd biggest killer in the UK and yet only 2% of publicly funded medical research goes towards this cause.
Asthma + Lung UK is here to change that. And be the driving force behind the transformation of the nation’s lung health.
Sarah talks about her learnings from leading the collaborative journey of the re-brand process. She also shares her personal experiences, being a first-time CEO, joining the organisation during lockdown and being a busy mum of 4 young children.
Recorded May 2022.
Ep 31. Suzanne Ehlers, CEO Malala Fund: Amplifying girls' voices!
“Believe in yourself. Believe that you do have the power to make the change…
(Malala) believes in an individual’s ability and power to make the change that they so desire…
she tells young women everywhere… believe in your story and believe in your own capacity to catalyse that
change and make that impact.”
The world knows the story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani education activist, who was shot by the Taliban when she was just 15 years old. Shot, for speaking out on behalf of girls and their right to an education.
Malala Fund is working towards a world where every girl can learn and lead.
Suzanne Ehlers, CEO of the Malala Fund tells us about the work the organisation does to break down barriers that hold girls back, creating change pathways and amplifying girls’ voices. We also talk about our responsibilities as leaders to bring about true equity, diversity and inclusion, and how we can look to re-distribute and re-orient power in our own organisations.
Suzanne also shares her personal leadership journey and why the cause of fighting for equal rights for women and girls is her “true North”.
10 years after Malala’s shooting, the Taliban have once again decreed that girls cannot go to school in Afghanistan. And so, the fight continues.
Recorded May 2022.
Ep 30. Charlotte Hill OBE, CEO The Felix Project: The Food Rescuers!
“A big piece of what we are trying to do is work with the partners to get the food to where it’s working hardest… food is (just one) part of breaking the cycle of food insecurity.”
Charlotte Hill is the new Chief Executive of The Felix Project, a charity dedicated to redistributing food and fighting food poverty in London.
The Felix Project believes in a vision of London where no-one goes hungry and good food is never wasted.
With an ambition to deliver 100 million meals a year to Londoners by 2024, The Felix Project collects surplus food from suppliers and delivers them to over 1,000 front line organisations, such as food banks, charities and schools. All with the purpose of reducing food waste and to help the most vulnerable in London, by providing access to fresh food and healthy meals.
Charlotte is a second time guest on this podcast and shares how her passions for engaging with young people and volunteers, sustainability and driving place-based change, have now all come together in the fight against food poverty. She shares a clear aspiration for stopping the cycle of food waste and food insecurity in London, enabling the city to be more sustainable and a genuine world leader in this space.
Recorded January 2022.
Throughly enjoying listening to the Charity CEO podcast. Love the engaging conversations, breadth of guests and hearing the fantastic leadership lessons shared by so many CEOs. This is one of the top 3 podcast I listen to every month.
Thank you Dhivya
Such inspiring content and covering a wide range of leadership challenges, as well as showcasing the fantastic work of the voluntary sector.
I’m really glad to have come across this podcast - I’ve found all the episodes I’ve listened to really interesting and inspiring, learning about the challenges our charity bosses face and hearing their insights and what they’ve learnt along the way.