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Meet Paul Findlay: Oaks Consultancy's new Director of Charities

"No two threads in the complex fabric of social development are spun in the same way. Each person's route to positive change takes its own unique path - influenced by their life experiences, professional endeavours, and unrelenting dedication to helping others.”

Paul Findlay, Director of Charities

In July 2023, we were delighted to welcome Paul to Oaks as our new Director of Charities. His professional background speaks for itself - with a career that spans a huge range of sectors including financial services, the military, sport and charities. Throughout his extensive career, he has remained consistent in his purpose: making a positive impact to the communities that surround him.

Paul began his working life in the British Army. His time in the military equipped him with skills and values he has relied on throughout his career - teaching him discipline, camaraderie, and the importance of community and inclusivity.

Following his time in the army, Paul entered the financial services sector. There, he discovered that he was motivated by work that made a positive impact on society. During his time at Barclays, he worked on a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project that helped injured veterans transition back into the workforce. This was a cause that was particularly close to his heart, after being medically discharged from the military due to injuries he received during an Operational Tour in Afghanistan. The experience gave him tremendous insight into the world of charities: opening a window into the inspiring work of countless organisations across the world. From this point on, he was committed to supporting these organisations to grow their reach and impact.

Paul is an enthusiastic fundraiser outside of work - raising over £750,000 for a variety of causes he holds dear. He also oversaw community activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping to support hundreds of people in his neighbourhood by collecting food donations and distributing these to three local foodbanks. In October 2020, Paul received an MBE in recognition of his incredible contributions to the charitable sector.

As well as his professional responsibilities, Paul has held several advisory and voluntary positions, including roles at the Cabinet Office and NHS England. His experience serving on the board of national charities has equipped him with a comprehensive knowledge of the charitable landscape and the specific issues and opportunities affecting the sector.

Paul brings this wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his role at Oaks: keen to raise our profile and strengthen our offer within the charity sector. His ethical and professional principles are aligned with our organisational purpose and core values, making him the perfect fit for the role. He is fully aware, however, that working alongside organisations in the charity sector can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Policy shifts, societal crises, and major world events like Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis mean that charity leaders must continue to be resilient and agile in their approach. Paul’s background has given him a deep understanding of the unique challenges that face charities in today’s ever-changing world, and he is keen to use his skills and experiences to help our clients succeed.

When questioned on what he is most looking forward to about the role, Paul believes it is the chance to work with such an incredible variety of causes and initiatives:

“Each charity – whether directly or indirectly - supports a huge range of groups, and there are so many incredible causes represented among our clients at Oaks. I am committed to helping them bring about change in their communities – whatever that looks like to them.”

Paul approaches his work with charities from a people-first perspective, understanding that every organisation is different and has its own challenges, needs, and aspirations. He believes that while time and resources are scarce, it is more important than ever for charities to consider partnering with an organisation like Oaks: with a deep understanding of their social purpose and the skills and capacity to help them achieve it.

“Oaks offers a unique perspective for charities. It is led by a team intent on achieving positive social outcomes, many of whom also hold voluntary positions at charitable causes close to their hearts. The organisation is continually enriched by its collaborative, cross-sector approach – which brings new expertise and creative ways of thinking to every project they work on. I look forward to bringing my own views and experiences to our work together and am excited to see what the future holds.”

Oaks is the strategic planning and income generation consultancy for organisations with a social purpose. Get in touch to find out more about our services.

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