Meet the Building Change Trust - Maeve Monaghan
Maeve Monaghan, a Director of the Building Change Trust, has been involved as an independent trustee for three years. In this interview she tells us about her dream for the Trust to leave a legacy of enabled organisations.
What is your role within the Building Change Trust?
I am an independent Trustee/Board member with a special interest in Social Innovation, as well as this, I chair the Marketing and Communications Sub-Group.
Why did you decide to get involved?
As someone who applies for funding regularly in my day job I saw this as an opportunity to be involved in the giving rather than receiving.
I have a keen interest in philanthropy and feel that the Trust has an opportunity to use a significant sum of money to make a real impact on how the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector shapes its future - I really wanted to be a part of that.
What would you like to see the Trust achieve during its ten years?
I really don’t see this as something that is broken and needs fixed. I am a passionate advocate of the VCSE sector and every day marvel at its ability to flexibly meet the needs of some of the most challenged communities in our country and beyond.
Ideally, I would like to see the Trust leave a legacy, not of funded projects but of enabled organisations.
We have an amazing opportunity to be creative and innovative about how we facilitate and enable the sector and I would like to think 10 years down the line we will see a more collaborative sector, engaging at the highest level in local decision making, able to confidently communicate the impact they make on the lives of vulnerable people.
My personal belief is that success will not just mean consolidation. A strong sector will still need diversity and will demand a range of organisations, charities and small volunteer led groups to deliver.
What area of the Trust’s work do you specialise in?
I have a passion for impact measurement and run a Community Interest Company (CIC) called Gauge so I am excited to see how the Trust’s recent work around Inspiring Impact rolls out. I have recently agreed to champion our work on Social Innovation as it’s an area of great interest and am particularly keen to see how we can partner with the digital, technology and design sectors to support organisations to provide innovative solutions to real time problems.
What was your career background before becoming a Director with the Trust?
I have worked for NOW since 2001 – taking on the role of CEO in 2008. Having recently expanded our services across Northern Ireland, NOW provides training, employment and volunteering opportunities to people with all levels of learning abilities.
We also operate two social enterprises: Loaf Catering, which consists of three cafes and a corporate catering business, and Gauge, a CIC helping organisations to understand, measure and communicate their social impact.
On top of this, I am a Board member of Co3 and am Chair of Give Inc (Ireland’s first Giving Circle).
How did you become a Director?
The role was advertised in the national papers but I saw it on NICVA’s online service, Community NI, I applied through the open ad and was interviewed and appointed by the Director of Operations, Nigel McKinney, and the Chairman, Bill Osborne.
How do you think your skills can benefit the organisation?
When I applied I was keen to help the Trust improve their marketing and communications. I had no doubt that there was excellent work going on but I knew that many people just weren’t aware of this.
I had experience of developing robust marketing and communications plans with my own organisation and felt that this, along with my experience of social media tools, could help the Trust raise its profile and communicate more effectively with its target audiences.
My experience in social enterprise, social impact and Social Innovation are also proving useful as these are three of the key areas of development for the Trust over the next 3-4 years.
Do you think that the Trust is fulfilling its objectives?
By the very nature of our inception, the Trust’s objectives were complex and difficult to understand so it was never going to be easy to know if we were making an impact.
However, as Director’s we have worked hard to consult with the sector and put together a more robust strategy with clearer and more measurable objectives. It is still early days but I feel that the good foundations have been laid.
There is absolutely no doubt that we have a challenge ahead but we are up for it and with this new programme of work in place, I believe we are on our way to fulfilling our objectives.