Meet Emma Insley
I have first-hand experience of the thrills and terrors of charity leadership, having been CEO of two charities and turned both around from near insolvency to a sustained surplus.
My career started with the national disability charity Scope, where I was an Events Assistant and then Corporate Fundraiser. Fundraising provided a tremendous foundation for my career, but I felt a call to be closer to the front line of project delivery, so at the age of 27 I became CEO of The Log Cabin, an adventure playground for children with special needs and disabilities.
Next followed a rapid process of on-the-job learning about leadership, governance, organisational culture, project delivery, behavioural management (of children) and my first foray into monitoring and evaluation.
I then went on to become CEO of Get Connected, a helpline for young people (now called The Mix), where I grew an award-winning partnership with The Carphone Warehouse and doubled the charity’s turnover.
I became an independent Consultant in 2010 after I had my son. Over the last decade I have refined my specialism towards helping third sector organisations make a sustained impact by evaluating, developing and securing funding for services based on evidence of need and impact.
I am frustrated to see too many charities and social enterprises losing out on funding and opportunities to change lives because they can’t measure and demonstrate the difference they make in a compelling and engaging way. The stories and data about what you do, why, and the difference this makes are key to inspiring funders and achieving a sustained impact.
Although there is no typical day for me, most days start (when not in lockdown!) with a rush to get my kids to school. Then I begin a combination of client calls, research, data analysis and report writing. My favourite days are spent delivering workshops or presenting reports and helping clients to think strategically about how to increase their impact.
I have worked with a diverse range of clients, from household name charities, such as CLIC Sargent and MS Society, to smaller social enterprises. A project excites me when an organisation has a dynamic team who have big plans to change lives, and I know I can make a difference.
I am also trustee and Chair of a local charity for young people. When I am not working, I am attempting to cultivate our large garden and enjoy exploring the castles and beaches in East Sussex with my family.
I am very proud to be an Associate Consultant for Action Planning and enjoy leading on their evaluation projects, including the Fundraising Preference Service.