Do charities ever truly know what impact they have?

How does a human-centred support service adapt to the digital age? 

What underpins good leadership, in the charity sector?

In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to long-standing charity chief, community-builder and moderniser ANGELA MCCONVILLE.


  • Twitter: @angelamcconvill | @NCTcharity

Angela McConville on leadership, fallibility and why charities existKnown for:

  • CEO – National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
  • Former Trustee – London Transport Museum
  • Former CEO – Old Naval College, Greenwich
  • Former CEO – Westway Trust
  • Former CEO – Vital Regeneration
  • Former Director – The London Apprenticeship Company

The 5 Big Questions:

Measuring change How do you measure the impact of what you do?

Ready for anything - future proofingHow should people/businesses be preparing for the future?

Skills, talent & opportunityHow do we build the workforce we need for that future?

Embedded innovationHow do you use creativity to solve problems?

Bold connections, collaborationHow do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“I’ve tended to lead organisations that don’t pursue more traditional fundraising routes but actually trade in socially motivated businesses.”

“The search for impact is the Holy Grail for charity leaders. It ought to be at our fingertips but it’s an elusive thing.”

“The role of digital and digital services for parents is extremely motivating for us. The challenge of digital is both exciting and you have to have a curious skepticism about the limits of it. But parents have engaged with digital services in all sorts of ways throughout the pandemic and I think that’s demonstrated to us what some of the potential is.”

“I’m building a community at NCT which is about high levels of trust and autonomy. Lots of forming and re-forming of teams in response to initiatives or challenges, pop-up teams around specific opportunities. And that’s worked really well and the feedback that I get is we’ve moved away from traditional siloes towards point-to-point contact.”

Useful links

This episode was recorded in May 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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