In this edition, we speak to Fiona Mulcahy, a member of the basis.point board, about her experience as a volunteer.
I’ve worked in the Irish Funds industry for over 25 years, the last 10 years as an INED. I am a solicitor and previously was a partner with Dillon Eustace. I completed the Institute of Directors Chartered Director Programme in 2012.
What is your role in the charity and what advice would you give to someone thinking about getting involved?
I am currently the chair of the basis.point Disbursements Committee but my three year term is soon to end. Since my appointment I’ve worked with the basis.point board members firstly in establishing the vision, mission and values of basis.point and in turn with the Disbursements Committee on the development of the Grant Strategy.
At the moment we support Archways and NCI/ELI, with a third grantee in the pipeline and hopefully another by the end of the year. My advice would be not to hesitate, get involved. It’s been a really fulfilling and interesting experience.
I really like basis.point’s focus on educational disadvantage in areas relevant to the Funds Industry. Also the sustainable approach of affordable yearly contributions from patrons, rather than over- focusing on events where there is a hard sell and then pressure on the attendees to bid at auctions etc. on the night. The events basis.point do host then give people an opportunity to come together but in a much more social environment. basis.point gives people who may typically work on parallel lines the opportunity to work together for a common objective.
What changes have you seen since you came on board basis.point?
I got involved early in the process so was lucky enough to be part of the team that helped lay the foundations for the basis.point we see now. The company has been incorporated, has registered charity status and all the governance structures have been put in place. After all that we are now in a ‘business as usual’ phase with commitments to our two grantees, Archways and NCI/ELI with more to be decided on in the future.
Where do you see basis.point in a years time?
Hopefully more grants made and expanding beyond our current geographic area. The decision was made to focus our initial efforts around the IFSC area as we were a new charity and it was the most manageable option at the time. We’re definitely hoping to broaden our work outside of Dublin. A lot of thought and effort goes into choosing our grantees, we liaise with experts in the area of child education and leading academics to choose sustainable projects which we know will make a difference in the community so hopefully this is recognised and in turn more patrons will be encouraged to sign up.
My advice would be not to hesitate, get involved. It’s been a really fulfilling and interesting experience”.