Susan Lane

Finance Director

When I qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young in Birmingham, I was fresh out of university and unsure of how my career in finance would evolve. Looking back, it’s not entirely surprising that nearly 30 years of experience has led me to Gifted - and the unique appeal of Third Sector consulting.

Leaving E&Y in my mid-twenties, I was excited about joining the West Midlands Development Agency as Finance Director. I’m a Midlands girl, so guiding an influential not-for-profit agency in securing economic investment for the region, was a great career move for me. Drafting bids for DTI funding and managing major grant applications to European fund holders, also paved the way for my next job with the PriceWaterhouseCoopers grant team.

Later, my work with companies like ITNet, HP Bulmers and DHL encouraged me to reflect on the value of corporate philanthropy and the opportunities this presented. It’s interesting how many companies embark on charitable giving programmes that are well meaning, but poorly advised. This is one branch of Gifted’s work that I’m particularly keen to see develop.

At Gifted, alongside taking care of the finances, I'm enjoying the opportunity to put my experience in grant research and bid writing to good use. I’ve learned a lot about investment over the years and I’m acutely aware of how changes in tax relief or National Lottery Heritage Funding, for example, can affect the fortunes of our UK charities. As Gifted’s international business grows, it’s also been satisfying to develop tax-effective giving solutions for our overseas clients.

I feel privileged to be part of the leadership team here at Gifted, because I know just how much financial health and fundraising success matters to them, too.