Chief Executive's blog: January

Chief Executive Rosemary Macdonald sets her goals for 2019.

LET me begin by wishing everyone a very happy and successful 2019. This is always a time where I look forward to the year ahead and set goals, both personal and professional, for the coming months.

I am a big goal-setter and I think it is important to think about what you want to get out of the year and be specific about what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. I don’t like goals that leave room for compromise. I’ve always found that if you write down your goals you will achieve them.

If you are clear about what you want to do, particularly in your career, you can work out how you are going to get there. I’ve always felt it is important to challenge yourself and adding to your skills rather just playing to your strengths makes you a stronger, more resilient and more adaptable person.


AS for my own goals for 2019, my first challenge to is to find a new chairman of trustees and also to harness the energy and enthusiasm of our new group of trustees as they take up their role. It is going to be an exciting year having so many new people on board and I’m looking forward to seeing which direction they take us.

This year will see the publication of Wiltshire Uncovered 2. It is an important update to the report we first published in 2014 and will provide a true picture of the county’s need. I am excited because this will be a real asset not just to the community foundation but groups all over the county who will be able to use it as a basis for their own funding bids.

Over the next 12 months the community foundation will be working with quite a few groups within the charity sector. It is always invigorating to tap into new ideas and ways of working and I’m looking forward to it.

My personal goals include getting back to normal after the excesses of Christmas, making more time for family and getting out into my garden more regularly. There is also the graduation for my master’s to look forward to later this month, the ceremony for my British Empire Medal at Salisbury Cathedral in March and a Buckingham Palace garden party in May.


WITHOUT doubt the aspect of 2019 overshadowing everything for everyone is Brexit. Whatever the outcome there is bound to be an impact. The disappointment for me is that I want to be proud of our political leaders, but they have not covered themselves in glory. The way they have spoken to and dealt with each other has been awful .

The charity sector, like most sectors, is holding its breath and waiting to see how Brexit will affect giving. People tend to think of the larger donations from big corporations being lost as a possible consequence, but I worry about the smaller donations from ordinary people.

It is those £5 and £10 Just Giving donations that all add up to making a huge difference and if they start to dry up then good causes will suffer. If we see a reduction in the amount raised by Comic Relief and other big telethons, then we will know we are in trouble.

TWO things have pleased me most this past month. One has been spending time with James, my two-and-a-half-year-old grandson who lives in America. Hearing him speak in whole sentences in that US accent has been a delight, even if his unscheduled unwrapping of everyone’s Christmas presents presented us with a logistical nightmare when we had no idea of who had bought what for whom.

The other pleasure has been my £4.99 stargazing phone app which has brought the early morning sky to life for me. Now my first light dog walks take twice as long as I gaze up at the heavens in wonder. What were once just a bunch of dots has now been revealed as a thing of beauty. As I was saying earlier about planning ahead, aiming for the stars is the key to success.