As part of Trustees Week 2023, read about how Donald’s exceptional experience and skills from his successful career in banking has helped make a difference in the lives of children and families.
Trustees Week 2023 is a chance to celebrate the individual talents, viewpoints and experiences each trustee brings to their board and their organisation. Over one million trustees across the UK devote their time and expertise to steer organisations toward a brighter future. One of these amazing people is an excellent trustee whose path through the world of trusteeship shows dedication, meaning, and a powerful effect.
Donald Macdonald is a member of the CHAS Board of Trustees and Chair of the Corporate Governance and Risk Committee. Donald was a solicitor who had a successful career in banking with RBS before dedicating himself to serving as a trustee. He was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Scottish Legal Awards, marking both his retirement and the end of his legal career.
In the world of banking, Donald was passionate about people, corporate law and transactions. During his 33 years at RBS, he took on different roles, from being a trainee solicitor though to leading legal teams and helping guide the company through major events like the NatWest takeover. Even though he initially found excitement in high-stakes deals, his greatest joy came from nurturing and seeing the people around him grow. He championed diversity and fairness within the workplace.
Throughout his career Donald has enjoyed participating in volunteering both through the Bank and The Law Society, including helping legal education programmes in schools, assisting with food banks, tree planting and gardening at respite centres and schools. Donald's connection with CHAS started after an introduction to and meeting with the previous CHAS CEO Maria McGill, igniting a connection that has spanned five impactful years.
Donald's role as a trustee involves many responsibilities. He stresses the importance of being actively involved, thinking strategically, and working hard to understand the organisation's situation and the needs of the families it aims to support. Board meetings, governance reviews, and due diligence need a lot of preparation, dedication, and a good balance between offering challenges and support.
His work as a trustee doesn’t just stay in the boardroom. It has expanded his connections, allowing him to use his skills to make a difference in the lives of children and families, bringing him personal satisfaction. He recognises the privilege he's had and welcomes the chance to give back, supporting changes and encouraging leadership within the organisation.
Donald says, "I am incredibly fortunate to be able to assist the organisation in its big goal to give excellent care and support to every family in Scotland who needs help. The care, respect, empathy, and sense of joy that the staff and volunteers bring to the toughest situations is really inspiring."
Trustees Week celebrates people like Donald who, through their commitment and skills, bring about positive changes that improve organisations and communities. Donald's story shows the significant impact and personal satisfaction that comes from being a trustee, inspiring others to begin their own transformative journeys.