The Association of Chairs is looking for new trustees

We are looking to refresh our board by appointing up to four new charity trustees. If you share our belief that supporting Chairs to excel can make a big difference to the impact and effectiveness of the organisations they lead, then take a look. You have the chance to join a highly motivated group of trustees who, working with our Chief Executive and her small team, have made a big impact in our five years of operation and punch well above our weight. But we need fresh experiences, expertise and perspectives to ensure we maintain our momentum.

We want, as a result, to build real diversity of thought and constructive challenge into our work as a board.  So, if you’ve looked at us, and feel you might not ‘fit’, do still please apply!  We want and will benefit from fresh, ‘outsider’ thinking and experience.

About AoC

Formed just five years ago, the Association is a unique and well-regarded membership charity, supporting Chairs and Vice Chairs of charities and non-profit organisations in England and Wales. We run events across the country ranging from panel discussions to technical briefings; we offer training and development, including a popular briefing for new Chairs, and a major Lottery-funded programme, Beacon, supporting Chairs of smaller charities; we publish and hold on our website practical guidance and resources on a range of governance and leadership topics from managing board dynamics to working with your CEO; and we liaise with government, the regulator and sector bodies to share the Chair’s perspective on policy issues and best practice.

Our membership is now over 650 and we have a database of over 5,000 people who engage with us. Chairs often tell us that chairing is a demanding role and can feel lonely. Joining AoC gives them the opportunity to learn, share experiences and connect with other Chairs dealing with similar issues - we get regular feedback that we have been able to help, reassure and guide them.

What we are looking for

You probably have had some form of trustee / board experience, and ideally have had experience of being a Chair, or working closely with Chairs and boards. You might bring board experience from the public, private or voluntary sectors.  We value all trustee experience equally, whether on the board of a big charity or a very small local one.

We are looking for up to four trustees, ideally with specific experience and expertise in one of these broad areas:

  • HR, employment and people management
  • IT and digital marketing and media (we appreciate that’s a wide spectrum)
  • business development, marketing and income generation
  • training and adult education, action learning, particularly online.

We are also looking for a wide range of individual experiences that can add to the board’s perspectives and thinking: we would love a greater geographic spread of trustees; and a wider range of leadership experiences in organisations of all types.

We are seeking diversity of your life experiences, both professional and personal; unusual career paths in any sector; and experience of serving on boards of charities that we don’t normally hear about.

Specific requirements

Overall, we are looking for the following experiences and approaches.

  • You know the charity sector, as a Chair, or as a trustee or staff member, a volunteer, or as a user of some of its services.
  • You are committed to the sector, and helping to make it the most effective it can be.
  • You are interested in achieving this through improving the governance and leadership in the sector, and believe that good leadership can make a big difference.
  • You want to help make Chairs be even more effective charity leaders.
  • Whatever age you are, you are still learning and keen to develop through new experiences.
  • You are collegiate, confident in your own opinions but able to blend into an effective team.
  • You are willing to be open-minded, debate deeply and constructively, not always win but be able to rally round a decision once taken.
  • You will bring and use your professional skills and life experiences, but be engaged and interested in all aspects of our work.
  • You have the flexibility to be able to attend our boards, but we will be as flexible as we can in what we ask of you beyond that.... We suspect you’ll be busy, but time commitment is about quality not quantity.

Your core duties

We meet as a board for three hours in London every other month

We don't currently have any sub-committees. The trustees provide additional support drawing on their individual areas of expertise.  This varies, but you should be able to commit a minimum of 1-2 days a month. In addition to your core governance roles, we would look to you to support the executive team in their work to deliver our programmes and services, as well as supporting our events.

Terms of office

If appointed, you would serve for a four-year term, with scope to renew for a further four years.

The role is unpaid. However, we pay reasonable expenses such as travel to board meetings (we don’t want distance to put you off), and/or if applicable, child care costs.

How to apply

Please send your CV and a covering note setting out why you are applying, what you feel you can bring to the Association’s board and what you might learn from us to help you in your personal development.

Please email it to our Vice Chair John Williams: john.williams@associationofchairs.org.uk

If you have any queries about this opportunity, you can email John at the above address.

The closing date is 10am, Monday 13 May 2019.

For more information

Please take a look around our website: www.associationofchairs.org.uk and follow us on twitter @AssocOfChairs.

For more information about best practice in trusteeship, there is the Charity Commission’s guidance, The Essential Trustee, and we recommend the Charity Governance Code.

You can also download our formal trustee role description (PDF).

AOC: 200319