Finance Trustee

London

Mothers Union

Mothers’ Union is seeking an individual to provide financial oversight and expertise to the Worldwide Board of Trustees.

Closing date for applications

Who we are

Mothers’ Union is a worldwide, Christian, women-led movement, with 4 million members in 83 countries globally. Our members have been empowering communities to combat poverty, speak up for social justice and improve wellbeing of those around them for more than 140 years. Founded by the social activist Mary Sumner in the 19th century who championed change, particularly in matters relating to women and family life, this continues to be part of our DNA.

About Mothers’ Union

Mothers’ Union is a Christian movement with over 4 million members in 83 countries worldwide, who put their faith into action by working as volunteers in their communities, promoting healthy communities through healthy relationships, the empowerment of women and supporting families in need. Founded 143 years ago, it has grown as a federation of independent charities across the globe. The Central Charity, which supports directly the membership in Britain and Ireland, and co-ordinates the movement across the world, is based in London, with total income in 2020 of approximately £3.3m, generating a surplus of £347k, despite very significant challenges caused by the pandemic. 

Role Summary

Mothers’ Union is seeking an individual to provide financial oversight and expertise for the Worldwide Board of Trustees. The Board are inviting this individual to be a full Board member, but recognise that this would be a significant time commitment, so alternatively they would be asked to Chair the Audit and Risk Committee, and to attend Board meetings at specific times, agreed in advance

The role holder will have the opportunity to play a key guiding and scrutinising role during a period of unprecedented renewal and modernisation for an organisation of genuine international scope and importance.

This is a voluntary position but reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. The role entails no operational responsibilities.

The Charity is seeking a qualified accountant, preferably with experience of working within the legal framework governing Charities in England and Wales. The role would be ideally suited to an individual who already has familiarity with Mothers’ Union, whether as a member or friend

Current Situation

The movement is going through an exciting period of transformation, as it looks back to the principles upon which it was founded, to refresh ways of working, and set the future direction in the build up to the 150th Anniversary in 2026. As part of this, a number of key strategic projects are planned to start in 2022.

Current Governance

The Central Charity is governed by Royal Charter. At its heart, there is a Board of 12 Trustees who have all been elected by the worldwide membership. Following the pandemic, the Board meets 4 times a year by Zoom (for 2 hours over lunchtime, to accommodate time differences), with a one week residential near London each year. Detailed operations are overseen by a number of committees, made up of Board and non-board members of MU, complemented as needed by external individuals with appropriate expertise.

The Audit and Risk Committee is one such sub-committee and is responsible for oversight of all finance and risk related matters. Presently, the Chair is a Board member who will be standing down at the end of 2021, there is one other Board member, who also leads the IT Committee, and 2 externals, one with Finance and one with broad general management expertise.

Role scope

A copy of the terms of reference for the Audit and Risk Committee is attached.

The role-holder would be expected to provide expert input, support and challenge to all areas of work of the committee. In particular, to provide oversight of, and critical support from a financial perspective, for key strategic projects, including:

  • Implementation of a new accounting package, being introduced from January, 2022.
  • Evaluating options and timing for a new database and associated systems and processes, for which the primary evaluation will be through the IT Committee.
  • Re-evaluation of options for the renovation of the Headquarters at Mary Sumner House, following planning permission being received in 2021, towards end 2022.
  • Evaluation of a new e-commerce strategy – to be developed in 2022.

 

Person Specification

Essential

  • Qualified (or QBE) finance professional.
  • Significant experience of risk management.
  • Significant experience of project evaluation and funding.
  • Basic knowledge of Charity SORP and GDPR requirements.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, Teams and other common software.
  • Proven ability to communicate financial information clearly to non-finance professionals.

Desirable

  • Prior experience as a Charity Trustee.
  •  Practising Christian (must be empathetic, and comfortable to operate in a Christian environment).
  • Appreciation of a member-led membership organisation.
  • Experience of organisational renewal/change management and planning.
  • Ability to input into the monitoring and continuing professional development of the finance function.

Terms

  • Volunteer position, Finance Lead – Full Trustee Board member or independent chair of Audit and Risk, reporting in to the Board
  • The Finance Trustee may be a member of Mothers’ Union, but will not be able to continue to hold another office, whilst fulfilling this role.
  • This is an unpaid position, but expenses will be paid.
  • This role is working remotely, although occasional face to face meetings may be requested.

Time Commitment of the Role

The role is likely to involve around eight hours a quarter to include:

  • Attendance at the Audit and Risk Committee’s quarterly, 2-3-hour long meetings, by Zoom.
  • Agenda-driven attendance at the annual off-site Board meeting ( in person, or joining by Zoom).
  • Pre-meeting preparatory/review work, as required.

In addition to this minimum requirement, the successful candidate would be expected to be available to the Head of Finance as a sounding board between meetings.

There is also scope for attendance to be required at a small number of key project meetings, and/or meetings with key suppliers.

If the individual were willing to take on the time commitment of being appointed as a full member of the Trustee Board, this would involve in addition:

  • Attendance at 4 quarterly Board meetings, around lunchtime, by Zoom;    full attendance at the annual residential week long meeting, and participation in a small number of additional informal board gatherings.
  • Reading of all Board papers

Duration of the Role

3 years, renewable for a further 3 year period.

Key Dates

Deadline for applications: 14th January, 2022. Selection process to run during the first half of February 2022 at times to be mutually agreed. The process will include the opportunity for the preferred candidate to have conversations with continuing Committee members as well as staff.

First formal committee meeting for the successful candidate: Wednesday, 9th March 2022; First Board meeting thereafter: 29th-30th March 2022.

How to Apply

If you are interested in this position, please apply by sending your CV and a Supporting Statement via Trustees Unlimited.

The Supporting Statement should clearly outline how your skills match the main responsibilities of the role.

Supporting documents

  • Paper-A-Terms-of-Reference-Audit-and-Risk-Committee-1.pdf - Download
Closing date for applications

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