Oxfordshire Community Foundation

OCF is seeking a Chair with the enthusiasm and experience to enable the foundation to succeed in reaching the next stage of its development.

Closing date for applications

Who we are

Connecting communities for a better Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) works to improve lives by addressing social and economic disadvantage. We tackle the most pressing social problems locally:

- homelessness
- educational inequality
- loneliness and isolation.

Despite its wealth and success, our beautiful county hides a number of simply shocking and upsetting social problems here on our doorsteps. As part of our work, we uncover these issues and understand what causes them. We then bring together charities, philanthropists, businesses and the public sector to research, design and fund long-term solutions.

Our work is all about collaboration and consensus-building. We make the best ideas happen – solutions to the problems, not sticking plasters. This leads to sustained and meaningful improvements to people’s lives.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) is an independent charity that has been working to improve lives by addressing social and economic disadvantage and exclusion in Oxfordshire since 1995. We do this by bringing together people with the passion, resources and expertise to tackle the most pressing social problems facing our county.

We are a leading member of the 46-strong UK Community Foundations (UKCF) movement, and are recognised for our management quality and innovation. 

Our Vision: Effective philanthropy, thriving communitiesOur Purpose: Addressing disadvantage and exclusion Our Mission:A. Provide grants and other support to communities B. Increase effective philanthropic giving to help tackle local needs C. Have a deep knowledge of local needs and what works coupled with unrivalled networks with the organisations that deliver impact D. Help to build and sustain cross-sectoral partnerships that have a long-term impact on priority local issues 

In our first 25 years we have achieved a great deal, including:

  • Stewarding over £14.5 million in philanthropic gifts from a committed group of generous individuals, families, businesses and trusts
  • Granting over £8.5 million in vital funding to some 1,400 charities and community groups that are improving peoples’ lives in Oxfordshire and beyond
  • Developing our philanthropic services to support a growing number of Donor-Advised Funds
  • Investing nearly £6 million in our endowment fund which helps to underpin long-term stability to support our charitable activities.

Through these activities we have built an unrivalled network of partnerships across the public, business and charity sectors that has now started to work more collaboratively to address complex social problems. We are recognised as being a thought leader in the UKCF movement, having achieved an “exemplar” rating in an official Quality Accreditation for our processes, innovation, marketing, analysis and business planning.

Most recently, thanks to our network of donors and supporters, we were able to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, setting up the Community Resilience Fund, which has so far distributed over £1m in grant funding to support Oxfordshire’s charities and bring relief to those most in need.

Our strategy as we look forward to the next 25 years is to truly unlock the power of our community. As statutory spending continues to decrease, we believe that the whole community – charities, philanthropists, businesses and the general public as well as the public sector – must step up and take responsibility for improving the lives of our communities, especially those who are most vulnerable. We plan to significantly raise our profile, increasing our fundraising activities so that we can broaden the scope of our grant funding and other programmes to make a real impact on the issues most affecting Oxfordshire – homelessness, educational disadvantage, loneliness and isolation, digital exclusion and ethnic minority communities.

OCF is seeking a Chair with the enthusiasm and experience to enable the foundation to succeed in reaching the next stage of its development. 

The Chair’s priorities

  • Act as an ambassador for the foundation, raising its profile in the wider community and developing new philanthropic opportunities
  • Provide support to the OCF executive team in developing its annual income in order to deliver its ambitious strategic objectives
  • Support the Chief Executive in developing and delivering the mission and vision
  • Provide inclusive leadership to the Board, ensuring that all trustees are engaged and motivated
  • Develop the knowledge and capabilities of the Board, ensuring an appropriate mix of professional skills and life experience, as well as a Board that is representative of the Oxfordshire community

Key responsibilities

  • Work with the Board to oversee the continued development of OCF’s strategies and priorities
  • Introduce potential donors and supporters to OCF
  • Together with the CEO, develop and maintain good relationships and communication with donors and supporters
  • Ensure the effective operation of the Board of Trustees
  • Establish a strong, effective and constructive working relationship with the CEO
  • Responsible for the Board operating within its charitable objectives and communicating its strategic direction
  • Ensure the Board is fulfilling its duties, maintaining the sound financial health of the foundation, with appropriate monitoring systems in place
  • Work within the guidelines and standards for membership of OCF’s umbrella body, UK Community Foundations, attending UKCF Chair meetings and the two-yearly UKCF conference as necessary
  • Represent OCF at external functions, meetings and events
  • Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
  • Conduct an annual appraisal of the CEO in consultation with other trustees

Person description

  • Personal commitment to making a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable
  • Ability to inspire confidence and command respect among Oxfordshire’s diverse local communities and amongst key stakeholders
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and relationship-building ability
  • Understanding of the process of philanthropy
  • Strong networking ability and links to Oxfordshire
  • Experience of operating at a strategic level and of chairing meetings and events in a participatory manner
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to lead in situations of ambiguity
  • A good listener who is able to motivate staff and volunteers

Claiming expenses

The role of a Chair is unpaid. However, expenses can be reimbursed in line with OCF’s Trustee Expenses Policy. 

To apply for this role, please submit your CV and a covering letter no longer than one page of A4 outlining your interest in OCF to [email protected]. The deadline for applications is 4th May 2021.

Closing date for applications

Our commitment to diversity & inclusion

Trustees Unlimited believes that diverse boards strengthen society. We will strive to remove the barriers that prevent people from applying to become trustees and help our clients to recruit and support people with a wide range of skills and lived experience.

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