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Civic Power Fund Chair Role Desription
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We are looking for a new chair for the Civic Power Fund, the pooled fund for community organising

At the Civic Power Fund we start with a core belief: too many people cannot achieve their full potential because of who they are or where they are from. Community organising changes this by unleashing the power of people to improve their lives and achieve lasting change.

We are looking for a chair who shares this belief and understands three things about our approach:


We have a number of accountabilities – to UK laws and regulations (as a registered charity with a seven figure budget), to the 21 visionary donors who have backed us as the UK’s only pooled fund for community organising and, above all, to the 40 grassroots organising partners we support and the communities they serve.


We are serious about doing funding differently and in line with our values. If you are too, we would love to talk.




Chair of Trustees


Approximately 12-18 days a year, including Board Meetings; 1-2-1 support for the Executive Director; and taking part in some meetings and events.

Terms are for three years, with the potential for expansion by a further three years..


This role is voluntary, but reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.


Most Board Meetings take place online, but we ask Trustees to attend two face-to-face strategy meetings a year.


Please apply by midnight 26th May 2024.

Interviews will take place online on 17th June 2024 - please hold this date if you apply.

The first Board Meeting will be 16th July.

About us


You can read more about our strategy and where and how we work here. As you can see, providing a degree of infrastructure support is part of our strategy but we aim to do only that which organisers tell us is useful to them. You can read and listen to some of our thinking here but we’d rather you looked at the work done by the partners we are privileged to serve.

 Image Credit: Migrants in Culture, March 2023

About you


We have a strong team and have grown both our capability and reputation quickly. We don’t need a new chair to do either a transformation or crisis management job. Instead we are looking for a chair who can:


We have five criteria for our chair. We would love to speak to you if you have:


  1. A strong understanding of organising as a craft, gained working as (or alongside) an organiser or through working in a social purpose organisation that has organising as part of its theory of change. Our chair will need to be highly credible with the groups we fund and the wider organising ecosystem of which they are part.
  2. A track record of raising or dispersing funds but are not currently working as a funder. We do not have funders on our board to ensure we remain primarily accountable to organisers.
  3. Experience of effective charity governance and the obligations of trustees and the challenges these present.
  4. A deep affinity with our values and commitment to shifting power to groups traditionally excluded from it.
  5.  The time and energy to dedicate to this responsibility.


Our chair will be eligible for appointment for an initial term of three years with the potential for an extension for a further three years, with the approval of the board.

We expect the chair will spend, on average, one to two days a month on Civic Power Fund duties. This is a volunteer role and is unremunerated, though reasonable expenses will be compensated.


How to apply


If you are interested in this role, please email a cover letter of no more than two pages and a CV to by midnight on 26th May 2024.

We are particularly keen to hear from people who experience marginalisation and minoritisation or who are often excluded from decision-making roles. For example, people of colour; people from working class backgrounds; people from LGBTQ and migrant communities; care experienced young people; and disabled people. 

In order for us to make fair and equitable decisions, please do share anything you would like us to know about before we assess any applications. For example: English is an additional language or that you have a neurodiversity.

Civic Power Fund Board of Trustees’ Terms of Reference

The members of the Board of the Civic Power Fund (CPF) are both the Trustees of CPF and (in company law) its Directors. The Board has overall responsibility for stewarding CPF and ensuring its activities are in the public benefit. To do so, the Board is responsible for working in partnership with the Executive Director (ED) and other members of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) to deliver the following functions. Trustees share collective responsibility for all decisions made and actions taken with their authority.

Board Functions

Strategic Direction and Performance

1.     To establish and uphold the Vision, Mission and Values of CPF in line with its charitable objects. In doing so, to preserve the reputation of CPF.

2.     To set strategic direction, approve strategic plans, agree key areas of priority and ensure CPF has the capacity to deliver.

3.     To evaluate performance against agreed expectations. This includes ensuring that the necessary systems and targets exist to assess CPF’s performance and progress towards its objectives. This will include: impact; operational effectiveness; management performance and reliability; and compliance with laws and regulations.

4.     To appoint, support, provide direction to and manage the performance of the ED. To approve the remuneration of the ED and other SLT members. To approve CPF’s annual pay reward. To provide independent insight and constructive challenge to the ED and SLT.

5.     To listen to the views of a wide range of partners and ensure CPF is accountable to them. This includes giving account of both the Board and CPF’s actions to grantee partners, funders, regulatory bodies, staff and volunteers as required by both good practice and the law.

Financial and Grantmaking Oversight

6.     To manage CPF’s resources responsibly, including by:

a.     Ensuring the financial viability of CPF

b.     Supporting the creation of and approving financial strategies and income and expenditure budgets

c.     Being responsible for CPFs income generation, monitoring and approving CPF’s approach to and pipeline for fundraising

d.     Ensuring the proper allocation of funds

7.     To approve CPF’s grant awards to its grantee partners. In line with trust-based philanthropy practices and because we recognise the critical importance of trust and partnership between staff and grantees, and the time that grantees will have invested in developing the relationship by this point, the Board will be expected to authorise grants unless a clear case is made that an organisation does not fall within the CPF strategy or otherwise presents a serious strategic, reputational, or operational risk.

8.     To agree financial procedures and authorities, including the Reserves Policy.


9.     To ensure CPF takes reasonable steps to protect from harm people who come into contact with the organisation, including by adopting appropriate policies and practices in connection with safeguarding.

Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance

10.  To approve key polices that carry significant financial, legal or reputational risk. These are defined as ‘core policies’.  

11.  To ensure a risk framework is in place that balances the needs and constraints of CPF’s grantee partners; CPF’s funders; and the regulatory and compliance requirements it operates within. To facilitate and document regular discussions and decision-making about CPF’s risk appetite. Ensure decision-making against this framework is appropriate and documented.

12.  To always act in CPF’s best interests, including by properly dealing with any conflicts of interest.

13.  To ensure that CPF functions within the legal, charitable and financial requirements of a charity and meets regulatory requirements.

14.  To approve the Annual Report and Accounts and the appointment of external auditors (as required).

Board Management and Performance

15.  To appoint the Board Chair, Deputy Chair, Treasurer, and any other Officers and Committee Chairs.

16.  To establish Board Committees as required to ensure the full delivery of this Terms of Reference.

17.  To regularly review the performance of the Board and to approve the Board Code of Conduct.

18.  To act in accordance with the Nolan Committee’s Seven Principles of Public Life (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership).

19.  In addition, as company directors, Trustees have a duty to act in the way they consider would be most likely to promote CPF’s efforts to achieve its charitable objects. In carrying out this duty, the Trustees should consider:

a.     The likely long-term consequences of any decision

b.     The interests of CPF staff

c.     The interests of CPF’s grantee partners

d.     The interests of CPF’s funders

e.     The impact of CPF on the community and the environment

Board Principles

1.     The Board is to ensure that CPF is well managed, rather than to manage it themselves. Day to day implementation will be delegated to the ED and the SLT.

2.     The Board is a partner with the ED and the SLT in ensuring the well-running of CPF. Their special role is their independence.

3.     The ED of CPF is accountable to the Board for the well-running of CPF and achieving its Mission, Vision and Values and state objectives. The Board must review their performance and take appropriate action when not satisfied by it. This function is delegated to the chair, with input and consultation from other Trustees.

4.    The Board is to acknowledge the inherent power imbalance within the existing UK charity regulation and compliance landscape. They are to operate in full compliance with the relevant laws and regulations, but to take managed risks that ensure these laws and regulations do prevent us fulfilling our charitable mission to build the power and capacity of the communities we serve. As tensions between our mission and our regulatory environment arise they will be documented and used to inform thought leadership and advocacy activities undertaken in line with our mission and mandate.

5.     As well as attending regular Board meetings, Trustees will also contribute to CPF by making available their specialist skills and experience.

Membership of the Board and Meetings


1.     The Board may have 5-9 members.

2.     Terms will be for three years, renewable twice. This means Board members can serve for a maximum of 9 years.

3.     Quorum will be 3 Trustees when CPF has 5 Board members and 5 Trustees when CPF has 7-9 Trustees.


4.     Most decisions will be taken by consensus. When this cannot be achieved, decisions will be taken by a majority of members in attendance. The Chair has an additional casting vote in case of a tied vote.

5.     The Board can hold meetings in person, by telephone, or online. It can also make decisions by email resolution.

6.     Board members accept collective responsibilities for all Board decisions, regardless of whether they attended a meeting or not. The ED and SLT will ensure that Board papers are circulated in advance (one week or more) so Board members have adequate time to provide feedback.

7.     Meetings will normally be attended by the CEO and other members of the SLT. The Chair can decide that any part of any meeting should be open only to Trustees. With prior approval, other staff members can attend.  

8.     The Board will have at least four meetings each year, along with two additional strategy meetings. There will also be other ad hoc meetings as required.

9.     Standing Items include:

a.     Approval of minutes

b.     Declaration of conflict of interest

c.     Financial update, including performance against strategy and fundraising

d.     Grantmaking update


10.  The ED is responsible for communicating the discussion and the outcome of Board meetings to staff and other stakeholders as appropriate.