Trustee with Fundraising experience
Overview of the role
- Maintain an overview of READ International’s affairs, and contribute to the good governance of the charity.
- Work with the Chair, Treasurer, Board and Director to oversee and develop the organisation’s financial strategy with particular emphasis on income from fundraising.
- To represent the organisation at external events to raise our profile.
- Supporting Read with energy and expertise as we continue on our journey.
READ International began life in 2003/4 as a small project based at Nottingham University, founded by a group of socially entrepreneurial students following a ‘gap year’ teaching in Tanzania. Now there are over 1,000 student volunteers involved, operating from a network of over 45 university sites across the UK.
We collect any books from anyone, anywhere throughout the UK, but we focus our efforts on collecting textbooks and children’s literature from secondary schools. We sort the books and send the most relevant, up-todate, and high quality books to schools in Tanzania and Uganda. Any books collected which are not relevant or appropriate to send are sold online or recycled to generate funding. Tanzania and Uganda follow a secondary school syllabus almost identical to the UK, but teachers often lack the resources needed to teach. In the UK newer editions of books inevitably replace the old (very often only a couple of years old though), which makes for good quality, but technically ‘out of date’ textbooks filling up school store rooms or ending up in landfill. We send them to where they are really needed, improving access to education to thousands of children in East Africa.
READ has grown rapidly since we launched on the national stage in House of Commons in 2007. Since our first shipment of books in 2005, we have shipped a total of 850,000 books to East Africa and are supporting the renovation of dozens of school libraries so that access to books is also improved. We have also sent several tonnes of sports kits, science equipment, and school stationery. In Tanzania and Uganda we work closely with the Ministry of Education to ensure that our books go to where they are most needed. Our work in UK schools has also developed. We deliver a workshop programme to secondary schools throughout the UK to raise awareness of global citizenship, recycling and student volunteering to UK school children.
We have successfully established some exciting partnerships to keep our costs low and efficiency high: Big Yellow Self Storage provide free storage for all of the books we collect at any of their sites across the UK; British Airways provide us with free or heavily discounted flights for all of our volunteers; Latham and Watkins, a city law firm, provide pro bono legal support; KPMG provide us with free office space in Dar es Salaam and Kampala; DHL provide free and discounted logistics support; Staples work with us to collect disused stationery from thousands of UK schools and students at all of their UK stores; Waterstones collect books for us in their stores across the West Midlands; and the British Library have developed an electronic book sorting database for us to more accurately sort through all the books we collect.
Since registering as a charity we have had our work recognised in a number of ways. READ International was winner of 'Best New Charity' in the Charity Times Awards 2007, and ‘Best International Aid and Development Charity’ in the Charity Awards 2010 and Best Corporate Partnership in the Institute of Fundraising Awards 2010. We were shortlisted for Guardian Charity of the Year 2009 and a Charity Times Award 2009. Our founder and director Rob Wilson has been winner of Unltd awards, Social Enterprise Day Award 2006, and Enterprising Young Brit Award in 2010. It never costs READ more than 50 pence to move one book from a UK classroom into the hands of a Tanzanian/Ugandan school child or teacher. We are an innovative model with income streams from book sales and student fundraising drives. It never costs READ more than 50 pence to move one book from a UK classroom into the hands of a Tanzanian school child or teacher.
We see a world where young global citizens achieve development through the power of education.
READ International delivers collaborative, student-led initiatives to improve access to education across the world and increase youth participation in the global community.
Each of our student led projects has its own mission and objectives but all are bound by our core values:
READ Takes Action… We take a ‘never say never’ attitude to global issues and embrace all things innovative, exciting and resourceful. We have a bias for action and we never shy away from a challenge.
READ is Cross Cultural… We open young people’s minds and encourage them to become global citizens. We believe that an informed global community will find the solutions to world issues.
READ is Youth Led… We rely on the spirit of young people, their passion for volunteering and their interest in the global community. We never take this for granted, we listen to their voice and let them take the lead.
READ is Collaborative… We firmly believe that there is no limit to the things we can achieve when we all work together. We bring together a variety of individuals, groups, communities, and cultures to achieve our mission.
READ is Win-Win… There is a mutuality to everything we do; from our student volunteers; our beneficiaries in East Africa and right through to our corporate partners. Everybody benefits from READ’s great work.
Essential Facts and Figures about READ:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->READ employs 4 full time and 1 part time paid staff in the UK and 1 staff member based in East Africa.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Our turnover last year (oct08-sep09) was £280,000
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Our budgeted turnover this year is £350,000
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We have shipped 850,000 books to date. Forecast growth of the model is below.
Fundraising Trustee General Responsibilities
- To ensure that READ International complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
- To ensure that READ International pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
- To ensure READ International applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects.
- To contribute actively to the board of trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to READ International, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
- To safeguard the good name and values of READ International.
- To ensure the financial stability of READ International.
- To protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity's funds.
- To monitor the performance of the staff team, and in particular its Director
In addition to the above statutory duties, you should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve:
- Scrutinising board papers
- Leading discussions
- Focusing on key issues
- Providing guidance on new initiatives
- Other issues in which the trustee has special expertise
Additional Duties Specific to this Role (Working with the Director and Treasurer):
- Membership of the Finance & Fundraising Sub-group and attendance at meetings (4 per year, usually two weeks prior to a board meeting).
- Work with the Director to develop a future funding strategy.
- To provide guidance/support on relevant funding applications to the Fundraising Manager.
- Being assured that the financial resources of READ International meet its present and future needs.
We currently hold trustees meetings four times a year and they last no longer than 2 hours. They are currently scheduled for Monday evenings starting at 6.15pm.
The schedule of Board meetings for next couple of years is as follows, in Camberwell, London:
18th July 2011
17th October 2011
16th January 2012
16th April 2012
16th July 2012
15th October 2012
As a guide, a trustee role will usually require someone who can allocate time equivalent to roughly one day per month, the majority of which can be done from any location of your choice, working flexibly with the Treasurer and others. During your initial induction period, you may find spending additional time with other trustees, the Director and the Fundraising Manager useful in supporting the production of the future fundraising strategy.
Term of Office
The role is set for a period of three years. At which point, should you wish to continue to be involved as a trustee with READ International, you can be re-elected for a further three year term. We would appreciate that at least three month’s notice be given if you choose to step down from the Board at any time.
Our ideal candidate should possess:
- At least five years working knowledge of the grants/trusts, statutory and corporate fundraising sectors
- Track record of successful bids in at least one of the above sectors
- Experience of developing a fundraising strategy
- Knowledge of fundraising regulations, particularly in relation to community fundraising
- Experience of fundraising for an international development organisation (desirable)
- Proven networking skills
- A commitment to the organisation, and to the student volunteering, international development and education sectors.
- A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
- Strategic vision
- Good, independent judgment
- Ability to think creatively
- Willingness to speak their mind
- Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
- Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
- Nolan's seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
How to apply
Please send your CV and a short covering letter expressing your reasons for applying and suitability for the position to our Director, Hannah Mitchell:
Hannah.Mitchell@readinternational.org.uk or by post to:
39-41 Coldharbour Lane
London SE5 9NR
If you would like to find out more about the role or the organisation before applying, please contact us to arrange an informal discussion with either Mark Haggan, Chair, or Hannah Mitchell, Director. Please email Hannah in the first instance to arrange this (address above).
Advice and support
- Funding and finance
- Coping with cuts
- Addressing needs
- Managing change
- Planning for the future
- Involving people
- Public Service Delivery
- Governance and leadership
- Compact Advocacy programme
- Campaigning and influencing policy
- Collaborative working
- ICT (information and communication technology)
- Climate change
- People, HR and employment