£45,000 - £50,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description


Over 250 million children under 5 globally do not get the early childhood care and education (“ECCE”) they need, leading to poor health, poor education, lost life opportunities and poverty.

Lively Minds is an award-winning NGO tackling this crisis in rural Ghana & Uganda. We believe that one of the main barriers to ECCE is that parents in remote resource-poor villages lack the information, education and aspiration to provide basic and affordable opportunities for their children. We have developed an innovative behavior-change programme that empowers marginalized, poorly educated Mothers to run educational Play Schemes for pre-schoolers and to provide better home-based care, using cheap local resources.  Not only does this result in positive outcomes for child development, but also has positive impacts for the Mothers too.

These are exciting times for Lively Minds. In Ghana we have recently received results from a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) conducted by independent evaluators Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) which demonstrate the programme has a positive impact on a wide range of child and mother outcomes. We have signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education, and are currently working with National Government and other stakeholders in developing our 2020-2025 plans to scale the programme across 60 rural districts in the northern regions of the country, reaching approximately 4000 kindergartens and over 1m children.  In Uganda is in a test and position for scale stage with the long-term aim of national roll-out.

Organisational Structure and Roles

Lively Minds is a partnership between 3 organisations:  Lively Minds UK, Lively Minds Ghana & Lively Minds Uganda.  Lively Minds Ghana and Uganda implement the activities in the field. They are supported by our global senior management team (some of whom are based in the UK and others are mobile) - which currently is made up of the CEO, COO, Ugandan & Ghanaian Country Directors, Head of Monitoring & Evaluation, Marketing Communications Manager, Curriculum Coordinator and Training & Development Manager. 

We are seeking to recruit our first Finance Manager to support the development and implementation of a sustainable scale strategy and to ensure our financial management is robust and sustainable as we go through this period of rapid growth.

The Finance Manager will report directly to the CEO and will manage the finance team which currently includes a part-time Financial Controller, and 3 bookkeepers (one in each of our overseas offices). We are likely to recruit extra finance staff in Ghana and also a Fundraiser in the UK- all of whom will report to the Finance Manager.

Key responsibilities for the role include financial modelling; analysis and budgeting; staff management; financial accountability and reporting.


Strategic development

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the organisation’s scale strategy.
  • Develop and strengthen robust cost models  (including sensitivity analyses/stress testing) to guide decisions around the pace and rate of scale, staffing & resource requirements, ensure value for money and maximise cost efficiencies.
  • Facilitate the development of budgets with managers to ensure that they have the resources they need to deliver against strategic goals, and that they have the tools to track and control expenditure.
  • Analyse actual expenditure against the model and budgets to test assumptions, measure cost-effectiveness, manage risk and leverage opportunities
  • Identify and drive forward sustainable funding opportunities for the organisation (including consultancy services, outcome bonds, partnerships, licensing materials)

Financial management

  • Ensure that the organisation-wide financial systems, policies, procedures and internal controls and audits are robust, compliant and support current activities and future growth
  • Lead and coach the finance team to maintain and deliver operational excellence & financial rigour, closely monitoring the operating and financial reports against plans and budgets
  • Lead monthly financial reviews and oversee timely production of monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports
  • Work with Finance team to ensure processes and controls are in place to oversee the day-to-day operation of financial systems and resources, including cash flow monitoring, bank reconciliations, invoicing, banking, petty cash and payroll, stock control.
  • Advise on ways to control for currency exchange rate fluctuations including exchange forwards, managing cash transfers between organisations, managing reserves and cash flow issues.
  • Lead procurement exercises for major purchases


Financial support to government

  • Work with our COO and programmes team to develop financial systems so that direct financial support is provided to local government partners and they are able to take on responsibility for and account for programme budgets 
  • Work with programmes team to build the capacity of local government partners in financial management, procurement, and budgeting so that they will eventually be able to fund and sustain the Lively Minds programme themselves.
  • Support the work at national government to identify ways to integrate the programme into and fund it from existing budgets and budget cycles


Grants and donor reporting

  • Create the budgets, financial information, documentation and materials for funding proposals;
  • Oversee the creation of all financial reports for funders, ensuring mechanisms to track and report against restricted income are robust.


Leadership and team development

  • Actively manage the performance and build the capacity of direct reports through training, coaching, holding 1to1s, setting performance goals, appraisals, developing new policies and practices
  • Where necessary interview, recruit and train staff and/or contractors



  • Provide monthly and quarterly management accounts for trustees
  • Attend trustee meetings, present information to the Board and liaise with Board members
  • Ensure that the Statutory Accounts for all entities are prepared:  ensuring internal information is collated and provided, external auditors are instructed and deliver to standard.
  • Ensure all organisations are compliant with tax, regularity and legal requirements (e.g payroll, tax, NGO registration, insurance, registrations with regulatory authorities)
  • Support HR function: ensuring practices, policies and procedures are in place (particularly related to finances, expenses, allowances) and all legal requirements are complied with; pay reviews and benchmarking exercises are conducted



To succeed in this role you will need….

  • to be comfortable delivering a complex programme to the highest standards, working at pace with a high degree of autotomy
  • to be innovative & results-oriented. We operate in resource-poor settings, with challenging stakeholders and with limited financial resources and capabilities.
  • to be willing to go the extra mile.  We need you to be proactive and constantly seeking ways to do things better.
  • to be business-minded.  In order to spread our impact, we need you to help us secure sustainable income, gaining the support of government, funders and key stakeholders
  • to be a leader.  You will need to role model professionalism, determination & resilience, a growth mindset, and passion for the work and our organisational values.
  • to be actively involved in delivering growth; as a small charity, we need you to be adaptable, with the ability to advise on strategic finance matters, as well as being hands-on when necessary 



- Professional accounting qualification (ACA, ACCA, CIMA)

- 8 years post qualification experience delivering full range of financial and accounting services required by a charity or small business

- Wide experience of managing grants and donor reporting

- High proficiency in financial modelling and advanced Microsoft Excel (including experience in VBA automation and using Excel’s data model to directly interact with other systems)

- Experience of managing people

- Excellent communication skills (written and oral)



  • Experience working with remote teams
  • Experience working in Africa



More about Lively Minds
Lively Minds

Over 250 million children under age five globally do not get the early childhood care and education (ECCE) they need, leading to poor health, p... Read more

Refreshed on: 26 November 2019
Closed date: 11 December 2019
Job ref: Finance Manager
Tags: Finance

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