London, Greater London
£32,000 - £35,000 per year
Contract, Full-time
Job description

National children’s literature development agency and ACE National Portfolio Organisation with a growing international reputation seeks Finance & Operations Manager to join our team as we enter our tenth anniversary year. Suitable candidates will be highly skilled and experienced in similar roles. Perfect for a proficient financial, people, risk and business manager with a strong track record, looking to be at the heart of a small but dynamic, enterprising team.


Start Date: 4th January 2021 or as early as possible

Role type: Full-time fixed-term for 12 months

Additional benefits:  3% salary increase if contract is renewed after 12 months, based on performance and a financial review of the organisation



Pop Up Projects is a non-profit Community Interest Company and ACE National Portfolio Organisation with a growing international reputation established in 2011. We deliver imaginative, collaborative and ambitious programmes which transform lives through literature, especially through working with people in deprived places and challenging circumstances. We achieve our mission through three strands of work:

  • Educational programmes in schools, facilitating rich learning opportunities through quality contemporary literature, interactions with diverse authors, and training for educators

  • Talent development, investing in and advocating for aspiring, emerging and established writers and illustrators, especially from backgrounds which are under-represented in children’s publishing

  • Community projects, providing participatory literary opportunities for and with children and young people, especially those experiencing marginalisation, isolation or who are at risk

Our two flagship programmes are Pop Up Festival - a national children's literature festival which connects thousands of school children nationwide with quality children’s literature and authors, and Pathways into Children’s Publishing - a talent development programme increasing ethnic diversity in children’s illustration, with 12 publisher and 9 university affiliates. We run a range of smaller as well as short term projects which can be explored, along with our impact on people and places over the past ten years, on our website.

This is an exciting time to be joining Pop Up, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2021 and set out our vision for next ten years with the launch of a new fundraising appeal.



The Financial & Operations Manager role is key to the organisation, co-managing with the Executive & Creative Director and the Education & Development Director an energetic and ambitious team, by ensuring: 

  • the efficient and effective performance of all employees, to the highest possible standard

  • the allocation of financial and human resources required to deliver all secured and projected activity

  • short term financial viability and longer-term sustainability and growth

  • legal and best-practice CIC compliance, governance and reporting

  • the smooth management of business systems, processes and operations


The F/OM post has evolved out of the current Company Manager role, and there will be a thorough handover. The post-holder will closely collaborate with staff and freelancers across all programmes, projects and organisational areas in carrying out their lead responsibilities (below). They will also need to maintain a broad, up-to-date understanding of all delivery and development outside of their immediate areas of responsibility, in order to support the team and ensure the smooth operations of the organisation as a whole. They will contribute towards building the organisation’s profile in the sector, networking and making connections to support the generation of new opportunities, partnerships and income.

The F/OM takes lead responsibility for:

Office & Systems - carrying overall responsibility for company administration, procedures, databases, office space and facilities, insurance and acquisitions

Finance - planning and managing budgets, projections, cash flows and related risks with senior leaders; overseeing devolved project budgets through regular monitoring with relevant colleagues; managing the relationship with an accountancy firm, overseeing day-to-day finance via Xero accounting software.  Payroll, pensions and annual accounts are outsourced

HR & Recruitment - line-managing the Projects Coordinator; recruiting, contracting and inducting new staff; managing holiday and sick leave via CharlieHR; conducting four-monthly performance reviews with senior leaders; monitoring staff well-being and delivery against targets through regular 1:1s; overseeing professional learning and development

Contracts & Agreements - creating and monitoring all external contracts and agreements; securing legal support and consultancy where necessary

Policy & Strategy - developing and overseeing the implementation of policies and related action plans; supporting business plan development and strategic partnerships

Fundraising & Reporting - managing funding agreements & compliance with terms and conditions; supporting the management of funder relationships and reporting; contributing to the development and writing of grant bids; securing and managing consultancy contracts; leading the preparation of an annual report

Evaluation & Research - implementing impact evaluation methodologies; analysing data & providing support to compile written research and impact evaluation reports; supporting the management of relationships with external evaluators; overseeing  data / knowledge sharing agreements with partners



You will be a highly motivated individual with enthusiasm for Pop Up’s mission, creative and social innovation, and the ambition to achieve the highest possible quality experiences for our beneficiaries, funders and partners. As an organisation we are driven by core values and are looking for someone who is enterprising, passionate, empathetic, and collaborative. 

Energy, initiative and a commitment to working fast and to tight deadlines, responding adeptly to risks, challenges and opportunities, are integral - as are a high level of verbal and written communication skills. We are looking for someone who is highly organised and resilient; a quick learner, able to constantly improve and perfect administrative processes and systems to ensure smooth operations. You will want to take on responsibility for your own areas of work, bringing substantial experience in financial and HR management. You will be a collaborative team worker, eager to support your colleagues to achieve their best. 

While this is a rewarding role at the heart of the organisation, it is also a demanding one. It requires the ability to prioritise, multitask and keep an eye on the present as much as the future. At pressured times, there will be a need to work overtime - including the occasional weekend - in exchange for time off in lieu.


The successful candidate will have the following essential knowledge, skills & experience from similar roles within arts, non-profit or SMEs:

  1. Financial planning, budget and cash flow management (> £500k p.a.)

  2. HR systems and recruitment, people and line management, and capacity planning

  3. Negotiating, writing and monitoring contracts and agreements

  4. Building and managing numerous relationships with high-level individuals and organisations (incl. funders)

  5. Excellent time management, attention to detail and management of competing priorities

  6. Proficient in ICT, with the ability to learn new software and systems quickly and instruct others

  7. Outstanding professional, external-facing verbal and written communication

  8. Office management

  9. Empathy and active listening 

  10. Commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion and representation


The following knowledge, skills & experiences are desirable and will strengthen your application:

  1. Change management in dynamic environments

  2. Implementing evaluations, analysing results and compiling reports

  3. Writing or contributing to grant applications and funding reports

  4. An understanding of non-profit governance

  5. Coaching and mentoring

  6. An interest in or knowledge of contemporary children’s literature, arts and/or education for children and young people


General Requirements

  • Must be eligible to work in the UK, with supporting documentation

  • Must be able to work from London

  • Willingness to work flexibly in accordance with the demands of the work, which will include occasional evenings and weekends 



Deadline: Thursday, 26th November, noon


Please read the full job description (attached) before applying.

Refreshed on: 12 November 2020
Closed date: 27 November 2020
Tags: Finance, Human Resources

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.