£35,000 - £45,000 per year

Permanent, Full-time

Starfish Asia - Chief Executive May 2019

Job Description

Starfish Asia is a medium-sized and flexible charity motivated by Christian compassion and focused on the needs of the poor in Pakistan, especially the marginalised Christian community and:

  • children who cannot afford to go to school and who therefore face a bleak future of poverty;
  • the disabled, the disadvantaged or orphaned and the blind;
  • the sick and the suffering, often too poor to obtain proper medical help.

The Charity funds and supports projects in Pakistan run by Christian nationals, based on partnering relationships -- we trust them, they trust us. We work closely with Starfish Pakistan, a local NGO based in Lahore that oversees all supported projects. Through them we:

  • provide regular funding to 40 primary, middle or secondary schools – approximately 8,000 children;
  • provide for 7 homes for disabled, blind or orphaned children, and a vocational training centre;
  • provide scholarships for Christian students pursuing higher studies or vocational training;
  • provide materials to more than 100 schools that serve the minority Christian community but lack essential resources, such as books, furniture, toilets or washrooms, teacher training and the like.

Our partners in Pakistan are capable, committed people serving their own community with often very limited resources. We are constantly invited to do more and are keen to help as much as funds allow.

Our founder, Mike Wakely, continues to do a great job leading the Charity but is wanting to hand day to day leadership to a fresh pair of hands. We are therefore seeking to appoint a Chief Executive to lead the charity, which is in very good shape, into its next phase of development.


To help secure continuity of operations and knowledge transfer, it is proposed that the appointee will work initially as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for six months (on this job description) in parallel and close co-operation with Mike Wakely who would step down from his current Executive Trustee position to be Communications Director, also reporting to the Board. This will allow the COO to build relationships, ‘understand the ropes’ and formulate strategy without the distraction of producing routine external communications. After these initial six months, it is planned that Mike Wakely will become a Board Trustee available to support and assist the CEO as the CEO sees need.

Respective responsibilities during this transition period are set out in the appended RACI matrix.

The Role

The Chief Executive will be responsible for providing leadership, developing and implementing strategic plans, securing increased funding, and being an effective advocate for the charity and its beneficiaries. He/she will also provide operational management and financial control, and ensure good governance across all aspects of the charity.

Job description

Role: Chief Executive

Hours: Full Time (37.5 hours per week)

Annual leave: 26 days plus bank holidays; prorated to the full year for new employees.

Place of Work: Flexible but willing to meet with staff in SE London.

Reports to: Board of Trustees

Line management: Two part-time volunteers (1 FTE) who work together on day to day database, accounts and records administration.

Salary: £35-45,000 per annum dependent on background and experience. The salary will be reviewed annually.

Benefits: Contributory Pension Scheme

Main duties and responsibilities:


  1. Be the face and voice of the charity, its principal ambassador.
  2. Liaise with, support and motivate staff and secure their loyalty and commitment to the charity’s mission, vision, values and objectives.
  3. Seek out, develop and maintain effective working relationships with all interested parties to promote the work of the charity and facilitate its growth.
  4. Lead by example, instilling a culture of professionalism and inclusion.
  5. Maintain a professional, presentable and smart public appearance.


  1. Liaise with the Board in relation to the development of the charity’s strategic mission, vision, values and objectives and be responsible for leading their realisation.
  2. Be responsible for the development, agreement and delivery of an annual prioritised fundraising strategy, content to include exploiting opportunities identified in the 2016 Schools’ Survey Report.
  3. Identify strategic risks, issues and opportunities and take responsibility for initiating and leading associated changes.
  4. Develop a culture of continuous improvement, seek out and implement opportunities for innovation and ensure that the charity’s systems and processes are efficient and its data secure.

Partnership and Business Development

  1. Lead the promotion and development of the charity’s work, raising its profile and maximising its reach.
  2. Seek out, develop and nurture beneficial partnerships with supporters, donors, other charities and interested parties.
  3. Develop an annual fundraising strategy that aims to increase overall funding year on year, the strategy to target a broad donor base and long-term funding wherever possible, prioritising general rather than restricted funds.

Advocacy and influencing

  1. Be a passionate and effective advocate in advancing the charity’s vision to enable thousands of deprived children in Pakistan to take the journey from ignorance and poverty to a life of dignity and responsibility.
  2. Develop mutually beneficial relationships with churches, mission organisations, charitable foundations and generous individuals to increase prayer and support for the work in Pakistan. 
  3. Grasp every opportunity to champion support for schools and homes for disadvantaged children in Pakistan’s Christian and minority communities.
  4. Be the Charity’s media spokesperson and increase its social media profile and reach.


  1. Be responsible for the development and implementation of all the charity’s organisational plans.
  2. Oversee all operational functions including administration, finance, fundraising, marketing, communications and IT.
  3. Work closely with Starfish Pakistan (sharing ideas, initiatives and plans) to monitor and assure the UK Board that Starfish Pakistan is working effectively to:
    1. contain its operational costs at fair and reasonable levels;
    2. attain the Charity’s objectives, whether through educational or other means;
    3. disburse funds in a timely manner in accordance with donor wishes, best practice and financial probity;
    4. promote and promulgate best practice policies, procedures and standards across its partner ministries, including child safeguarding, anti-bribery and whistle blowing policies;
    5. monitor the performance and behaviours of its partner ministries in warranting ongoing donor support and enhancing their Christian reputation in local communities;
    6. gather, analyse and understand performance metrics across its partner ministries so that it can identify exemplar ministries, prioritise funding and instigate performance improvements where needed;
    7. address any financial impropriety, safeguarding or other issues that could compromise Starfish Asia’s reputation with its donors and other interested parties.
  4. Develop close working relationship with Starfish Asia (Singapore) Ltd, and work on developing better fund-raising strategies in the USA and/or Canada.
  5. Take overall responsibility for the recruitment, management and effective deployment of staff, including volunteers; apply robust HR processes covering recruitment, performance management, appraisals and remuneration.
  6. Line manage volunteers and new staff.
  7. Be responsible for the custody, maintenance and efficient use of the charity’s assets and data.

Financial Control

  1. Ensure that the charity’s financial resources and the disbursement of funds are managed effectively and that Starfish Asia remains in good financial health, identifying risks and acting as needed.
  2. Liaise with the Board to develop and lead on the implementation of the charity’s financial plans, including setting budgets, formulating income generation strategies and overseeing fundraising activities.
  3. Maintain effective financial management and control systems; maintain the agreed financial reserves buffer, manage timely disbursements within available funds.
  4. Provide the Board of Trustees with regular, clear and understandable financial reports.
  5. Ensure that appropriate returns are made within deadlines to the Charity Commissioners, HMRC and other appropriate bodies.

Governance and Compliance

  1. Liaise with the Board to ensure that the charity’s overall governance structure, policies and procedures are appropriate and effective, taking actions and implementing changes as necessary.
  2. Attend all Board meetings (held quarterly) and prepare a written report in advance of each meeting detailing matters of interest and concern; ensure that the Board is made aware in a timely fashion of any matters requiring its attention.
  3. Participate in an annual appraisal with the Chair of the Board and/or Board members.
  4. Ensure that all personnel policies and procedures are in place and are updated in accordance with changing employment law. This includes recruitment, training, staff development, appraisal, performance management and records maintenance.
  5. Develop and maintain effective operational policies and processes in all the charity’s functions and ensure they are in place where needed and understood and followed by everyone.
  6. Ensure that all internal policies and procedures are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
  7. Promote ethics, anti-bribery, financial probity, child safeguarding and good employment practices, in Starfish Pakistan and its local partnering ministries.
  8. Ensure that the collection, storage, maintenance and protection of personal information complies with current Data Protection regulations.
  9. Ensure that all major risks are identified and regularly reviewed and that systems and procedures are in place to mitigate all such risks; be responsible for the development and implementation of the charity’s Risk Register.

Other Duties

  1. Provide the Board of Trustees with all relevant agendas, minutes and papers as required.
  2. Keep up-to-date with relevant research, developments and publications concerning the charity’s work, NGOs and charity legislation.
  3. Undertake regular training to maintain the skills and knowledge necessary for the post.

Undertake any other duties which may be required by the Board of Trustees which are commensurate with the responsibilities of the post.