Start Network is made up of more than 50 aid agencies across five continents, ranging from large international organisations to national NGOs. It is tackling what it believes are the biggest systemic problems that the humanitarian sector faces - including slow and reactive funding, centralised decision-making, and an aversion to change - which mean that people affected by crises around the world do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results.
Its work focuses on three areas to change the system:
- Localisation: shifting power to those closest to the front line of crises for more effective response
- New forms of financing: providing fast, early, and predictable funding to improve community resilience and preparedness
- Collective innovation: sharing expertise, insights and perspectives to shape a more effective humanitarian system
Start Network is at a critical and exciting point in its journey. Having grown and diversified its membership over the past 10 years, it is now set to evolve into a decentralised “network of networks” by 2025. It has been working with five national and regional networks (hubs) in Pakistan, DRC, Guatemala, India and the Pacific, as they develop locally-owned models and change initiatives under the wider Start Network umbrella. The ultimate ambition is to devolve leadership, membership, programmes and decision making to the hub level, while the London team transitions into a service provider role.
The Start Network is seeking a new Treasurer to join its Board of Trustees, with the ability to dedicate time to manage a fledgling organisation; the energy to play a key role in decision making around the network’s growth and strategic direction; and the diversity and skills to ensure governance excellence.
The Independent Trustee and Treasurer will play an important role in helping to improve and maintain the financial health of the Start Network charity. As the Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee, they will be responsible for advising and supporting the Start Executive team and Board of Trustees on financial strategy and policies, and audit arrangements; and will help to establish or improve standalone financial practices for the organisation.
Duties of the Treasurer include the following:
- Chairing, the quarterly Finance & Audit Committee (FAC) meetings
- Overseeing, recommending and presenting budgets, accounts and financial statements to the Board, assuring that the financial resources of the organisation meet its present and future needs
- Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy, accounting procedures and controls, and that those are implemented
- Advising on the financial implications of the organisation’s strategic plans
- Ensuring the accounts are prepared in accordance with financial best practice and meet the requirements of the regulators and relevant statutory bodies, as well as ensuring the accounts are audited and any recommendations of the auditors are implemented appropriately
- Working with the organisation’s internal auditors as needed, as well as with the Risk & Compliance Committee on issues of financial risk
- Presenting the accounts to the Start Network members at the Annual General Meeting
- Approving expenditure in accordance with the organisation’s Delegation of Financial Authority
- Working collaboratively with the CFOO to secure and maintain the organisations financial health
The full terms of reference of the Finance & Audit Committee can be found here.
The successful candidate will bring recent senior financial management experience, with experience of strategic financial planning and oversight; they would ideally be a qualified accountant. As Start Network collaborates with organisations in other countries, the successful candidate would ideally be comfortable with financial operations in other countries.
As Start Network is a new start-up organisation with resource constraints, the Treasurer must bring an innovative and risk-tolerant mindset, be willing to push boundaries, be adaptive and flexible to changing situations and be creative about how they can work with small amounts of money to achieve objectives. To this end, the successful candidate would have operated in a strategic role within an entrepreneurial / start-up environment, and be able to demonstrate how they have driven innovation in those organisations and how they would be able to apply their innovative skills to help Start Network achieve its objectives. This experience could have been gained in a C-level role (e.g. Founder, CEO, COO, Chair) in a start-up, or as a board member or advisor to a start-up.
As the successful candidate will be chairing the Finance & Audit Committee, the candidate must have prior experience in chairing meetings (either in an executive or non-executive capacity). Importantly, they would be able to translate complex financial language for non-technical audiences.
Start Network is open to candidates seeking their first Trustee role, as long as they are able to demonstrate the required skills and have sufficient time to commit to the role.
Candidates can be based anywhere in the world.
Required for this role
- Finance function leadership Demonstrate a recent (within the last 5 years) track record leading or overseeing all areas of a finance function, including: financial reporting, systems and controls, compliance and risk, strategy, treasury and investor relations. This may have been in one or more roles.
- Enterprise growth experience Experience in a strategic leadership role of driving substantial growth in an enterprise business. Candidates should demonstrate a personal contribution to developing and driving a successful growth strategy.
- Committee Chair ready Chairing a committee involves responsibilities beyond the advisory aspects of being an independent non-executive director. If you have not previously chaired a committee, please demonstrate your chair-readiness by listing the different boards, panels or committees that you have sat on, including details of whether you have either directly chaired or else deputised for the existing chair. If you already have significant chair experience, please detail this