London, Greater London
£55,000 per year plus competitive benefits package
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Start Network has an exciting opportunity for a talented senior finance professional to join our team as Head of Finance. This new role will lead our finance team, shaping our finance systems to respond to the growing needs of a dynamic organisation. 

With a recognised finance qualification and experience in a senior finance role, you will be responsible for leading our finance function, ensuring it is a trusted partner delivering an exceptional financial service to internal and external stakeholders. You will identify and adapt best practice and innovation from within the sector to enable the Start Network to meet its needs as we evolve and grow. You will ensure that we are well positioned to take on additional grant funding and develop new and innovative financial products. As a values-based, innovative organisation changing the humanitarian sector, we are looking for unique individual who shares our values and has experience within the charity sector with grant management. 

If this opportunity excites you and you meet the requirements set out in the Job Description, then we'd love to hear from you!

The role is based in London and applicants must have the right to live and work in the UK. In line with our values and global reach, candidates from the BAME community are highly encouraged. 

We reserve the right to close applications early if we receive a satisfactory number of applications.


Start Network is made up of more than 50 aid agencies across five continents. Together, our aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation. We're tackling what we believe are the biggest systemic problems that the sector faces. Problems including slow and reactive funding, centralised decision-making, and an aversion to change mean that people affected by crises around the world do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results.

We have grown and diversified our membership over the past 10 years. We are now set to evolve into a decentralised “network of networks” by 2025. We are currently working with five national and regional networks (hubs) in Pakistan, DRC, Guatemala, India, and the Pacific. They are developing locally owned ways of anticipating and responding to humanitarian crises. We aim to support the emergence and development of further Hubs in the coming years. Our ultimate ambition is to devolve leadership, membership, programming, and decision making to the hubs, while the UK team transitions to provide services of support.

We are committed to protecting people, particularly children, at-risk adults and affected populations from any harm that may be caused due to their encountering the Start Network as well as responding effectively should any harm occur. We are also committed to safeguarding staff from any forms of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power as outlined in the Dignity at Work policy.

We embrace diversity, promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination. We are an equal opportunities employer and treat every application on merit alone. We particularly welcome applications from disabled, black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), and LGBT+ and non-binary candidates. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our essential selection criteria (see person profile).

Our roles are open to discussion about flexible working. While our team is office based, home working is part of our culture. For part-time working and job-shares, please get in touch with us for a conversation about possibilities for this particular role.

For more information about our values and strategic priorities, please visit our website.


Strategy and leadership

  • Provide robust, expert financial support and advice to the Chief Finance & Operations Officer (CFOO), leadership team and Finance and Audit Committee (FAC)
  • Deputise for the Chief Finance Operating Officer on financial matters as required
  • Lead on financial strategy and planning to enable us to become a major international grant recipient, including development and roll out of grant management systems and processes
  • Work closely with the Senior Management Team to ensure that our financial systems and processes are agile, providing support and guidance to colleagues in using them
  • Lead on specific and innovative finance projects to meet the changing needs of the organisation

Financial planning

  • Lead on key aspects of financial planning across the organisation, including risk management and scenario planning, working closely with the CFOO.
  • Create financial models to assist the organisation in managing financial sustainability as its operating model evolves.  This will also include monthly management of going concern forecasting.
  • Provide financial modelling and impact analysis e.g., inflation, activity projections, workforce fluctuations or indirect cost recovery for the CFOO and FAC.
  • Lead on monitoring and managing the annual budget delivery plan to inform business decisions.
  • Ensure monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports are provided to managers.
  • Lead the statutory accounts process, ensuring relevant resourcing and processes are in place to meet our needs, acting as the main point of contact with the external auditors.
  • Ensure that financial systems are robust (including those relating to the grant custodian and any other financial arrangements) and that adequate controls are in place to provide assurance that funds are applied appropriately.
  • Ensure that all process and procedures and arrangements are in place for detecting and reporting fraud and support any investigative procedures as required.

Donor Grant Management

  • Monitor donor grant pipeline to ensure future funding targets are met
  • Monitor donor income against budgets and manage recoveries and fund balances
  • Oversee donor financial reporting and compliance to donor T&Cs, and manage risk of disallowances
  • Support the Resource Mobilisation Team in negotiating donor T&Cs for new grants

Line Management

  • Line manage and support the growth and development of the finance team members currently including Finance Manager, Finance Officer & Controller, International Grants and Finance Officer.
  • Monitor performance and ensure financial KPI’s and targets are met or exceeded.
  • Manage consultants and other third-party contractors as required.
  • Provide team leadership to enhance ways of working as a team, providing high quality advice and levels of service to the organisation.


  • Track record of leading a successful financial partnering service, managing a high-calibre, multi-disciplinary team to deliver against demanding timescales.
  • Excellent analytical and reasoning skills.
  • Proven experience of developing financial models, operating principles, and managing complex budgeting and reporting processes.
  • Demonstrable experience of working at a strategic level and being responsive to change.
  • Experience of developing finance practice and making improvements to service provision.
  • Proven project and team management capability.
  • Qualified Finance professional: ACCA, ACA or CIMA.


  • Flex communication style to convey complex information concisely to different audiences, avoiding jargon and using simple language.
  • Hold both a strategic perspective and enough detail to work with one part of the organisation whilst understanding the impact on other parts of the organisation and network through listening and engaging with other teams.
  • Provide hands on support when required to the finance function of the organisation as a recognised need in a start-up business.
  • Provide leadership by inspiring and unlocking motivation in others across the network to lead and hold them accountable for the results.
  • Develop teams by creating safe spaces for them to be challenged and supported to try new things and learn from one another.
  • Anticipate the ‘what ifs’ and actively plan to navigate them together with the team, seeking collaborative solutions and drawing on those with relevant expertise.
  • Balance the need to follow systems and processes with the courage, identifying when systems and processes do not align with the mission, suggesting alternatives.
  • Enable others to deliver results by setting direction, providing clarity around roles and responsibilities, and creating a positive culture.
  • Provide an enabling environment for the organisation to try out new approaches to technology, financial and people management through openness to experimentation and learning from outside the sector.


  • Carry out the responsibilities of the role in line with the Start Network Code of Conduct and with a commitment to safeguarding adults and children.
  • Show a commitment to the Start Network vision, principles, values, and approach.
  • We are an agile group of individuals who use our experience and skills across the network, so flexibility to work in and with different teams and functions is a part of our culture.


Along with a competitve salary we offer a great benefits package:

  • Flexible working with options to work from home and remotely some of the time. Please Note: all staff have been working from home under COVID restrictions, and we are currently transitioning to a hybrid working model which for this role will likely be 2 days per week in the office.
  • Centrally located office with onsite drinks available free of charge.
  • Access to cultural talks, events, pop-up sales, and a place to meet and socialise after work
  • Discounts at local cafes and restaurants in association with WeWork.
  • Family friendly policies and approached, particularly maternity pay (21 weeks full pay).
  • Equity support groups and safe spaces – currently BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and open to others with budget and support from a cross-organisation Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Group.
  • Wellbeing initiatives responding to the needs of the organisation eg additional days of leave given under COVID and regular activities initiated through Wellbeing Peer Supporters.
  • Learning and development opportunities.
  • Access to counselling services provided by Thrive International.
  • Cycle to Work scheme.
  • Contributory pension.
  • Life assurance equivalent of three times your salary
  • 25 days holiday, bank holidays plus 2 paid company days over the year end closure period.


We work with Applied, an online recruitment platform designed to allow teams to measure candidates on what actually matters. Rather than relying on CVs and cover letters, Applied allows you to demonstrate your skills and abilities through competency-based questions which are blind- reviewed by our team to avoid personal bias.

Any offer of employment is subject to relevant checks. Please refer to our privacy statement and candidate privacy notice regarding treatment of your data.

For further information about this role, please see the full job specification attached.


More about StartNetwork

Start Network is made up of more than 50 aid agencies across five continents, ranging from large international organisations to national NGOs. ... Read more

Posted on: 18 November 2021
Closed date: 18 December 2021
Tags: Finance, Management

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