SE1, London
£55,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

You will be an experienced grantmaker willing and able to be very hands on, as is necessary in a small organisation, alongside operating strategically working with the talented leadership team. You will be used to balancing the big picture and collegiate leadership with operational involvement and detail, and be committed to ensuring the grants and impact team works collaboratively across the charity.

Responsible to 

Chief Executive


Direct Reports

Immediately responsible for the interim Grants Manager (and Grants and Partnerships Officer when she returns from maternity leave in autumn 2021). In due course the department and responsibilities may grow in line with organisational growth and priorities.


Working Hours and Contract

This is a permanent role. Depending on experience, we will consider flexible arrangements including part time, flexible hours, and some home working beyond the current pandemic arrangements.



c. £55,000 pa (depending on experience)



Central London, home working currently (February 2021)




Grants and Impact

  • Oversee all of the Foundation’s grant-making programmes and policies.
  • Develop and refine our new grants assessment and decision processes.
  • Design and deliver new funding and organisation support programmes, responding to research and insight and the changing context.
  • Commission, monitor and share relevant research to support our grants and impact activities, in consultation with colleagues.
  • Develop a suite of non-funding offerings for grantees and the sight loss sector, ensuring that the Vision Foundation becomes an exemplar “Funder Plus” Foundation – offering capacity building, shared learning, convening, and a shared platform for the voices of grantees and their beneficiaries.
  • Ensure grants and impact data is properly recorded and analysed to grow our organisational knowledge and expertise and ensure we continually improve our own impact.
  • Design, develop and deliver appropriate impact monitoring and evaluation processes.
  • Ensure that our learnings through grants evaluation are captured, distilled, and shared to drive our own activities and promote best practice across the sector.
  • Continuously analyse risks, potential, changes in environment and voluntary sector politics; and use to inform plans.
  • Lead on shaping our policy and influencing, advocacy and campaigns contribution based on research and insight, working closely with the CEO and Head of Communications.
  • Explore strategic partnerships and co-funding and regranting opportunities with other funders/sight loss organisations.


Leadership and management

  • Work closely and collegiately as a member of the Executive Leadership Team leading and setting the strategic direction for the charity.
  • Work in partnership with other members of the Executive Leadership Team to embed a high performing, motivated, collaborative, creative and dynamic culture within Vision Foundation – and seek opportunities to celebrate success.
  • Provide management, leadership and support to the Grants Manager (and Grants and Partnerships Officer when she returns from maternity leave), and 5 develop and manage new roles as appropriate, including internships and voluntary placements as the organisation grows.
  • Establish, with senior colleagues across the Foundation, appropriate and proportionate performance targets demonstrating commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Provide comprehensive monthly performance reports to the Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team.


Cross-team working

  • Work with the Director of Development to develop income generating products and propositions to take out to fundraising audiences.
  • Support income generation at the Foundation by helping to cultivate new donors and steward existing donors; including attending and presenting at funder meetings, sourcing case studies, delivering and translating impact data into everyday language fit for a fundraising audience.
  • Work in collaboration with the Director of Development and the Head of Communications to design and deliver impact reporting for our funders and the wider sector.
  • Work closely with senior fundraising and communications leads to support activities in both these departments in service of growth and greater impact.
  • With the Head of Communications, manage and empower our network of blind and partially sighted advisors.
  • Work with the Director of Finance and Resources to ensure grants and impact financial commitments and deployments are tracked, reported and reconciled.


Relationship management

  • Ensure positive and productive relationship management with grantees and former member charities and sector colleagues.
  • Create strong links and networks with other funders and voluntary, community and public sector bodies, seeking opportunities for partnerships to realise broader benefits through collaboration.
  • Represent the Foundation at external events and forums, building the Foundation’s profile.
  • Work with the Association of Charitable Foundations and London Funders and others to ensure that we are visible and adhering to and leading best practice.



  • Attend Board and Committee meetings as required and contribute comprehensive quarterly performance reports to the Trustee Board.
  • Ensure that the Trustee Board and any other senior volunteers and advisors are effectively served by the Executive Team, and that their expertise is used to support our development and delivery.
  • Develop and support the Grants and Impact Advisory Committee to ensure it is efficient and effective and adds value to the grants and impact operation, including preparation of Committee meeting papers.
  • Ensure positive and productive relationship management with Grants and Impact Advisory Committee members.
  • Oversee programme expenditure to ensure compliance and accordance with budgets.
  • Ensure our grants processes incorporate appropriate due diligence and scrutiny to ensure we are a responsible grantmaker.
  • Support the wider ambitions of the Vision Foundation to become an inclusive and empowering employer, including the development of voluntary and paid employment placements across the business including our retail arm.



The role description is a general outline of duties and responsibilities and may be amended as the Vision Foundation develops. The post holder may be required to undertake other duties as may be reasonably required from time to time.





  • Extensive experience of grant-making or a comparable environment at a senior level, with a strong understanding of wider funding mechanisms in the charity sector (essential)
  • Understanding and (ideally) experience of shaping and delivering capacitybuilding support to charities (essential)
  • Experience of commissioning and overseeing research, and using the results to inform decision-making (essential)
  • Experience of policy, advocacy or campaign work (desirable)
  • Experience and understanding of the financial and capacity challenges facing London’s voluntary and community sector, and of large and small organisations and community groups working for social change (essential)
  • Knowledge of the sight loss sector in London (desirable)
  • Experience of negotiating and securing funding towards major projects and/or contracts or funding agreements (desirable)
  • Ability to manage high volumes of varied work and operate to tight deadlines (essential)
  • Experience of leadership within an organisation which is seeking to build transformational growth; including responsibilities as part of a Senior Leadership Team and reporting at Board level (essential)
  • Experience of leading and line managing others to develop and grow, and building and maintaining a high performing team culture (essential)
  • Experience of building relationships, and influence, with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders (essential)


Personal Qualities

  • Intelligence, enthusiasm and resilience
  • Ambitious for the organisation, able to balance creativity with practicality
  • An understanding of and commitment to London’s sight loss community. An excellent communicator, able to present complex information clearly in oral and written form, and to inspire and enthuse others
  • Excellent organisation and planning skills
  • Ability to understand and interpret numerical information at pace, including budgets, financial reports, monitoring and evaluation data, and impact reports
  • Ability to assess and balance risk and opportunity
  • Comfortable with complexity and ambiguity
  • Highly developed skills of diplomacy and engagement, and with a practical and accessible manner
  • Emotional intelligence and excellent listening skills
  • A team player, committed to working collegiately and supportively with others
  • Highly committed to equal opportunities and inclusion

How to Apply

Please submit your CV and a supporting statement.

  • 1st interviews: week beginning 15 March
  • 2nd interviews & informal meetings with colleagues: week beginning 22 March 2021. There is also likely to be an exercise at second stage.
More about Vision Foundation
Vision Foundation

The Vision Foundation believes passionately that people living with sight loss should have the same opportunities as anyone else. We strive to ... Read more

Refreshed on: 23 February 2021
Closed date: 05 March 2021
Tags: Senior Management, Management