Strategy and succession

ACEVO is launching a new three-year strategy and is looking for a new chair to lead it, writes CEO Vicky Browning

After 18 months I can no longer say I am ACEVO’s ‘new’ CEO. It has been a busy and challenging period but one in which we have achieved a lot. The best part of the job, and the reason I applied for it almost two years ago, is because of the people. Now I am looking for a new chair that shares ACEVO’s values and my passion for people to lead our ambitious new strategy, also being launched today.

Until recently, when he had to step down early due to personal circumstances, ACEVO has had the pleasure and privilege of having Paul Farmer in the role of chair. Paul’s quiet resolve, calm approach and skilled leadership have helped to guide ACEVO through one of the most difficult periods in its 30 year history. This month our vice chair, Joe Irvin, stepped up to serve as chair until December and he, our trustees and our committed staff team are now looking to the future, having ended the last financial year with a surplus, with refreshed vision, purpose and values, and a new three year strategy.

Our new strategy focuses on five pillars of purpose: inspiration, support, connections, advocacy and skills. Our purpose is rooted in working together with our generous, expert network and listening and responding to their needs. Over the next three years we will:

  • Showcase good leadership to inspire by example
  • Ensure our members feel supported and connected to ACEVO and, more importantly to each other
  • Build our network to enable peer support and widen the reach of our services
  • Amplify the voices of our members and represent their interests
  • Develop the skills and competencies of civil society leaders

If you share our goals and our values of member-driven, connected, ambitious and honest then please apply to be our next chair. Historically our chair has had to be chosen from our existing board, but to widen the pool of candidates we have changed our articles of association so that any full member or associate member can apply. There is no mandatory minimum time period between joining ACEVO and applying to be chair, and we welcome applications from people who have recently joined or who join in order to apply.

We encourage applications from underrepresented groups, from across England and Wales and from charities of all sizes. While Paul Farmer and his predecessor Lesley-Anne Alexander have both been CEOs of large national charities, we wouldn’t want this to put off applicants from smaller organisations. Our trustees are CEOs of a diverse range of organisations including Muslim Aid, Social Enterprise Acumen, Sheila McKechnie Foundation and Hull and East Yorkshire Mind. We have an energetic and committed board with a broad range of experiences, ideas and approaches.

The recruitment process will be led by our current chair, Joe Irvin, CEO of Living Streets. We are looking for a leader who can chair with an enabling and inclusive approach in order to bring out the best of board members and the executive team. We’d like to talk to candidates that have a depth of experience, but a lightness of touch. At ACEVO we believe that good governance should be energising and exciting and we want a chair that is excited about their integral role in helping us achieve our vision.

Our network inspires me in its generosity, in its expertise and in its commitment to create change. If it inspires you – and if you share the vision – in our strategy then I hope Joe and I will be talking to you soon.

Full details of the role are available here from our consultant Peridot Partners.

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