Location: London, UK

About SolarAid

SolarAid was established in 2006 to fight poverty and climate change. Our vision is to create a world where everyone has access to clean renewable energy. Our mission is to End the Darkness. No one should be reliant on dangerous forms of lighting, such as candles, when the sun goes down. Yet millions of people across Africa, including at schools and health clinics still rely on them every single night. 

SolarAid has played an important role helping to create vibrant and sustainable solar markets across Africa through a trade-not-aid model in rural areas. Through our social enterprise, SunnyMoney, we have distributed over 2 million solar lights, directly impacting over 11 million people across Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Senegal. 

The latest projections show that 600 million people will still be living without access to electricity in Africa by 2030 – the deadline for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Urgent action is needed to achieve our mission. 

About the role 

SolarAid is at a pivotal moment in its development. A recent large donation has provided the charity with an opportunity to strengthen its operations on the ground, including pioneering new approaches which power education, local economies, and healthcare. The UK office is working on its fundraising strategy for the next year and beyond. We are now looking for two new Trustees to bolster international development and fundraising skills at Board level.

SolarAid is an equal opportunities employer and has an ongoing commitment to inclusive and diverse teams. SolarAid will ensure no applicant receives less favourable treatment than another on the grounds of; disability, gender, race, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, and that no applicant is placed at a disadvantage unjustifiably by requirements or conditions which have a disproportionately adverse effect on a particular group.

The role of a trustee:

 Being a trustee of SolarAid will require you to:

  • Work with fellow trustees to shape, drive and monitor the Charity’s strategy
  • Prepare for and participate fully in board meetings
  • Act reasonably in decision making and leadership of the organisation
  • Ensure the proper management and administration of the charity
  • Use any specific skills, knowledge or experience you have to help the board of trustees reach quick and sound decisions by leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, or other issues in which the trustee has special expertise
  • Review funding applications, agree the awarding of funds and have oversight of the progress of funded projects
  • Promote the work of the Charity externally
  • Manage risks with a considered, proportionate and balanced approach
  • Support the Charity’s CEO

The statutory duties of a trustee:

Trustees are responsible for the work that the Charity does and how it does it. Trustees have a number of statutory duties, which are:

  • To ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document
  • To ensure the organisation uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives for the benefit of the public
  • To contribute actively to the board of trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation including having appropriate policies and procedures in place
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation
  • To protect and manage the assets of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds
  • To follow proper and formal arrangements for the appointment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of the chief executive.

SolarAid will provide support through mentoring and training. We will also help you understand SolarAid’s approach to fundraising – based on inspiring people who believe in what we believe to spread our story. Our strong culture of positive fundraising, emphasising storytelling and valuing our supporters, makes for a very fulfilling working environment.

Your values

You will be expected to uphold the values and ethos of SolarAid in the way we engage with audiences, and inspire support, at all times. 

Personal Specification

SolarAid is now seeking to appoint additional trustees to bolster the skills of the Board. 

Essential 

  • Commitment to the organisation and sufficient time and willingness to contribute effectively to board proceedings
  • Experience in and an understanding of strategy development
  • Able to work effectively as a member of a team 
  • Willing to speak up and can remain independent of any influence from another organisation or individual
  • Have a reasonable level of understanding of legal, financial, audit and other regulatory requirements of a charity
  • Able to make quick and sound decisions based on an analysis of information presented to them
  • Can manage risks with a balanced and informed approach
  • Is committed to the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity,  accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

In addition, the skills that are of particular interest for the current vacancies are:

Role 1 International Development Trustee

  • Knowledge of international development, SDGs
  • Experience of designing, managing, and coordinating effective interventions, ensuring implementation is in line with the Charity’s mission and goals
  • Proven programme management skills including planning and M&E
  • Experience of implementing in-country strategies 
  • Experience of advocacy and working with partners
  • Professional experience living and working in similar countries to the ones that the Charity operates in 

Role 2 Fundraising Trustee

  • Knowledge of fundraising techniques, track record of implementing fundraising strategies including individual giving campaigns
  • Experience of supporter engagement
  • Corporate fundraising experience
  • Understanding of fundraising standards and legislation, including the Code of Fundraising Practice
  • Ability to promote the Charity to a wider audience of potential funders and supporters to expand its networks
  • Knowledge of marketing and communications
  • Ability to support and encourage the fundraising team in their work and to assist with the design and facilitation of the organisation’s approach to fundraising

Board Structure 

The Board has a minimum of three Trustees. Quarterly Board meetings are held with the CEO and the Finance Director in attendance. 

Commitment

Board meetings are usually held four times a year and meetings usually take place in London. Outside of board meetings, staff may seek to consult with trustees on particular subjects and there will be opportunities to attend strategy days, as well as other meetings and events. The role is unpaid, however reasonable expenses are paid in line with the Charity’s expenses policy.

How to apply

Please email your CV along with a cover letter (max two sides of A4) outlining your eligibility for the role to recruitment@solar-aid.org. Please entitle your email with “Trustee application [Name Surname]”

Applications without a covering letter will not be considered

The closing date for applications is Sunday, 1 November.