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Recruiting new trustees!

EFN has openings for up to three new trustees to start this autumn. Deadline: 26 August 2021.

Trustee Role Description

Position: Part-time (see Terms of Engagement, below)

Salary: Board member roles are unremunerated but expenses are paid such as travel in order to support attendance at board meetings.

Application deadline: 26 August 2021

EFN is seeking up to three new board members to join a dynamic organisation with a growing membership. We are particularly keen to attract those with a deep understanding of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion as it relates to environmental issues; with communications and/or PR expertise to support our work raising the profile of environmental philanthropy; and experience of being, or working with, the stakeholders (businesses, government, investors) typically targeted by environmental campaigns. We recognise that EFN will be a more effective organisation with a diverse board representing a range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences.

Who are we?
The Environmental Funders Network (EFN), based in the UK, aims to increase the overall level of financial support for environmental causes and to help increase the effectiveness of environmental philanthropy. We bring together trusts, foundations and individuals making grants on environmental and conservation issues, as well as acting as a resource for the broader environment sector.

What impact could you make as a board member?
We are looking for board members who are passionate about ensuring that there are sufficient resources, strategically targeted, to address the environmental crisis that affects all of us. We have three main strands of work that you could help enhance:

Improving the effectiveness of environmental philanthropy: We convene established funders through regular meetings and an annual retreat; we conduct research into the grants market to highlight the gaps and what the sector most needs to be more effective; and we help funders learn from each other. We are always looking for new ideas for how best to foster collaboration and more strategic philanthropy.

Expanding environmental philanthropy: We encourage individuals and foundations (where funding is directed at other issues) to support environmental causes at scale, through events, publications and research designed to inspire and empower. We work in partnership with a wide range of organisations to broaden our reach.

Improving the effectiveness of the environment sector: Building on the findings of our research and regular conversations with people from across the sector, EFN has begun to focus more broadly on how to help the environment sector at large become more effective. That work includes convenings and workshops (e.g. on communications and fundraising) and a new network for environmental fundraisers. We would benefit from trustees with experience in the sector and a birds’ eye view of its needs and opportunities for strengthening its effectiveness.

Who should apply?
EFN is committed to achieving greater diversity in its board, and actively encourages applications from people from all ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities, disabilities, adults of all ages, and people with a broad variety of views and perspectives. We firmly believe EFN will be a more effective organisation if its board reflects and represents the views of a truly diverse group of people, with trustees bringing a variety of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to bear on our work. We would welcome a conversation with you about what we are doing to make sure EFN is an organisation that better addresses justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (both internally and in terms of our programming); if you would like to talk to our director, Florence, about this before you apply, please let Emma know.

We encourage those that already take part in EFN activities and those with experience in philanthropy to apply, but also people who have been beneficiaries of philanthropic funding and can share their knowledge and expertise.

EFN’s board has two subcommittees: Finance & General Purpose, and Programme. We are particularly looking for applicants who would be keen to join our Finance & General Purpose committee, which is responsible for overseeing our finances as well as our staffing and internal policies and procedures. As a relatively young organisation (EFN was a project housed within a grantmaking trust until 2018), this is a really interesting committee to be part of, helping to shape the organisation.

Finally, if you’d like to be a board member but face barriers in applying such as accessibility issues, health issues, caring responsibilities or other concerns, please get in touch to discuss what EFN could do to support you.

Terms of Engagement
Trustees cannot be paid for fulfilling the normal duties of a trustee, though all expenses incurred while on the business of EFN will, of course, be reimbursed.

The time commitment expected includes:

  • Attendance at quarterly board meetings (held virtually). Each quarterly meeting lasts no more than two hours.
  • Attendance at the annual Away Day for trustees and staff, typically held within 1.5 hours of London
  • Attendance where possible at the annual EFN Retreat for funders (in non-pandemic times, this is a two-day, in-person retreat that takes place in different parts of the country each year)
  • Attendance at some EFN events each year, to get a sense of the offerings of the network
  • Participation on a sub-committee of the board (currently these are the Programme Committee and the Finance and General Purpose Committee), which meet shortly before most quarterly board meetings (these meetings are also no more than two hours, often less)

For more about the essential tasks of the board, see below*.

How to apply:
Please answer the following questions in an email to Emma Clyde (, and attach your CV:

  1. What in particular interests you about joining EFN’s board?
  2. What skills, experiences and/or perspectives would you contribute to the organisation
  3. In five years’ time, what accomplishments would make you particularly proud to have been part of EFN?

Deadline:  26 August 2021

What happens next?
We will review the proposals at the end of August, and invite a short-list to a first-round interview in early September. Second-round interviews will follow a week or two afterwards. All interviews will be virtual.

*Essential Tasks of the Board

  • Support EFN’s staff to develop the organisation’s strategy to accomplish our mission of improving the effectiveness of environmental philanthropy and increasing the amounts of funding going to environmental causes.
  • Ensure that EFN complies with its constitution and charitable objectives.
  • Ensure that the organisation is accountable as required by law to the Charity Commission, OSCR and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The board also needs to make sure EFN is accountable to all its stakeholders, including its funders, members, other funders and the environmental NGO sector at large. This means publishing annual reports and accounts and communicating effectively.
  • Ensure compliance with the law. The Charity Commission provides a Governance Code which frames everything that we do.
  • Maintain proper fiscal oversight: the board is responsible for effectively managing the organisation’s resources so it can meet its charitable objects. We have a Finance & General Purposes Committee to review these things in depth, but it is the responsibility of the full board to:
    1. Secure resources to fulfil the mission, if required
    2. Monitor spending
    3. Approve the annual financial statement and budget
    4. Provide insurance to protect the organisation from liability
    5. Seek to minimise risk
    6. Ensure legal compliance
  • Establish and monitor policies to govern organisational activity.
  • Select, manage and support the EFN Director.
  • Respect the role of all staff and conduct good employment practices. covering recruitment; support, appraisal, remuneration and discipline.
  • Maintain effective board performance, guided by the Charity Commission Governance Code of Conduct.
  • Promote and enhance the reputation of the organisation, through its own behaviour, governance oversight and activities on behalf of the organisation. Board members should be great ambassadors for EFN.