This job has expired

Co-Executive Director

Forward Arts Foundation
£50,000-55,000 commensurate with experience (pro-rated to £25,000-27,500 for 2.5 days)
Closing date
25 Jul 2021

View more

You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Job Details

Forward is recruiting a Co-Executive Director to lead the charity with Mónica Parle as we enter an exciting period of development. 

The two Co-Executive Directors, each working part-time, will be jointly accountable to the board for the leadership and management of the charity.  We are looking for a Co-Executive Director with experience in operational management, organisational development and resilience to complement the existing Co-Executive Director’s experience in fundraising and partnership building.  

Forward Arts Foundation seeks to place diversity and inclusion at the heart of all its work and we welcome applications from the widest possible range of candidates. This pack includes information about Forward Arts Foundation, details of the Co-Executive Role and the Person Specification, and details of how to apply.


The Executive Director role is carried out jointly by two Co-Executive Directors, each working 2.5 days a week.  The detailed allocation of day-to-day responsibilities will be agreed by the two Co-Executive Directors.  However, the role we are currently advertising will focus more on operational matters and the existing Co-Director will focus on fundraising and partnerships.

Job Title:                   Co-Executive Director

Reporting to:            The Board of Trustees 

Direct reports:          Development Manager, Forward Prizes for Poetry Manager, National Poetry Day Manager, Operations Manager (relationships to be determined)

The two Co-Executive Directors are jointly accountable to the board for the full range of executive functions at the charity. They are supported by a dynamic and creative team and a committed and engaged board of Trustees. 

They have joint responsibility for developing and delivering Forward Arts Foundation’s objectives as the national charity that promotes knowledge and enjoyment of poetry, drawing up the five-year strategy for the charity, and putting in place the programmes, support systems, and infrastructure to ensure our organisational sustainability, health and resilience.

The Co-Executive Directors will create a collaborative, welcoming and inclusive environment that supports collaborative team working internally and fosters strong external relationships with partners and stakeholders to deliver the mission and vision of Forward Arts Foundation. 

Key responsibilities

Strategic leadership

  • Work with the Trustees to develop the long-term strategy of Forward Arts Foundation, articulating its core objectives, and developing the business plan which will deliver it.
  • Accountable for the delivery and effectiveness of the strategy.
  • Lead the development and delivery of the charity’s fundraising strategy.  relationships with potential fundraisers and donors.
  • Ensure Forward Arts Foundation operates within its governing documents and charity law.
  • Maintain a good perspective on the national and international context which may impact Forward Arts Foundation’s beneficiaries or its future planning.


  • Responsible for the operational management and organisational development of Forward Arts Foundation.  
  • Develop the charity’s policy on equality and diversity to embed an inclusive approach across the organisation and its beneficiaries.
  • Instil a performance management culture which ensures that all staff know what is expected of them and are supported to achieve their objectives.  

Financial management 

  • Draw up and oversee Forward Arts Foundation’s business plan and budget, balancing creative ambition and financial stability.   
  • Responsible for the charity’s financial strategy, controls and procedures. 


External relations 

  • Act as the lead advocates for Forward Arts Foundation, representing its work and the opportunities it provides to multiple audiences.
  • Develop positive long-term relationships with Forward Arts Foundation’s present and future partner organisations.


  • Understanding of charity law and compliance.
  • Work with the Chair to prepare and deliver an annual  board timetable and appropriate agendas for the Trustees to  make considered decisions on strategy, policy and finance. 

The Person

You will be able to demonstrate the following: 


  • Leadership experience within the creative and cultural sector in a management role.
  • A keen interest in the work of Forward Arts Foundation and in the possibilities that poetry affords.
  • A demonstrable track record of financial management, budget oversight and reporting to funders.
  • Organisational development experience and experience devising infrastructure and systems to ensure the health, resilience and sustainability of the organisation.
  • Ability to organise and plan strategically whilst being able to pay attention to detail.
  • Experience supporting a dynamic and capable team to ensure best performance through performance management systems. 
  • Knowledge of good practice guidelines for charities and limited companies.
  • A demonstrated commitment to teamwork, working in partnership, and inclusive practice.
  • Working with a board.
  • Ability to be flexible and responsive.
  • Entrepreneurial and self-motivated.


  • Experience of leading organisational change
  • Experience of delivering through digital media
  • Communications experience
  • Experience working in the education sector


Contract:                   Permanent, 2.5 days a week 

Salary:                       £50,000-55,000 commensurate with experience (pro-rated to £25,000-27,500 for 2.5 days)

Hours:                        17.5 hours                            

Annual leave:            25 days plus bank holidays

Pension:                     Scheme provided by NEST 

Location:                    FAF’s current office is at Somerset House in London, and some travel to London is essential

Equality & Diversity

We believe poetry is for everyone, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital status, maternity and pregnancy, race, religion, class and sexual orientation. For this reason, our approach to our poetry commissions and recruitment is shaped by a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.

Across 2021, we are working to more actively and strategically embed inclusion in every facet of our practice. We particularly welcome applications for vacancies from black and minority ethnic candidates, as they are under-represented within the arts, and we commit to continue to review our processes to ensure that our organisation more closely reflects the society it serves.

How to apply

Please submit a CV and also tell us your reasons for applying for this role, drawing attention to how you match the knowledge, skills and experience we are looking for. Please include two referees’ names: references will be taken up only if you are selected for the post.

Applications should be sent to You will receive an email confirming receipt of your email application within 2 working days.

To discuss the role and for further information, please contact Natalie Charles at to arrange a conversation with our Chair.

Closing date for applications: Sunday, 25 July 2021 at 11.59pm.

You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert