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Executive Director of Operations

Comic Relief
Our offices are in London, and we are a hybrid working organisation
£86,382 - £102,723pa
Closing date
8 Aug 2022
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Job Details

Executive Director of Operations

£86,382 - £102,723pa

Our offices are in London, and we are a hybrid working organisation


Purpose of job:

This is an exciting opportunity to further realise the potential of a well-loved brand. The Executive Director of Operations will be responsible for strategically supporting the operations of Comic Relief, spanning Finance, Legal & Assurance, Information Technology, People & Facilities and Governance functions. The role ensures that Comic Relief is run efficiently to deliver upon its vision and strategy.


This role will provide overall executive leadership whilst having a deep analytical understanding of the charity, developing strong and trusted relationships across functions. It will help ensure the organisation is fully supported, and that the Operations directorate plays a lead role in commercial decision making. Ensuring the overall financial health and sustainability of the organisation is a key responsibility of the Executive Director of Operations. The role will also play an integral part in driving further efficiencies and performance improvements across Comic Relief and ensuring that staff are developed and supported to contribute to Comic Relief’s objectives, culture and values


Key responsibilities:


  • Lead on Board Relations, attending the relevant board and committee meetings
  • Ensure that Comic Relief has a robust and effective governance framework that is mirrored in a comprehensive strategic framework.
  • Ensure that effective processes are in place to provide robust charitable governance and strategic delivery.
  • Support the Board Secretary, Board of Trustees and Committees of the Board to fulfil their duties.
  • Oversight of annual report and other financial reporting responsibilities.


Finance Oversight

  • Work with the Head of Finance to ensure alignment of financial and operational performance in line with our strategy.
  • Take ultimate responsibility for effective and accountable financial management of the organisation, ensuring that our systems and processes are robust.
  • Ensure that the organisation’s operations are underpinned by a sustainable financial model.
  • Oversee the investment strategy to assure alignment with the organisations vision and mission and delivery of strategy.
  • Producing cost-effective budgets to achieve action plans.


Legal & Assurance Oversight

  • Support the Head of Legal and Assurance to ensure that measures are in place to comply with Comic Relief’s statutory, regulatory and transparency obligations.
  • Ensure that effective professional legal support is provided to enable Comic Relief’s business objectives and ensure reputational risk management.
  • Support Trustees to ensure they have a full picture of Comic Relief’s risks and that there are appropriate plans in place to mitigate and manage these risks in such a way as to safely facilitate the objectives of the charity.


Operational Oversight

  • Responsible for providing day to day line management, oversight and support to the Head of Operations
  • Take ultimate responsibility for the People & Culture functions, including HR operations HR business partnering, learning and development, benefits, performance management, policies, culture offerings and employee support.
  • Take ultimate responsibility for the effective delivery of the IT function, covering the technical services infrastructure that supports the organisation including: desktop support, equipment, office technology, connectivity and IT security.
  • Take ultimate responsibility for the delivery of a professional facilities service and working environments.
  • Take ultimate responsibility for the delivery of Supporter Care processes and team as they respond to donor and external enquiries.


Person specification

Essential criteria

Significant experience at Executive Board level, in an organisation with complex stakeholder relationships with cross functional responsibilities.

A professional accountancy qualification or significant experience of leading strategic financial planning processes and overseeing a finance function.

Charity sector experience and knowledge of charity governance and laws

A strong track record of achieving financial results and delivering in an organisation with a significant transformation agenda.

High levels of personal energy, bringing the ability to inspire others around them and take them through significant change.

Be decisive and able to successfully influence people at all levels.

Be committed to developing a positive and high performing culture across the business.

Enjoy working in a fast-paced, audience-focused environment, and be keen to be a strong commercial contributor within the senior leadership team.


Desirable criteria

Experience of overseeing large scale change programmes

Exposure to the media sector.

Experience as a Trustee, Company Secretary, or other involvement in charity governance.

Experience of HR Management or overseeing HR Operations


Perks and benefits

  • Flexible working hours
  • Work from home option
  • Life Insurance
  • Wellness programs
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity leave
  • Paid emergency leave
  • Sabbatical Opportunities
  • Professional development
  • Mentoring/coaching
  • Paid volunteer days
  • Payroll giving
  • Salary sacrifice
  • Team social events
  • Extracurricular clubs
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Free fruit


If you are interested in joining our award-winning team, making a difference to the lives of people who need it the most and having FUN while doing it, click the link.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of colour are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Comic Relief we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your previous experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles

We recognise diversity and inclusion are a source of strength in achieving our mission. We therefore welcome everyone, trusting what makes us different brings creativity, styles and experiences to help us collectively do our best work. That’s regardless of your gender, age, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural identity. We especially welcome those from under-represented groups in modern grant-making and fundraising.

We are on a journey, but if you join our team you will be part of a community that is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where we want you to:

Be valued for being yourself

Do your best work, and be supported to break down barriers so you can succeed

Be heard, respected, and treated as an equal, whatever your level, experience or background

Be part of a team that is committed to making this happen – with our colleagues, partners, and contributors.


Comic Relief is committed to preventing and protecting all people from harm in their interactions with us. We expect all those that act in our name to uphold our approach to doing no harm.



Our mission, thanks to our comedy heritage and the fantastic relationship we enjoy with the BBC, is 'positive change through the power of entertainment'.

And our biggest tool, in trying to achieve these two goals, is the ability to inspire people across the whole country especially those who don’t normally do charity - to do charity.

As the world has changed and become more complex over the last two decades, so Comic Relief has had to adapt and change too but the fundamentals remain the same - a just world free from poverty. In trying to achieve that vision we make this promise to the people who make those efforts possible - our supporters:

"In order to run itself in a professional and effective way Comic Relief incurs necessary costs. Raising funds, making grants and organisational overheads cost real money.

Despite these costs, Comic Relief is still able to promise that for every pound the charity gets directly from the public, a pound goes to help transform the lives of people living with poverty and social injustice. If Sport Relief raises £20 million, Comic Relief will spend at least £20 million doing just that.

It can make this promise because its operating budget is covered in cash or in kind from all types of supporters like corporate sponsors and donors, suppliers, generous individuals and government (including Gift Aid) as well as from investment income and interest"


Comic Relief is obviously a charity - but it's also a business too.

The money we raise is allocated to a wide range of grants and social investments aimed at delivering real and long-lasting change to the poorest, most vulnerable people at home and across the world; as well as informing the public and young people in particular about global citizenship and the underlying causes of extreme poverty.

That money comes in from a number of different sources. Traditional charitable fundraising obviously plays a vital role. The public contribute to Comic Relief's annual campaigns by raising money through sponsorship and by making donations online, by post, by telephone and through major banks and building societies. This support, from almost the very day Comic Relief was formed, has been both humbling and inspirational.

On the business side of things, Comic Relief works with key corporate partners to produce products and promotions that are profitable. The clearest example of this is the Red Nose that is the emblem of Red Nose Day.

Where possible these products tie-in with the charity's commitment to delivering benefits to poor farmers and producers. The Red Nose Day 2007 T-shirt for instance was made with fair trade cotton from Mali, Cameroon and Senegal and there will be a fair trade Maraba Bourbon coffee grown in Rwanda, a country to which Comic Relief has had a clear commitment since the appalling genocide of 1994.

Another way Comic Relief raises funds is via the creativity made available to the charity. Comedians from time to time offer access to key brands like Little Britain for commercial exploitation. The charity also develops and owns key sub-brands like Robbie the Reindeer and Monkey, both of which deliver a revenue too.

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