We are looking for two new trustees to join our Board

Join the CAST Board to enable an empowered, vocal and influential civil society, confident in their use and understanding of digital.

CAST is at an exciting time in its strategy and its opportunity to effect positive change. We have just completed incubating Catalyst from an initial project into a stand alone CIC, and are now able to re-focus on providing the more immediate capacity and infrastructure support that the sector needs. We have a great new strategy, an amazing team, a network of incredible people, and are in a robust financial position. We are looking for 2 new trustees to join and play an integral role in the success and impact going forward.

We are looking for a general trustee and for a Financial-Lead trustee, who would also chair our Finance & Audit Committee. We’d love these two new trustees to add to the diversity of skills, experience and background of the Board.

We hope the information here helps inspire you to get in touch for an informal conversation with the Interim Chair, Emma Thomas or Director, Dan Sutch.

We want this role to be right for you and CAST, so we will arrange the opportunity to informally meet key individuals online, before a small panel interview. These will be held early June.

About CAST

CAST is a UK charity that supports social impact organisations to make the fullest use of digital technology, in order to be as responsive and resilient as possible. We work to remove barriers, create opportunities, spark connections and nurture the supporting conditions that enable social impact organisations to accelerate their agency, presence and influence in the technologies that affect us all.

It is CAST’s mission to ensure that every UK social impact organisation has the knowledge, confidence and opportunity to harness the full power of digital.

We work directly with charities and social impact organisations, helping them to become more responsive to the changing needs, behaviours and expectations of the individuals and communities they serve, more test-driven in the way that they deliver value to those audiences - and more confident in embedding digital principles into their organisational strategy, culture and services.

We also work closely with funders, advisory bodies, advocacy collectives, sector leaders and digital specialists, to radically improve the quality, range and uptake of social organisations’ digital tools, training, funding and advice.

Our connection with multiple touchpoints across the sector means that we are at the forefront of understanding emerging trends and needs - and flexing our approaches as needed, in order to offer the most valuable support. As such, we are currently working hard to understand the sector's most pressing concerns, challenges and needs in terms of artificial intelligence (AI) so that we can help social impact organisations overcome obstacles and make the most of AI-related opportunities.

By building the social sector organisations’ digital capacity, CAST helps them to become better equipped to thrive in the face of rapid social, economic and technological change.

Our context and ecosystem and the role we aim to play

CAST is committed to a networked approach whereby we maintain a relatively small team while working with and through others who share our broad goals. In serving the needs of charities and social impact organisations, we see our key collaborators as:

  • Charities, sector networks and membership bodies;
  • specialist digital consultancy and service delivery organisations;
  • trusts and foundations;
  • government (local and central)

The following principles of network leadership underpin our work:

  • Trust not control
  • Building on what exists
  • Humility not brand
  • Build the right teams and partnerships
  • Distributed not centralised
  • Learn and adapt
  • Mission not organisation
  • Be ethical, be open

We operationalise our values:

  • We'll be wide open
    We’ll seek and expect learning and challenge from all sources. We’ll be transparent and honest. We’ll share our thinking, our methods and our learning.
  • We'll go all out
    We’ll show the courage to create, to stretch our thinking, to be wrong, to look beyond, to speak up, to take risks and to be uncomfortable as we deliver constant improvement. We’ll do this as we are (with a nod to Promising Trouble) impatient for radical change.
  • We'll act as one team
    We’ll absolutely embrace our connectedness and value our differences. We’ll actively work to understand, support and care for the needs and experience of each one of us at every level. We’ll recognise each other as equals, working to shared goals and together, we hold power.
  • We’ll be optimists
    Together, in our distinct roles, we’ll lead this mission with ambition. We’ll meet our challenges with confidence and a smile. We’ll hold each other in the highest esteem. We're doing this.

For more information on CAST, please visit our website. You can view our latest published accounts here.

How CAST is funded and governed

CAST was established as an independent charity in 2015 with seed funding from Nominet Trust. It has a mixed income model with funding from charities, trusts, foundations and business in the form of grants, sponsorship and consultancy contracts. CAST is in a robust financial position with free reserves equivalent to six months’ operating expenditure.

After over eight years of operation, the founding trustees have recently stepped down and CAST’s current Board is composed of five trustees, who all joined in 2020, with broad experience across the social sector, digital and design and organisational development. The Board is currently chaired by Emma Thomas (one of the founding trustees who will step down at the end of 2024) on an interim basis, with Gaia Ines Fassò taking over in September. Quarterly Board meetings, brief online calls every two months, and a dedicated Finance & Audit committee ensure that the charity is well managed and well governed.

After a governance review and skills audit, we are now looking to appoint two new trustees to create a Board of six committed trustees to support CAST’s work.

Recruiting new trustees

We are looking to appoint two new trustees, whose role would be to:

  • support the creation and ensure the delivery of CAST’s strategy and annual budget;
  • ensure that CAST’s work remains relevant to the evolving needs of charities and social impact organisations;
  • support CAST and our partners to expand the reach of digital initiatives across the charity sector;
  • guide, support and monitor the work of the co-founder and team;
  • ensure legal compliance including with regulatory requirements and contractual or restricted grant arrangements;
  • protect the long-term sustainability of CAST;
  • promote the work of CAST externally;
  • always act in line with the six key duties of a trustee.

In addition, the Finance-Lead trustee would have the following responsibilities:

  • maintain strategic oversight of CAST finances and advise the Board regarding the financial implications of the charity’s plans;
  • advise the Board on the approval of CAST budgets, financial statements and reserves and investment policies;
  • support the Head of Finance on providing effective reporting for the leadership of the organisation;
  • support the Head of Finance on implementing robust and effective financial accounting, financial control, PAYE/NI, VAT and pension and risk management procedures;
  • chair the Finance & Audit committee (which meets quarterly).

Skills and attributes CAST needs on its Board

From our recent skills audit for the new strategy we have identified some key areas we are particularly keen to be reflected in the makeup of the Board:

Tech expertise, including AI: Deeply held expertise and knowledge of technology, especially AI. Forward looking at new developments, as well as understanding of adoption and integration into organisations. This is likely someone in a senior tech/AI role.

Impact of Technology: Strong tech capability and knowledge, particularly from the perspective of societal impact and human rights.

Financial expertise: Extensive financial experience and responsibility within an organisation - accustomed to reporting and recommending to senior level, putting appropriate controls in place, ensuring compliance. We have strong experience across the Board yet need a qualified financial lead to ensure robust management and reporting.

Influence & convening: Experience of influencing key decision makers (Ministers, Senior Civil Servants, tech companies etc), understanding the wider system and communication approaches - and able to act as a connector to key decision makers. 

This recruitment will supplement CAST’s Board with fresh experience and thinking, in order to make a positive impact on strategy-setting and decision-making. With this in mind, if you align with its values and mission, and believe you can help achieve the role description, we’d be pleased to hear from you.

CAST is committed to have a Board that represents a diverse range of thinking, backgrounds and perspectives. We’re looking for all trustees to have a commitment towards CAST as an equitable and inclusive organisation.

Trustees must all demonstrate the following competencies:

  • sound strategic direction and judgement: trustees must be forward thinking, risk aware and able to draw on a wide range of factors when decision-making;
  • commitment: we need trustees able to devote the necessary time to prepare for meetings and to participate actively in achieving the mission of CAST;
  • team working: trustees must be committed to working with other board (and, where relevant, committee) members to act in the best interests of CAST.

Trustees must all demonstrate the following personal qualities:

  • integrity: trustees must show integrity in all dealings with the CAST team and stakeholders;
  • passion: we’re looking for those with conviction about the social sector and a passion and intellectual interest in the use of digital to achieve greater resilience and impact;
  • inventive and agile: trustees must be open to new and network-based models of working and appreciative of the multi-stakeholder governance issues surrounding CAST.

Our trustees are vital volunteers supporting CAST’s work and we are incredibly grateful for all the time and expertise they share with us. We’d hope that not only bringing your skills and qualities to CAST, that you will also benefit through learning more about the running of a charity, charity governance, finance and strategy, as well as the evolving digital landscape.

Time commitment we are looking for

The aim is to keep CAST’s Board as a small group of six committed and engaged trustees bringing skills, expertise and networks, working positively together and with the CAST team. This will mean time preparing and taking part in Board and Committee meetings, yet also working with individuals outside of the formal meeting. We are therefore looking for individuals who are able to commit to the time needed. We estimate this as 8 - 10 days per year for trustees including Committee members, and 10 – 12 days for the Finance Lead Trustee. Based upon:

  • Board meetings x 4 with one a year in person for extended strategy work = 3 days
    • assuming 0.5 days for 2 meetings and 1 day each for two meetings such as extensive reading for March Board and time for annual away day/in person time
    • 3 days (with the expectation of being able to attend a minimum of 3 meetings per year.)
  • Members of committee 4x meetings = 2 days ((with the expectation of being able to attend a minimum of 3 meetings per year.)
  • Additional contribution approx. 1 day per Qtr = 4 days
    • 121s with CAST team/attending team meetings contributing specific expertise
    • As Chair of Committee
    • Representing CAST
    • Annual 121 with Chair

The majority of time will be remote with one Board meeting a year in person, usually in a central London location, and usually in early December.

This role is offered on a voluntary basis. All travel and subsistence expenses relating to trustee duties and responsibilities will be reimbursed in full, up to the limits set out in our expenses policy.

Process

If you’re interested in learning more about these roles or in joining the CAST Board, please contact us to arrange an informal conversation by emailing our Director, Dan Sutch, using [email protected]. We’ll look to schedule these calls throughout May and early June.

Mid June we’ll invite final conversations with our Chair, Director and one other trustee, where we’ll ask candidates to share their interest in the role; what they hope to bring to CAST and why they’re looking to support CAST’s mission.

We are aiming to appoint new trustees to join their first Board meeting in September 2024 (online).