About the Astra Foundation:
Astra is a newly formed family foundation in the UK funded by a generous philanthropist. Our mission is to counter alienation and isolation in the digital age by promoting human dialogue, interaction, and socialization; to protect our precious environment from further degradation through plastic pollution; and to empower youth to reach their fullest potential. Our grantmaking will focus on the UK, France and Africa.
The Astra Foundation has three core program areas:
- Countering alienation and isolation in the digital age: In the digital age dominated by social media, many people feel profoundly alienated, isolated, and lonely. Our aim is to counter alienation and isolation by promoting human dialogue and interactions, socialization, and cultural activities. We focus particularly on addressing loneliness and isolation among young persons, and promoting intergenerational dialogue and contact.
- Protecting our environment through waste and plastics reduction: Our environment is under severe threat from climate change, and is being polluted by excessive waste and single-use plastics. Our aim is to raise public awareness about wasteful practices in the consumer industry, protect our precious environment by promoting innovative waste reduction practices, reducing the use of single-use plastics and wasteful practices in the consumer industry, and preventing plastic pollution in our seas and oceans.
- Empowering youth to reach their fullest potential: Our youth are our future. We seek to remove barriers to education and vocational training for youth, and support programs in areas such as sports and the arts that help youth reach their fullest potential.
Foundation Manager Position Overview:
The inaugural Foundation Manager at Astra will be a full-time employee who plays a critical role in building and launching the Astra Foundation. Although our principal philanthropist has made a variety of grants over the past several years in our program areas and we have relationships with a range of current and potential grantees, the foundation itself has only recently been incorporated in the UK and this is a startup role in many senses.
We are seeking a dynamic, seasoned and strategic leader with a background in philanthropy and the NGO sector who is motivated by our mission. They must be prepared to function as the sole Astra Foundation employee at the outset with the possibility of building a small team in the future as required. The Foundation Manager will be working with our Trustees as well as our strategic, legal and financial consultants to get the Astra Foundation up and running and will steward its growth and development over time. The ideal candidate will be a collaborative self-starter with a willingness to handle all aspects of the Foundation’s work, from the high-level strategy and external relations to the day-to-day administrative detail. The Foundation Manager’s role will encompass grants management, financial and legal compliance, governance and communications and public relations as detailed more fully below.
Job Responsibilities (FT):
- Respond to and monitor grant inquiries and outreach, consulting with leadership of organisations interested in applying for funding from the Astra Foundation, communicating on priorities and/or advising on eligibility.
- Work closely with the principal philanthropist to assess potential grantees and renewals.
- Review submitted proposals and prepare summaries for Trustee consideration.
- Report grant activity and impact summaries to the Trustees.
- Prepare grant contract letters reflecting payment and reporting schedules.
- Ensure compliance with grant agreement and budgetary allocations.
- Ensure timely payment and recording of approved grants.
- Provide technical assistance and/or identify capacity building support for grantees.
- Conduct site visits as appropriate with members of the Trustees where relevant.
Financial and Legal Compliance:
- Develop and monitor annual Astra foundation operational budget.
- Ensure ongoing financial reporting to the external accountant.
- Oversee monthly cash requirements, manage banking administration.
- Sign checks and supervise reconciliation of monthly bank statements
- Ensure timely grant payments and payments to vendors.
- Work with the external accountant to develop and review financial statements.
- In consultation with the legal advisor, keep informed about changes in regulatory issues affecting foundations and/or nonprofits, making adjustments and transmitting information to the Trustees as necessary.
- Ensure timely filings of required paperwork and compliance with all legal requirements.
- Plan Trustees meetings with the Chair and prepare all necessary support material.
- Record, construct, and maintain official records of minutes and governing documents.
- Inform the Trustees of NGO or community issues and/or changes in philanthropy including new legislation.
- Maintain records of Trustee and officer terms and annual elections.
Communications and Public Relations:
- Build visibility for the Astra Foundation in the community by participating in events, seminars and conferences and identifying opportunities for the Trustees members to do the same.
- Represent Astra to other foundations, philanthropic support organizations, and grantees.
- Seek opportunities to highlight contributions of Astra funded organizations.
- Develop periodic reports highlighting Astra’s investments and activities for distribution to relevant stakeholders.
- Ensure the Astra Foundation website and any social media channels are updated as needed.
- Prepare news releases and liaise with the press as appropriate.
Preferred Experience and Knowledge:
- A seasoned leader with at least five years of experience in management roles connected to philanthropy, nonprofit organisations, public policy, and governance
- Experience overseeing financial affairs and legal compliance
- Experience in the areas of loneliness, youth empowerment and/or plastic pollution
- Successful experience working with Trustees
- Strategic Vision with an ability to step back from day-to-day activities to view the bigger picture, trends, opportunities, etc
- Strong organisational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Strong written and financial skills
- Technology proficiency
- Fluency in English is required; fluency in French is preferred
Please submit a resume, cover letter and 3-5 page writing sample (excerpts are acceptable) with the subject “Foundation Manager Application” to Gillian@astrafoundation.co.uk
Please apply ASAP as interviews are conducted on a rolling basis.