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Chief Executive Leeds Community Foundation

We're seeking a new leader who is passionate about the impact that Leeds Community Foundation can make and who comprehends the complexities of instigating change in communities facing entrenched inequity.

  • Location: Leeds. Flexible working with some from home, Leeds and Bradford to match the needs of the Foundation.
  • Salary: £70,000 - £80,000

Who we are

Location: St Paul’s St, Leeds LS1 2TE

Working hours: 35 per week with flexible hybrid working

Salary: £70,000 – £80,000

Leeds Community Foundation, the largest independent funder in Yorkshire, is actively seeking its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This unique role is an extraordinary opportunity for an exemplary individual to lead an organisation that is positively transforming lives and communities across Leeds and Bradford.

Leeds Community Foundation spearheads four distinct entities, including Bradford District Community Foundation. Each entity embraces complementary interests. Some involve endowed and immediate-impact (flow-through) funding opportunities. Funding strategies are carefully balanced to provide optimal and appropriate resources for local communities.

Our mission is fulfilled by investing in grass-roots community groups, which best understand their community and can co-design with our financial support for longer-term stability. Having a history of consistent grant-making and wrap-around support over the past 15 years, we have established dynamic, ever-evolving, and mature relationships with a diverse network of groups working with grass-roots communities.

Our outgoing CEO and their leadership team have nurtured a balanced staff team, securing a variety of income sources. These have allowed us to provide an annual grant-making ranging from £3 to £5 million to sustain and build resilience among our communities during a particularly challenging time.

We are currently developing our next strategic plan. Despite the recent global turbulence, including the pandemic, a challenging cost-of-living crisis, and shifting trends in philanthropy, Leeds Community Foundation is determined to strengthen the gains we’ve made to provide a stable, long-term resource for the people of Leeds and Bradford who need it most.

In this role, you’ll have the opportunity to effect transformational change for the people and communities in our cities, building on the modern, relational grant-making practices we’ve established. We’ve been expanding our understanding and activities towards greater equity, with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) playing a crucial role in reaching deep into our communities.

We’re seeking a new leader who is passionate about the impact that Leeds Community Foundation can make.

We need you to understand the complexity of instigating and sustaining change in communities, particularly those facing inequity.

We need you to inspire our motivated staff team to achieve even more, and to represent us, communicating in an accessible and comprehensive manner.

Who we are looking for

Our ideal candidate will be experienced in raising substantial charitable funds, with knowledge and understanding of modern grant-making practices, be committed to DEI, and have experience in current charity governance. The ability to build and maintain strong relationships with various stakeholders, including community groups, donors, and public sector entities, is crucial.

We acknowledge that the diversity of those in leadership across the third sector does not reflect the vibrant diversity of our communities. We, therefore, welcome those seeking their first Chief Executive role to consider this opportunity. Aspiration, aptitude, and ambition will be as important to us as experience in this appointment. We are also open to leveraging our collective resources and networks to ensure our new CEO has the support needed to excel.

If you’re inspired by this opportunity, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Bill Yuksel

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Welcome from the Chair and former Chair

Thank you for your interest in leading Leeds Community Foundation into its next exciting phase.

As the largest independent funder in Yorkshire, this is a truly unique role both regionally and nationally.

Leeds Community Foundation leads four separate entities with complementary interests and combines both endowed and flowthrough (immediate impact) funding opportunities in a careful balance to provide the best and most appropriate resources for local communities.

We fulfil our mission through investing in grass roots community groups that understand best what will serve them and provide the best chance for longer term stability. With a history of investing over the past 15 years, supported further by an active and interested local authority, we have developed vibrant, continuously refreshing and mature relationships with the ecosystem of groups working with grassroot communities.

Over the past five years, our CEO and leadership team has nurtured a balanced staff team and a range of income sources to provide regular annual grant making into that ecosystem of between £3 and £5 million per year. The resurrection of Bradford District Community Foundation in 2021 allowed authentic development of support and activity in Bradford benefitting from the established Foundation’s resources and experience. Leeds Community Foundation is proud to be a trusted partner of community organisations across Leeds and Bradford, and with private and public sector stakeholders.

After the turbulence of a global pandemic and national lockdown, the switch to hybrid or working from home, and emerging trends in philanthropy, the Foundation is determined to consolidate the strong gains already made to provide a stable, long-term resource for the people of Leeds and Bradford.

In this role, you will have the chance to drive transformational change for people and communities in our cities, building on the modern relational grant making we’ve established. We have been growing our understanding and activity to be more equitable and DEI has been crucial in reaching deep into our communities to learn how best to support ambitions, development, and opportunity.

Our combined endowment serving Leeds and Bradford in a variety of ways, and our investment in The Old Fire Station, Gipton have delivered over £60 million of grant making into our cities and provided crucial emergency response during these years of crisis since 2020. The challenge now is to identify how best to serve these cities, rich in diverse experience, sometimes sophisticated and sometimes untapped philanthropy, and a wide range of community assets.

You will be the kind of leader who cares passionately about your work. You will understand complexity and strive for change in communities experiencing entrenched inequity. You’ll galvanise the experienced motivated staff team to achieve even more. A strong communicator, you will be able to interpret complicated messages accessibly, and comprehensively. This is a varied and challenging role, with a national profile as well as a local one. As leader of Leeds Community Foundation, you will get stuck in and lead by example, collegiately, and with the humility that prioritises the outcome over who gets the credit.

This is an exciting and pivotal moment for the foundation, as we transition from one Chair to the next, and from delivering our five-year Plan 2024 to looking at priorities beyond March 2024. We need your passion, your leadership, and your determination. We can’t wait to meet you!

Chair, Cleveland Henry

Former Chair, Nick Lane Fox

If you’re inspired by this opportunity, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

What is a Community Foundation?

A community foundation connects philanthropic people with local causes that matter to them. They are charitable organisations focused on supporting a defined geographical area by building endowments, channelling flow-through funds and generating money to support community needs and local organisations making a difference.

Community foundations offer a variety of grant-making programmes funded by donations from individuals, families, businesses as well as grants from local authorities and the Government.

LCF is one of 47 accredited community foundations in the UK. Our area is varied and includes great wealth alongside extreme poverty. This brings an ever-changing array of opportunities and challenges.

The wide range of issues we support include young and old, digital literacy, education, environment, health and financial wellbeing. We don’t support animal welfare (unless humans are involved), or political or religious causes. Most other causes, we fund.

Community foundations are unlike other regional charitable organisations because they do not focus on just one specific cause (like cancer or homelessness), they focus on a wide range of issues affecting their local communities.

About Leeds Community Foundation / GiveBradford

Leeds Community Foundation distributes vital grants and gives trusted advice to voluntary groups and charities across Leeds and Bradford to influence positive change. Driven by creating meaningful social impact for thousands of local people every year, Leeds Community Foundation distributed £4.3m in 2022/23.

As the region’s largest independent funder, Leeds Community Foundation is the only organisation of its kind in Leeds and Bradford, working with hundreds of groups each year. The Foundation generates philanthropic giving and leverages statutory funding to deliver grants that address specific challenges. This brings a wealth of opportunities including skills, education, culture and employment to vulnerable and often marginalised communities.

Our work goes beyond funding alone as it also provides resources that voluntary groups and charities would otherwise struggle to access. As an organisation focused on creating a fair and inclusive society, Leeds Community Foundation works alongside each group to address inequalities and create opportunities.

Leeds Community Foundation prides itself on building strong, trusted relationships across Leeds and Bradford with local groups, incredible supporters and regional leaders. This collaboration means the right financial support is made available now while building a brighter future for all.

We’ve worked hard to understand our impact – and the development of a strong Impact team alongside our programmes expertise makes for a compelling resource to generate donor support and provide meaningful change for our neighbourhoods. We know we can’t do this alone, and cultivate strong, trusted partnerships with colleagues across both cities and nationally to align the work we contribute with that of others.

Our work is exciting and varied. No two days are the same at a community foundation. We work with funders, statutory bodies, families, businesses and individuals to realise a shared vision of a connected, thriving region for everyone.

Since our inception in 2005, we have delivered over £60 million into local communities benefiting thousands of people each year.

Our vision and values

Our Vision

Leeds Community Foundation and GiveBradford are creating cities of opportunity for all.

We work together with partners to create positive change with the communities that need it the most, by investing funding and expertise to build a better future now.

Our Values

  • Leeds Community Foundation is ambitious for all.
  • We are passionate about creating positive impact for all our communities.
  • We are open and honest.
  • We are a responsive partner.
  • We empower through learning, sharing knowledge and expertise.
  • We challenge as well as support.

North Star

Our North Star is the longer-term vision behind Plan 2024. It is our guiding principles for the 10 years from 2019, and was refreshed in 2021.

Leeds Community Foundation and GiveBradford are creating cities of opportunity for all. We work together with partners to create positive change with the communities that need it the most, by investing funding and expertise to build a better future now.

  • Leeds Community Foundation and GiveBradford (the Foundation) is a ‘go to’ organisation for community philanthropy in Yorkshire. Philanthropists, funders and communities want to partner with us to build a healthy, connected society that provides opportunity for all.
  • A transformational modern grant maker: reflective, learning, innovative, wise, bold and open to change. Annual grant making is between £5 –£8 million.
  • The Foundation has evidence to demonstrate its impact, and up to date knowledge of the needs and assets in local communities.
  • Endowment of £60+million contributes £600,000+ annually to core costs and £1.8million+ to grant making.
  • The Foundation’s name, brand and work is commonly known and valued.
  • We build and nurture effective partnerships across all sectors to optimise investment and collaboration for Leeds and Bradford.
  • We strive to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do. Community voices, including those of future generations, are represented in our decision making and our daily activity.
  • The Foundation is a warm welcoming, fun, hardworking and rewarding place to be. The whole team are immensely proud of the work we do.
  • The Foundation is accessible and continually improving its processes to be efficient and transparent, enabling opportunity for all.
  • The Foundation actively participates in and promotes a thriving community foundation network both regionally and nationally.

The Place

West Yorkshire is a region of contrasts, with areas of intense commercial development and invention, a strong university and educational tradition and world class health facilities. Digital advances have seen Leeds build competitive advantage, and Bradford focus on new startup businesses. However, both cities have serious social challenges resulting from historic underfunding from Government and national charitable funders. Our local community infrastructure built up over decades has been hard hit by the multiple effects of the long term austerity, a global pandemic, Brexit, and the cost of living and energy crisis.  Staff involved in grass roots work are exhausted and so are their reserves. At the same time, more people than ever before are turning to their local community support for some of the basics – heat, food, company.

The proud history of Bradford and Leeds in welcoming strangers, in sharing what we have, in supporting those who have found things tough – this keeps our cities wonderful welcoming places to live, work and play.  Through this role, you will become intimately involved in what makes it so – and have the chance to do something practical to help.

Learn more about Leeds Community Foundation

If you’re inspired by this opportunity, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063


Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) is committed to becoming an equitable grant maker; we are extremely proud of the progress we have made, however we do recognise this work is ongoing and there remains more to do – our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work has been a core part of our current Plan 2024 strategy (2019 – present) and integral across the business – this will remain a key priority for the new strategic plan, 2023 onwards.

Since 2018, and following involvement with the National DEI Coalition, the foundation moved from a focus on ‘equality’ to ‘equity’, recognising that often additional (i.e. more than equal) measures are required to provide meaningful equality of opportunity for those experiencing discrimination.

This has led to a more explicit and intentional approach to DEI, including a focus on embedding DEI into:

  1. Donor recruitment
  2. Programme design
  3. Consultation and co-design work
  4. Grant panels to ensure they are balanced and include lived experience
  5. LCF’s workforce and volunteers

Throughout Plan 2024 progress across all of these areas has been made, the following provides a high-level summary of some of our work and progress to date to evolve into an equitable grantmaker.

A number of milestones on the journey to move the organisation forward in its approach include:

  • October 2018: new Equality and Diversity action plan.
  • 2019: unconscious bias training for the whole team.
  • 2019: LCF became part of a National DEI Coalition of Funders led by Fozia Irfan – the first meeting was held in February 2020.
  • 2019: Appointment of Trustee Champion, Cleveland Henry
  • 2019: Internal DEI working group set up
  • 2019: Adopted ‘anonymised’ recruitment practice of redacting all candidate CVs and cover letters to avoid unconscious bias in the shortlisting process
  • May 2020: Black Lives Matters public statement from CEO.
  • 2021: Reported on some characteristics to the National Emergencies Trust – recognised challenge with the way we collect information and a comparator with other funders
  • March 2021: Learned from unsuccessful commissioned research into Black-led groups in Leeds and refocusing on work to research and audit our grant making processes through the race equality audit
  • May 2021: Agreed new ways of working to embed DEI across the organisation and internal governance structures.
  • July 2021: Mayor Brabin asked CEO to Chair the Fair Work Charter steering group to promote opportunity and fair pay for all, including minoritised individuals.
  • 2021: Board recruitment for BDCF board and LCF board in 2021/early 2022 conducted through DEI lens, attracted strong field of diverse candidates.
  • Dec 2021: CEO piece in Civil Society on Equity
  • 2021/22: Community consultation completed in 2021 and analysed in March 2022 focused on community organisations working with disabled people. This informed grant-making policies and practices, additional consultation through the Community Advisory Group (LCF) also took place in September 2022.
  • January 2022 onwards: Increased profile and communication/awareness with inclusive messages linked to annual celebrations from diverse communities.
  • July 2022: Multi-Faith event to bless the Bradford Fund
  • 2022: Consultation with LGBTQ+ communities around reducing barriers to funding led to a commissioned report and LCF is looking at how it takes forward the core recommendations.
  • September 2022: Contribution to UKCF conference Manchester 2022 on ‘Focusing on EDI is not enough’ with Justice Funders, Reclaim and Northamptonshire CF
  • September to November 2022: Impact Culture staff training and development
  • May 2023: Survey conducted to understand the internal diversity of the organisation, this is now an annual process.
  • Conclusion of Fair Work Charter discussions with an open and inclusive proposition ready to be launched, May 2023

In addition, specific funding programmes have also had a focus on engaging and supporting more diverse and minoritised communities, this has included:

  • Providing strategic grants through the Leeds fund to reach smaller or emerging community groups, including funding given to Black Health Initiative, Shantona, and consultant to run capacity building workshops with Black and South Asian communities in Leeds, and to Impact Hub and CABAD to do similar work in Bradford.
  • 2020 – launch of Addressing Mental Health Inequalities in Minority Ethnic Groups Fund
  • 2021 Employment for people with learning difficulties
  • 2021 Time to Shine Connecting Older LGBTQ+ people micro-grants
  • Art grants, including the Leeds Civic Trust 2-year programme encouraged applications from groups who haven’t traditionally accessed funds before
  • 2022 onwards, Significant grants from the Ukraine Fund in partnership with the Local Authority to support all refugees and asylum seekers

Our work across DEI cuts across the organisations we support in Leeds and Bradford District.

Future considerations for our work include:

  • Internal and external communication
  • Developing a longer-term actions plan
  • Building further internal oversight and capacity to drive the work forward
  • Understanding baselines and identifying what success looks like
  • Donor stewardship and influence
  • Continue to build our collective understanding of best practice and challenging ourselves to become an equitable grantmaker.

Accessibility information

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs, and have made some modifications to the way we do business in order to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities.

We offer the following amenities:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted

If you’re inspired by this opportunity, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement in Word (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Leeds Community Foundation – Chief Executive” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date and search phase completed: 9 a.m. Wednesday 2nd August 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: By Wednesday 9th August 2023
    Panel: Monday 14th and/or Tuesday 15th August 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome of shortlist review: by Wednesday 16th August 2023
    Final panel: Thursday 24th August 2023

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Leeds Community Foundation are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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