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Interim Chief Executive Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is looking for an Interim Chief Executive to play an important role in its work to create a more peaceful, just and equitable society.

  • Location: Flexible within the UK with regular travel to York and London expected
  • Salary: c.£119,000 (pro rata for part-time – minimum 0.8)

Who we are.

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) is an independent grant-making foundation that was established in 1904. Its work is inspired and informed by the Quaker ethos and values of peace, truth, integrity, simplicity, sustainability, equality and justice. In 2023, JRCT made approximately 120 grants to a value of around £20m across 6 grant-making funding priorities. The Trust’s main office is based in York, though its staff team of 30 includes people working remotely from London and elsewhere.

Alongside its regular grant-making activity, over the past few years, JRCT has been actively reflecting on its role and power as a philanthropic organisation. The Trust has made a commitment to explore and identify forms of reparation as well as strengthen its contribution to racial justice, including through critical engagement with the question of the origins of its own resources. Its public statement was well-received for its openness and ambition.

JRCT continues to explore how to engage with and support wider movements of change, the importance of resourcing lived experience and racial justice work and reflecting on how to contribute meaningfully to transformational change.

About the role.

JRCT is looking for an Interim Chief Executive who will be available for a minimum of 12 months. Ideally, they are looking for someone available to start as soon as possible. At present, the role has two direct reports: Head of People and Operations and Head of Finance and Investment. The key areas of responsibility are:

  • Organisational leadership
  • Relationship management/communications
  • Strategy and organisational change
  • Grant-making
  • Finance
  • Governance, risk and compliance

Who we are looking for.

For this role, JRCT is looking for someone who brings:

  • Proven experience in the challenges and opportunities of interim/change management at a senior leadership level.
  • Experience in strategy review and identification and implementation of options for change in line with an organisation’s mission, vision and commitments.
  • Excellent people management and team building skills, with the ability to inspire and lead an intelligent and diverse team to perform to their best abilities.
  • Strong leadership skills that demonstrate the ability to generate trust in others and evidence of being motivated by serving others.
  • A demonstrable commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and an understanding of issues of gender sensitivity, anti-racism and power and privilege, with evidence of previous experience in applying such commitment to making change at an organisational level.
  • The ability to communicate the vision and commitments of the Trust both internally and externally.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate integrity in approach to leadership.
  • Alignment with JRCT’s Quaker values.

Desirable criteria include:

  • Understanding of the grant-making / philanthropy sector.
  • Knowledge of the social and political environment in the constituent parts of the UK, within which the voluntary sector operates, and of the policy issues which may impact the Trust’s work.
  • Experience of faith-based organisational governance.

Rights and Justice: Migrants Organise, a Rights and Justice grant holder. Image by Sophie le Roux from the Solidarity Knows No Borders Summit.

Peace and Security: The team from The Conflict and Environment Observatory (CEOBS), a Peace and Security grant holder. Picture courtesy of CEOBS.

Sustainable Future: JRCT funds imaginative and inclusive approaches to tackling the climate crisis and building a just and equitable economy.

Power and Accountability: JRCT funds those working for a world where power is more equally shared and powerful institutions are accountable to wider society.


The benefits for this role include:

  • Annual leave: 25 days.
  • Pension: Salary Sacrifice with a minimum contribution rate of 5% by the employee and 12.5% by the Trust.

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

Dr Jenn Allen | jenn@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364034

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Dr Jenn Allen, Business Manager, Not for Profit, Peridot Partners

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Jenn Allen

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Welcome from the Chair

Dear Candidate,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to welcome applications for the position of Interim Chief Executive at the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

Our organisation stands at a pivotal juncture, and we seek an inspiring, experienced leader to guide us in our next steps. This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of an established social justice funder and to make a lasting impact.

JRCT is a Quaker grant-making trust which supports people who address the root causes of conflict and injustice. Our organisation has granted hundreds of millions of pounds since 1904. Last year we made grant funding of around £20million to people and organisations whose vital work creates lasting change.

We work as a responsive funder, backing organisations bringing about genuine systemic change in the fields of peace and security, rights and justice, power and accountability, sustainable future, grassroots movements, and peace and human rights in Northern Ireland. As an independent charitable foundation, we’ve evolved gradually, seeking to provide lasting support to organisations working on deep-rooted issues.

Since 2020, the Trust has been going through a process of reflection on its role and power as a philanthropic organisation, particularly when it comes to supporting wider movements of change, resourcing racial justice work, and contributing meaningfully to transformational change. We have been critically examining our history and have made an ambitious commitment to explore and identify forms of reparation.

While these new commitments and contexts bring huge potential, they have brought with them a number of organisational challenges which require careful management and strategic attention. We’ve made significant changes already; expanding our team and grant-making, reviewing our ways of working, and broadening board recruitment beyond the Quaker community. We need to continue to reimagine and improve our own practices alongside our core mission of funding organisations to make lasting change.

We’re seeking a leader with proven experience in the challenges and opportunities of interim management to lead work to review our strategic direction, move forward with existing recommendations and commitments, and lead our staff team through change.

This is an exciting opportunity to use your skills, experience, and influence to lead a Trust with significant resources and a skilled and committed team of people as we embark upon change.

If you have the areas of expertise we seek and are inspired by the journey we are taking, we’d love to hear from you.

Huw Davies

Garden House, JRCT’s office in York.

Accessibility information

At JRCT we understand that people have different accessibility needs and we don’t want this to be a barrier to employment with the Trust. We are currently developing our people strategy, which aims to set out our approach to recruiting, retaining and developing our staff.

Some of the initiatives we have in place for staff support and wellbeing are as follows:

  • 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 an interview.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

JRCT’s EDI initiatives include:

  • Disability Confident Committed
  • Flexible hours and start/finish times
  • Hybrid and remote working
  • More frequent breaks during long meetings (e.g. every 40 minutes)
  • Employee assistance programme
  • New parents are entitled to 1 year’s leave on full salary

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.

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

Dr Jenn Allen | jenn@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364034

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

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

    Dr Jenn Allen | jenn@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364034

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

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