January 7, 2020 – Russell Reynolds Associates has been retained by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in the U.K. to lead its hunt for a new chief executive officer to replace Sir John Low. Mr. Low announced late last year that he would be stepping down when his successor was named.
“This appointment is made at an exciting time for CAF as it grows and develops its support for charities during a time of economic uncertainty, and continued challenge for civil society in the U.K. and around the world,” said Russell Reynolds Associates.
CAF wants an experienced executive to lead the organization through a period of sustainable expansion, across a broad portfolio of activities, in an uncertain economic environment, said the search firm.
The successful candidate will be expected to leverage CAF’s reputation, strong client list, and a suite of products and activities that benefit the charitable sector and provide distinctive value for large numbers of individual and corporate donors, said Russell Reynolds Associates.
Mission and Strategy
The CEO will be accountable to, and work with, the board of trustees to formulate and regularly review the organization’s mission and strategic objectives. With full executive responsibility and delegated authority, the individual will be expected to provide and be responsible for overall leadership, controls, strategy and vision for the organization, and will ensure the delivery of CAF’s mission and strategy across the CAF group, and global alliance.
Fundamentally, the CEO must be highly conscious of CAF’s need to maintain a sustainable business model, and to deliver critical services, said Russell Reynolds Associates. To do this, the organization must raise money, give money and promote civil society.
Key responsibilities include leading, managing and advising the executive team to formulate, consolidate and drive forward the strategy and vision of CAF. The CEO must also lead and inspire the organization to enable it to achieve its mission and grow its position as the sector’s center of excellence and referral. Ensuring CAF’s financial health in an uncertain, low interest rate economic environment in order to allow the sustainable expansion of a broad range of services is essential.
Candidates should have a proven track record of the successful management of an organization of significant scale and complexity, said Russell Reynolds Associates. They must also show demonstrable appreciation of leadership in the third sector. Experience in the leadership of a financial institution, and/or a corporate or charitable foundation/trust at significant scale is essential. Ensuring the effective management of constrained financial resources in order to achieve maximum impact of services, including navigating a low interest rate economic environment is also necessary, along with other experience.
Personal attributes required for the role include a results orientation, collaboration and influencing skills, good judgement and breadth and flexibility.
Non-Profit Sector Opens Up New Career Path for High Performing Leaders
One of the fastest growing sectors within executive search today can be found in non-profit. Close to 150 recruiting firms specialize in some form of talent acquisition in this sector, which includes foundations, cultural institutions and academia, to name a few.
The Charities Aid Foundation exists to make giving go further, facilitating the transformation of lives and communities around the world. CAF is one of the largest charitable foundations in Europe, and works with people, companies, and charities to facilitate and encourage giving, and provide financial services tailored to the needs of charities, including banking, investment and advisory services. Founded in 1924 and established as a separate charitable trust in 1974, CAF is among the largest providers of philanthropic products and services to charities, donors and companies worldwide. CAF distributed more than £646 million to charities in 2018-19, as well as providing a wide range of services. Since 2009, CAF has distributed £5 billion to charities worldwide. It currently works with 200,000 donors, 3,400 businesses – including the majority of the FTSE 100 – and 79,000 charities. The organization’s headquarters in West Malling, Kent has 410 employees. Ninety employees are based in London.
Russell Reynolds Associates’ public sector, trade and associations practice group serves a wide variety of public sector and not-for-profit organizations, related public bodies, regulators and government-owned companies. It also fills the executive leadership needs of global charities, healthcare providers and local government and trade associations.
Russell Reynolds’ consultants have extensive experience with recruiting, developing and advising exceptional board members, CEOs and specific senior functional leadership for non-profit organizations around the world. The firm also conducts in-depth organizational culture assessment and measures the cultural fit of key leadership and candidates in the following areas: arts and culture, global development, higher education, non-profit health and human services, public sector, social justice and advocacy, as well as trade and professional associations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media