Treasurer and trustee with HR experience sought (voluntary posts)

Job Title: Treasurer and trustee with HR experience sought (voluntary posts)
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Unknown
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: 210106
Contact Name: Julie Lewis
Contact Email:
Job Published: January 06, 2021 12:03

Job Description

Population Matters is a UK-based charity working globally to achieve a better future for people and planet. Our Patrons include David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Chris Packham, Jonathon Porritt is our President, our Executive Director is Robin Maynard, and the Chair of the Board is Sara Parkin (biographies on PM website).

We are looking for two new Trustees to join our 12-person Board. In particular, we're looking for one person willing and qualified to take the role of Treasurer, and one with knowledge and experience in human resources and people development.

About Population Matters

We are a small charity with a mission to drive positive, large-scale action through fostering choices that help achieve a sustainable human population and regenerate our environment.  We campaign, undertake research, and do all we can to encourage an open, fair-minded debate about population. We aim to create a wave of public awareness and corresponding policy action on overpopulation and unsustainable consumption.

We promote positive, practical, ethical solutions – encouraging smaller families, inspiring people to consume sustainably, with the aim of enabling everyone to enjoy a decent quality of life whilst respecting and sustaining the natural ecosystems upon which all life on earth depends.

We empower choice. In a world of finite resources our reproductive and consumption choices are critical for achieving that vision of humanity in harmony with nature, prospering on a healthy planet. We believe everyone should have the freedom and ability to choose a smaller family.
We support human rights, women’s empowerment and global justice.

We have 6.4 fte staff members and 2.8 fte contractors, all of whom work remotely.  This has given Population Matters (PM) a resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic which has helped maintain income and activities over the last 6+ months.   At year-end 30 June 2020 we had unrestricted reserves of £7600k compared to a policy minimum of £330k.  For next year, our budgeted income is a very conservative £600,000 (not including major projects) with a planned expenditure of £900k designed to bring reserves down to just under £500k.

Meetings are quarterly, currently via Zoom.  Our Trustees give their time voluntarily.

To find out more about us and what we do please visit our website: We also publish a peer reviewed journal: The Journal of Population and Sustainability.

Our Annual Report may be found here.

Future Plans

After a High-Level Strategic Review in 2017 and advice from charity lawyers Bates Wells, PM has been reviewing and modernising its governance and management systems so as to fit with its strategy of sustained growth in income, activities and influence. 

You will be joining at a critical and exciting stage of our development.  Our Financial Year starts on 1st July and in 2021 we will be embarking on a new three 3-year strategy, the first to be embedded in 10-year overarching strategy.  If the next decade is viewed as critical for radically reducing climate changing emissions and loss of biological mass and diversity, then thinking about PM’s strategy in the context of that timescale will be vital if we are to give of our best.  

We anticipate this period will be marked by considerable uncertainty but also full of new opportunities, so agility will be needed in financial scenario planning and people development.  As well as sustaining our core funding and staff, it is likely that significant project funding will become available.   Good governance systems will be essential therefore if PM is to grasp opportunities as they present themselves and wherever possible create new opportunities ourselves. 

 General Trustee duties

Applicants are expected be familiar with the formal duties of any Trustee of a charitable organisation as recommended by the Charity Commission, and for convenience summarised here: 

  • To ensure the organisation pursues its stated objects (purposes), as defined in its governing document, by developing and agreeing a long-term strategy
  • To ensure the organisation complies with its governing document (i.e. memorandum and articles of association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its charitable objects for the benefit of the public (i.e. the charity must not spend money on activities that are not included in its own objects, however worthwhile or charitable those activities are)
  • To ensure the organisation defines its goals and evaluates performance against agreed targets
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation
  • To protect and manage the property of the charity and ensuring the proper investment of the charity’s funds
  • To follow proper and formal arrangements for the appointment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of the Executive Director

In addition to their statutory duties, each trustee should be willing to use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions.

 Person Specification

  • A commitment to the organisation
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgement
  • An ability to think creatively
  • A willingness to speak their mind
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • A commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Role description for Honorary Treasurer

In addition to the general responsibilities of a trustee, duties of the treasurer include the following.

  • To oversee, approve and present budgets, accounts and financial statements
  • To be assured the financial resources of the organisation meet its present and future needs
  • To ensure the charity has an appropriate reserves policy
  • To ensure appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place
  • To advise on the financial implications of the organisation’s strategic plans
  • To ensure the charity has an appropriate investment policy that accords with its values, policy and legal responsibilities  
  • To ensure the accounts are prepared and disclosed in the form required by funders and the relevant statutory bodies, for example the Charity Commission and the Registrar of Companies
  • If external scrutiny of accounts is required, to ensure the accounts are scrutinised in the manner required (independent examination or audit) and any recommendations are implemented.

Additional specification for Honorary Treasurer role

In addition to the person specification for a trustee, the treasurer should have the following capabilities.

  • Financial qualifications and experience
  • Some experience of charity finance, fundraising and pension schemes
  • The skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences
  • Prepared to make and advocate recommendations to the board with confidence, sensitivity and objectivity
  • A willingness to be available to staff for advice and enquiries on an ad hoc basis

 Additional specification for HR/people development role

In addition to the person specification for a Trustee, the person fulfilling this role should have the following capabilities:

  •  Knowledge and experience of good human management and development and its contribution to organisational effectiveness
  • The skills to analyse proposals and examine their consequences to PM
  • Prepared to make potentially unpopular recommendations to the Board
  •  A willingness to be available to staff for advice and enquiries on an ad hoc basis

How to apply

Applications should be addressed to Sara Parkin, Chair of the Board, Population Matters, 135-137 Station Road, London E4 6AG  or c/o, enclosing your CV and a letter explaining your personal reasons for wishing to contribute to Population Matters as a Trustee.

Population Matters is an inclusive and diversity-friendly organisation. We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or any other category protected by law.