What We Are Looking for in Our New Directors
Bill Osborne, Chairperson of the Building Change Trust, was recently awarded an MBE for his services to the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.

What We Are Looking for in Our New Directors

24 June 2014

Here, Bill Osborne, Chairperson of the Building Change Trust, tells us more about his time at the helm of the organisation and encourages others to get involved as we recruit for new Directors.

I came into the Trust by applying for a publically advertised position for the Chairmanship. I was selected by the board six years ago.

Since then I have represented the Trust at public events, supported and managed the work of the team, set the forward moving strategy and directed the board.

Our activities are laid down by our contract with the board of The Big Lottery so I frequently report back on how we are achieving our goals.

I applied for this position because I was interested in the way that the Trust was a funding mechanism that was slightly different to what we had seen before. It is an investment tool for the sector and one that will help it to move forward independently for the future.

The deliverables we have been given are a set of processes that would help the sector to consider and work on strategic issues that lay on the horizon. It wasn’t about fixed targets. We had to invest in strategy and make the sector really think about the challenges ahead – such as finance, collaboration and leadership potential.

The Chairmanship allows me to combine my interest in these areas with working with a dynamic group of people who are giving their intellectual capabilities to benefit the sector.

I have always worked in the charity and voluntary sector and in my time with various organisations I have covered all roles – from youth work, to operations, HR and senior management.


The Trust is currently recruiting new Directors to help guide our work in Northern Ireland’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

We are particularly interested in individuals with experience in the fields of Public Affairs, Public Relations and Marketing, Civic Engagement and Digital Innovation. We would also say that people with an interest in Social Finance are welcome to apply as well, although we realise this is more niche.

With our investments in these areas we want to enable more and better collaboration between organisations, increased sustainability and a learning and influential sector. We are mid-way through our 10 year lifespan and to support the next phase of development we want to add to our Board with a number of new Directors who are experienced individuals who can have a real impact.

We would anticipate that these positions would be for the duration of the Trust – until 2018. We meet on a bi-monthly basis and then split into sub groups depending on the experience of each Director. Alongside these commitments we participate at events for the Building Change Trust and the organisations we support.

While it would be useful that those applying have been involved in the sector in some capacity previously, it is not necessary. Even if you have been a fundraiser or a volunteer before you will have an insight into the challenges facing the sector.

This is a fantastic opportunity to use your creative brain to bring solutions to societal problems. We are looking for people who can to make the sector more independent and effectively help to develop a better society in Northern Ireland.

If you would like more information, or would like an informal chat about the Trust, the role of the Directors, and the potential time commitment please contact Bill on 028 90 200850 or the Trust's Director of Operations, Nigel McKinney on 028 90 408726 or at nmckinney@communityfoundationni.org.

The deadline for applications is Friday 4th July. For additional background information on the Trust please click here.

For an application form, please click here.

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