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Operations and Systems Manager

Posted: 24 Jun 2022 Closes: 18 Jul 2022
London/ Hybrid Competitive
Fixed term & Part time sheila-mckechnie-foundation/20220624102225

Our small, well-run organisation, with a busy staff team, now needs a capable and adaptable Operations and Systems Manager to play a key role in the smooth running of the organisation. You’ll be able to jump right in, working closely with the team to deliver at an exciting phase of our strategic development and organisational growth.

Introduction to the Sheila McKechnie Foundation

We are a small organisation with a growing profile and reputation as thinkers, innovators and capacity-builders in social change. We work to provoke new thinking, gather evidence, convene practitioners, sharpen strategy, and encourage greater collaboration. These are all ways we are working to orient civil society more strongly towards reform. 

Our vision is a more confident and powerful civil society where people work together to drive social change. We work right across civil society, from unpaid volunteer campaigners to big national and global organisations. We bring a wide view of social change that recognises its complexity, and that is combined with a deep commitment to social justice.

Where we are in our journey

SMK is in an exciting place. A few years ago, we agreed an ambition to become known as experts in social change. Our Social Power report describes how social change is happening today, while It’s All About Power sets out why we need a new way of thinking about power to achieve deeper solidarity in driving that change. The tools in these reports are being used widely – by change-makers, funders and policy-makers – to challenge their thinking and develop new approaches. We want to help them go further.

We are unrelentingly curious, tracking and analysing the way that social change is shifting and sharing that knowledge so that it can be used across civil society. We look to people’s experiences as well as academic research, to contemporary commentators and historical examples. All the while, we stand up for campaigners, working to ensure they are able to shape their world without unreasonable constraint.

About the role

SMK envisages a confident and powerful civil society in which people work together to drive change. To achieve this vision, we need robust, integrated and coherent internal operational systems to support the effectiveness of our work. Our small, ambitious and well-run organisation, with its busy staff team, now needs a capable and adaptable Operations and Systems Manager to play a key role in the smooth running of the organisation.

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive, you will work across the SMK team with staff, board members and associates, to develop and implement a range of operational and administrative systems ensuring that things run smoothly. This will include overseeing some financial processes, database management, compliance management including Health & Safety, the provision of IT services, managing some of our Human Resources needs, and at times occasional project management and administrative support.

About you

Having worked in a similar role, you’ll display a proven ability to create, implement or update systems that will increase the organisation’s operational efficiency. 

You are organised and methodical, with an excellent eye for detail and an understanding of bigger picture joined-up systems. You are able to manage and prioritise a busy and diverse workload, with support from your line manager. You’re responsive, approachable, and will have a solid overall understanding of how the organisation ticks at every level.

You will thrive in a small, ambitious team working on multiple projects and assignments, and have the flexibility to handle a broad and changeable workload. You’ll be able to jump right in, working closely with the team to deliver at an exciting phase of our strategic development and organisational growth. You are able to develop and maintain an environment of trust, diversity, and inclusion within the team.

A hybrid work environment

We have shifted to a mix of office and homeworking, but our work hasn’t slowed down. Civil society organisations are already seeing that their role as change-makers is becoming even more critical.

Our staff team are currently based around London and the South East. We would welcome applications from other parts of the country, but our offices are in central London. You would need to travel to London for a minimum of 1-2 days per week  and a further 12 days per year for Team Days, Board Away Days and other essential meetings. We thrive on working closely together, so ideally you would be willing to meet team members at our offices for co-working more frequently, but we will be flexible for the right candidate.

Travel and accommodation for working at our London office is at job-holders own expense. Expenses incurred for SMK business outside London are covered.


As Operations and Systems Manager, you will ensure SMK’s operations are well managed and have the technology, systems and policies needed to run smoothly and will take the initiative to improve systems and working practices utilising best practice elsewhere. This will include:

Information management

  • Take a broad overview of systems within the office, reviewing them and ensuring that they are fit for purpose
  • Work with SMK’s CEO to ensure policies and procedures are reviewed on a regular basis
  • Ensure SMK is compliant with health and safety practices, GDPR, and stays up to date with changing regulation.
  • Lead on data management in Salesforce (SMK’s Customer Relationship Management system), maintaining and updating key records and updating the leads.
  • Using your admin level knowledge of Salesforce (or another similar CRM) to support staff with creating fields, some customisation, data imports, and basic training.
  • Support the team with the development of Salesforce’s implementation across administrative processes, projects and programmes.
  • Lead on ensuring SMK’s digital and offline files are up to date, organised, and stored correctly.


  • Organise SMK’s quarterly Board meetings, ensuring all necessary paperwork is prepared and circulated on time.
  • Help prepare the annual Board Away Day.
  • Take clear and concise minutes at board meetings and ensure agreed actions are followed up.
  • Support the CEO and Board in ensuring complete and timely reporting to regulators such as HMRC, the Charity Commission, and Companies House.
  • Keep up-to-date information on Trustees and Patrons.
  • Support the induction process for new Trustees.
  • Manage any Board development requirements.

Human Resources

  • Ensure all current and ex staff records are up to date and stored appropriately.
  • Alongside SMK’s CEO, ensure all staff contracts are up to date and in place.
  • Oversee the induction process for new staff.
  • Oversee the organisation of the annual Team Away days and any other team strategic planning days.

Office admin

  • Be the first point of contact with the office landlord.
  • Look after the photocopier, stationary and other office requirements.
  • Ensure SMK’s insurance is up-to-date and covered correctly.
  • Manage the Info mailbox where all general enquiries come through.
  • Be responsible for incoming/ outgoing post (when in the office).


  • Manage the relationship with SMK’s IT service providers.
  • Support the team/ office with IT requirements.
  • Manage and monitor the IT budget.


  • Collect and file monthly Credit Card receipts and invoices and share with finance.
  • Manage petty cash for the charity.
  • Complete and manage client supplier forms.
  • Answer finance-related queries from the team.
  • Maintain and organise the paperwork and database for funder and donor reporting.

Undertake any other duties commensurate with the purpose and remit of the post.


We're committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone can reach their full potential. We welcome applications from people in under-represented groups. To ensure that everyone can apply and be part of our recruitment processes, where needed we will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate our candidates.


*We’re interested in experience that’s both job-related or gained through other areas of your life.


  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience in a similar role.
  • Experience of HR, operational management, health and safety and risk management.
  • Experience of negotiating with and supervising third-party suppliers.
  • Experience of supporting HR processes and procedures, including policy development.
  • Experience in CRM database management, preferably Salesforce, and a proven ability to handle and analyse data, and produce reports.
  • Excellent IT skills with ability to use Microsoft Office to a high level.
  • Track record of providing team support including meeting minutes, logistics, travel, diaries, administration.


  • Background and/or interest in campaigning and social change
  • Experience of working in a small organisation
  • Previous work in a similar role in a charity

Skills and abilities


  • Extremely organised, with high levels of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication skills (interface with team members, trustees, suppliers, grantees, donors).
  • Ability to manage own workload effectively and take initiative.
  • Good inter-personal skills.
  • Flexible, hardworking, happy to work within a small team
  • Resourceful and practical.
  • Supportive and encouraging, keen to help others learn.
  • Analytical trouble shooter.
  • Detail-focused, while able to see the bigger picture.
  • Collaborative and adaptable, able to work with a range of individuals and groups.
  • Commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

SMK is committed to being an equal opportunities employer and encourages those under-represented in the sector to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday 18 July 2022 at 9am.


Interviews will take place on Tuesday 26 July 2022 via Zoom.

All candidates invited to interview will be asked to provide, in advance, evidence of their right to work in the UK.

The interview process will last around two hours, comprising:

  • A short, timed exercise (one hour), which will be emailed to you, followed by
  • An online interview with a panel of three (up to one hour)
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