- App. deadline:
- 24 September 2020
- Other details:
- Salary: None - expenses reimbursed
Overview of Art Fund trusteeship
Art Fund is a charity registered in England (209174) and Scotland (SC038331) which supports the vital work of museums and galleries across the UK.
The charity was established in 1903, and granted its Royal Charter in 1928. We offer funding to museums and galleries for the acquisition of works of art, as well as for activities that underpin and amplify the impact of museum collections, such as curation, conservation, commissioning, touring and display. We’re able to further support museums and galleries with direct access to our fundraising and marketing expertise, and offer free access to digital services including our crowdfunding platform, Art Happens, and our online ticket management system, Art Tickets.
As an independent charity, we receive no government funding and are entirely supported by our 159,000 members, who buy the National Art Pass, as well as by the generosity of many trusts, foundations and other individuals.
Our trustees have a vital role in ensuring that the money we raise is used in the best possible way to support museums and galleries across the UK, and to deliver our charitable purposes for the benefit of the public.
We care about equal opportunities and would like to work with a broad diversity of talent from all sections of the community.
For full details of what we do please see our annual report: https://www.artfund.org/aboutus/annual-reports
We’re currently looking to appoint two new trustees. For these appointments we’re looking for individuals who can help us maintain a high standard of governance and who have significant knowledge, experience and a wide understanding of:
- 19th and 20th century art, and/or
- works on paper
The role of the Art Fund trustee
Our trustees' primary responsibility is to oversee the effective working of Art Fund. This includes ensuring that:
- The charity is carrying out its purpose for the public benefit
- We comply with our Charter and Bye-laws
- Our resources are managed responsibly
- The charity is accountable
- We develop a realistic strategy and review it, and any associated risks, regularly
The Board also makes decisions on grant applications from museums and galleries across the UK for the acquisition of artworks, and for a range of other activities related to the development and management of collections and considers offers of gifts as well as bequests.
The board is currently mainly made up of specialists in fields including museums and galleries, art history, marketing, finance and fundraising. Since July 2014 it has been led by Lord Smith of Finsbury, formerly secretary of state for culture, media and sport.
Though the board has overall responsibility for the governance of the Art Fund, it is supported by a small number of sub-committees which currently include: the Finance and General Purposes Committee; Nominations Committee; and the Remuneration Committee. There are also a small number of committees that make decisions on applications made to specific grant-giving programmes.
For information on what’s required of a charity trustee more broadly, please see The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do, published by the Charity Commission.
Expected time commitment
Attendance of Board meetings is one of the primary obligations of the role, and there are five formal meetings and one separate strategy discussion per year.
Meetings include discussion of key business and governance topics, and grant applications in particular for acquisitions of works of art. The Board meetings typically to take up to two and a half hours, and are held at Art Fund offices in Kings Cross, London.
Trustees are also regularly contacted by email between meetings to decide on time sensitive issues or applications. If the application is for an acquisition, individual trustees may be asked to physically view a work of art at a commercial gallery or other vendor’s premises. In the case of auctions, we might receive an application just a few days before a sale and will need to ask trustees to view the work at an auction house at very short notice.
For all acquisition applications considered between meetings, trustees view the details of the application and discuss it with the other Board members via a secure extranet, and the final decision is then taken remotely.
Art Fund trustees stand for a maximum of two consecutive terms of four years.
Trustee recruitment process
We recruit trustees to the board as and when vacancies arise in particular areas of expertise.
All applications are considered by the Nominations Committee, and shortlisted candidates are
invited for interview.
You don’t need to have previous experience of being on a Board, but we’re particularly keen to hear from people who can demonstrate:
- A commitment to the purpose, objects and values of Art Fund
- An ability to make collective decisions and stand by them
- An ability to analyse information and, when necessary, challenge constructively
For information on the particular areas of expertise we’re looking for at any one time, please visit our website, https://www.artfund.org/about-us/job-vacancies.
All Art Fund trustees need to be:
- Over 18 years of age and
- An individual member of the charity
As we give grants to museums and galleries across the UK, in order to manage potential conflicts of interest, we don’t usually appoint serving museum directors or curators, but if you are currently working in a cultural institution then do get in touch and we can advise on a case by case basis.
Also, before any appointment is confirmed, potential new trustees will need to complete the HMRC declaration for fit and proper persons and an automatic disqualification declaration (as per Charity Commission guidelines).
Get in touch
If you are interested in applying to join the Board, please send a CV and covering letter outlining your relevant skills and experience and why you would like to join us to Penny Bull, Secretary to the Board, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do also contact Penny with any questions that you might have about Art Fund and its Board.
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