Non Executive Director, SocietyWorks
Can you lend your expertise to a truly unique organisation?
We are recruiting for new Non-Executive Directors to join the board of SocietyWorks, the commercial subsidiary of mySociety.
As a Director, you’ll help to steer the growth of an innovative and respected public sector service business, and you’ll be able to apply your extensive experience towards the creation of commercial services that deliver the most impact possible for citizens and their local communities in the UK and abroad.
Through our wholly owned subsidiary SocietyWorks, we deliver expertise to local government and the public sector by developing digital services that help active citizens support flourishing communities — simply, responsibly and cost effectively. Profits generated by SocietyWorks are reinvested back into the charity as unrestricted funds where they help support the technology, research and data that is used by individual citizens, journalists, and civil society across the world, openly and for free. SocietyWorks is trusted by local government, public sector and NGO clients in the UK and abroad to deliver commercial products, such as FixMyStreet Pro, WasteWorks and FOIWorks, along with commercial access to our data services and custom development work and consultancy. The small, experienced SocietyWorks team works collaboratively with council and public sector clients to provide outstanding and transparent digital services for citizens. Through user groups and regular research into user needs, we propagate knowledge-sharing and endeavour to create a community of connected public authorities providing an accessible, consistent and citizen-centred digital experience for the public realm.
mySociety has a mission to repower democracy through the provision of technology, research and data that is used by individuals, journalists, and civil society in more than 40 countries around the world.
Established in 2003, we are a not for profit group operating across the areas of Transparency, Community, Democracy and Climate.
Thanks to our longevity, reliability and concerted community-building, we're widely recognised as a pioneer in the use of online technologies to help citizens take their first steps towards greater civic participation, connecting people and organisations at scale. In the UK, we run a number of popular civic services including FixMyStreet, WhatDoTheyKnow, WriteToThem, TheyWorkForYou, and CAPE, the Climate Action Plan Explorer. We also carry out sector-leading research.
How we work
Our Theory of Change sees us working to connect with other organisations in our areas of operation, to maximise the benefits for both sides, drawing upon each of our strengths to create digital tools and services that are greater than the sum of their parts.
mySociety services help citizens to improve their neighbourhoods and engage with local government, contributing to resilient and flourishing community life; and support meaningful participation in local and national democracy, supporting new models for direct citizen participation in democratic decision-making. More recently, we've been applying our experience and skills to the climate emergency, with specific focus on offering practical, meaningful support and challenge to local government in their endeavours to reduce carbon emissions.
In the UK our democratic and civic services and programmes serve over 11 million people each year. In addition we support groups around the world to establish and make a success of their own, similar sites. Our software and expertise powers Freedom of Information services in 25 countries around the world, supporting the work of journalists and campaigners to increase accountability and transparency.
mySociety helped kickstart the Civic Technology sector more than 15 years ago, helping to drive its growth and expansion internationally. Our research team aims to establish how, whether and when Civic Technology can make a difference, and share these learnings widely with civil society and governments — and we bring the sector together through our TICTeC research conferences.
Our charitable work is made possible by major grants from funders including Quadrature Climate Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund, Adessium Foundation, Swedish Postcode Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Community Trust, and National Endowment for Democracy.
What NEDs do
- You will help ensure that the company is well-run, solvent, operates within the law, and makes the best possible strategic decisions.
- You will approve and advise on the commercial subsidiary’s strategy and products, with the aim of delivering well used and impactful services whilst maximising revenues for the ultimate benefit of the charity.
What does the role involve?
NED of SocietyWorks is a rewarding role, requiring an appropriate level of commitment and time.
- You'll be required to attend quarterly board meetings. These are often held virtually, but we have some in-person meetings, and these take place in London. If access to these could present a problem, we will always accommodate remote participation.
- You’ll be welcome to join us at our annual retreat, and events such as TICTeC (The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference) — again, these are returning to an in-person format after having transitioned to online during the pandemic, but we are committed to providing remote access alongside all 'real life' activities.
- As a Director, we encourage you to act as an ambassador for our initiatives, using your influence to advocate for SocietyWorks through your own network and activities where possible and appropriate. Some examples of simple ways you can do this include:
- facilitating introductions between SocietyWorks and any relevant parties within your network;
- sharing our blog posts within your network where appropriate;
- guest writing posts for our blog and external publications if you feel comfortable doing so (we can provide support from our Marketing team);
- following us on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook);
- liking or commenting on our social media posts;
- sharing our social media posts (especially on LinkedIn, but Twitter and Facebook too if you feel comfortable);
- providing a quote or testimonial if appropriate when approached by our Sales and Marketing team.
What we’re looking for in a NED
We are currently looking for Non-Executive Directors who have either:
- Strong experience in MARKETING & SALES — particularly if your experience includes selling to government. You may have experience of working with the charitable or not for profit sector, but this is not essential.
- A Director with a strong background of working with COUNCILS OR LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICES. You may have experience of working with the public sector, charitable or not for profit sectors and must have a passion for our goals and experience of pursuing them.
Are you and SocietyWorks made for one another?
We suspect that if you have read this far, you’ll already know whether SocietyWorks sounds like the sort of organisation you’d be keen to join. You may also be interested in finding out about our existing board members.
- We want to bring NEDs on board from a range of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Our tools are used by multiple, intersecting demographics, and the composition of our board of trustees and NEDs who set the strategic direction of our organisation should reflect this reality.
- Even if you do not fulfil every requirement outlined above, we’d encourage you to apply for this role – we are committed to nurturing and aiding the development of our board members.
- If there are any barriers to either participating in the recruitment process or delivering aspects of the role itself, which you feel might exclude you from applying, then please contact us. We are keen that our processes are inclusive and that we do not miss out on great candidates.
Deadlines and dates
The application deadline is Monday 15 January 2024 and interviews will take place via video conference. We will aim to notify applicants of whether or not they will be invited to interview by close of business on 19 January 2024.
How to apply
To apply for the position of NED, SocietyWorks, please attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter that outlines why you are interested in the role and what you will bring to it.
We are monitoring our recruitment processes to ensure we are doing everything we can to encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We would ask you to please complete our optional equalities monitoring form. The information you share in the form will be anonymous and will not influence the assessment of your application.
We will shortlist all applications anonymously. So please use your initials rather than your name on your CV and cover letter, and don’t include identifying details such as your name or email addresses on these attached documents.