Trustee opportunities at Ulster Historical Foundation

Ulster Historical Foundation invites applications from interested parties for vacancies on the Board of Trustees.

Background

Established in 1956 the Foundation is a self-sustaining educational non-profit organisation and registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (NIC 100280).

The Foundation exists to help individuals, families and communities around the world trace and share their Irish and Scots-Irish history and to broaden their understanding of and interest in the rich history of the province of Ulster. In pursuit of this goal UHF provides a range of activities, including: genealogical and historical research services, access to online records, book publishing, hosting history events and delivering community education programmes.  

Got to www.ancestryireland.com for more information about the charity’s work.

Being a self-financing organisation in the present economic climate is a challenge thus the Foundation would like to attract trustees with a genuine interest in our work and who have relevant skills and experiences which will help the organisation to thrive.

Candidate specification

We are seeking individuals who believe in the value of the heritage sector and the contribution it can make to our economy (through the tourism industry) and to civil society – helping people to understand the past and complexities of Irish and Ulster history, and thereby helping to improve community cohesion and understanding.

Potential trustees should recognise the importance of the diaspora to the work of the Foundation and the contribution they can make to the local community here. A large part of the charity’s work is reaching out to the diaspora and skills and knowledge of the Ulster/Irish communities overseas would be a particular asset.

Interested candidates should be willing to get involved and support the organisation in practical ways. The real contribution of a trustee will not simply be to attend meetings but to participate in the Foundation’s range of activities.

We are interested in candidates who are entrepreneurial and innovative in their own field and ready to support the organisation to adapt to change when the need arises –an ongoing feature in the lifecycle of non-profits in the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland.

Candidates need not be business leaders, academics nor necessarily from the professions, rather we are seeking individuals with drive, passion for what interests them, a flexible and practical approach to problem solving and a desire to get involved in the life of the charity.

Candidates do not need to be a professional historian or even have a degree in history, though some interest in family, local or community history would be welcome.

Certain skill sets would be particularly useful: accountancy, audit and governance, marketing and communications, fundraising, business development, change management, knowledge of the funding environment in Northern Ireland and beyond, event management, community development and social enterprise experience, community engagement and lifelong learning.

That said, it is the complete range of skills and experience and a dynamic, positive attitude which a candidate can bring to the organisation which is of greatest value and all applications will be judged on the candidate’s broad knowledge and merits, and not solely on what they do or did in their professional career.

 Equal opportunities statement

The Foundation is committed to equality of opportunity for all and we welcome applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of religion, gender, race, political opinion, age or experience.

Given that they are currently under represented on the Board, we would especially wish to encourage expressions of interest from women and people under the age of 50.

 Trustee responsibilities

The principal responsibilities of trustees are to ensure the continued viability of the organisation: that it remains true to its core objectives but also continues to be forward looking and accessible to the widest possible audience.

Trustees meet 4 times annually, usually in Belfast. Service is voluntary. The time commitment per quarter-year is approximately 2–10 hours. Trustees may be appointed to sub-committees which would require a modest additional commitment.

More importantly, as indicated already, it is the contribution a trustee makes beyond attending meetings which is potentially the most useful to the charity and where individuals can make the most valuable contribution.

Personal giving

While Trustees are not required to make personal financial donations to the charity, it is encouraged according to the trustee’s own means and situation. Personal giving by trustees demonstrates their own individual commitment to the organisation and helps project to potential funders that the Board of Trustees is fully committed to the Foundation’s objectives and fundraising strategy.

 Further information

For further information or to arrange a confidential discussion about these opportunities please contact: Fintan Mullan, Executive Director, Ulster Historical Foundation fintan@uhf.org.uk