Manchester Alliance for Community Care (Macc) is a charity with a very clear purpose; to encourage, support and develop voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and individuals in Manchester. They deliver a wide range of services including capacity building, training targeted services and campaign to influence on policies close to their cause.
Macc were looking to strengthen their board by broadening the mix of trustees’ skills. To do this, they knew they would need to increase the number of trustees currently serving on their board but they weren’t completely confident that their existing trustee recruitment process was fit for purpose. CEO of Macc, Mike Wild, said,
“We knew we needed to carry out a Board audit, which we could use as a benchmark and help us develop a plan, we wanted to be able to demonstrate to funders, the local council and other key stakeholders that we had a strong board, with different skills and experience, capable of effectively governing our charity”.
Cranfield Trust Project Manager for the North West, Nick Stojic, matched Macc with volunteer management consultant Els. As a senior leader at a well-known retail bank for many years, Els had gained extensive experience of developing and delivering effective strategies and was an expert in managing and delivering operational change. These valuable skills, along with personal experience of being a board trustee, meant that Els was able to quickly get to the heart of the challenges facing Macc and offer practical solutions. Els said,
“Having an external person coming in to work on a specific project keeps a healthy focus, giving the issue a higher priority – it’s easy internally to push meetings”, Mike added, “Having an external consultant also challenges you to consider different ways of doing things.”
IMPACT AND OUTCOMES
Els and the team at Macc worked together over several weeks to create and implement a robust new trustee recruitment process; with Els even volunteering to help with interviews. The new process proved to be very successful, with Mike noting, “We had advertised trustee roles before with little response, the new more formal process had a marked increase in applications and it wasn’t just the number of applications that increased, the quality of applicant increased too”.
The project was such a success because of the trust built between Macc and volunteer Els, which meant they had an open and productive working relationship. Els commented,
"Critical to the process was a willingness from the tam at Macc to be open and listen to constructive feedback, even if at times it was not easy to hear”. Mike continued, ‘Els really pushed us to consider what we wanted out of the process and ultimately what we needed from our trustees but at the same time, Els knew when to dial it back too.”
Macc was able to recruit seven new trustees as a result of their governance management consultancy project, having interviewed 12 candidates in total. Mike was extremely pleased with the outcome, saying,
” We have recruited a fantastic new cohort of trustees, which has transformed our Board. The relationship with Els and Nick has been great. Supportive, positive and action focused - and, something which is often overlooked, enjoyable. They have genuinely been a pleasure to work with - and continue to be! We have a new, invigorated group of trustees who are more engaged and visible in the organisation's work. It is early days but staff here report that they can already see a shift has taken place.”
Thank you to volunteer management consultant, Els, and Mike and the team at Macc for their contribution to this case study.
Find out more about Macc and their work in Manchester here.