Context and Background
The ADCH is currently going through the biggest period of growth and transformation in its 31 year history. There are currently multiple, major national impact projects in progress alongside the delivery of the sector’s largest annual Conference and an increasing and urgent requirement to engage more closely and frequently, directly with our members. The Association’s Chairman, Officers and Management Committee are volunteers, giving considerable amounts of their time freely and generously as they work to deliver the very ambitious growth agenda set out in our first Strategic Plan. If we are to succeed in becoming the very best member-centric organisation we can be, we need to ensure we are able to talk to our members regularly and directly and we need to build a supportive, solutions and assistance focussed service that members can access at any time.
Key purpose of the role
As the Association’s Relationship Manager, the post holder will work to support the successful delivery of the following key ADCH activities:
- Projects associated with the delivery of the ADCH Strategy – our ambitious and bold new Strategy that will see us complete the successful roll out of our sector leading Code of Practice’s Minimum Standards, increase membership numbers, expand the range of member benefits, develop a dedicated ADCH L&D platform, deliver more sector networking, training and development events, secure new funders and supporters and make the major transition from an unincorporated organisation to an CIO (the post holder will support the delivery of these objectives by ensuring members are fully up to speed, engaged and on board with changes)
- Increased Member Support - we are continually building closer and more collaborative relationships with our members, developing and providing opportunities for them to increase their individual impact for animals, enhance and share their welfare knowledge and service delivery, develop their groups and organisations through access to expert advice, help and information when they need it. Our annual Survey and ongoing networking meetings give us the ability to share knowledge and information, collate sector-wide data and be a collective voice for animals to multiple wider audiences, and it will be the responsibility of the post holder to secure the understanding and engagement of members in these key initiatives. We are seeking to help and support our members in any way we can and provide a direct service they feel they can trust and rely on.
- Wider Communications and Promotion of ADCH Activities – ADCH is seeking to spread awareness of its existence further than just to its existing members and has a strategic objective that requires promoting the Association to a wider audience to raise awareness of;
i - the general public, promoting rescues in their own community and the benefits of choosing a new pet from an ADCH member
ii - veterinary, trade and other sector bodies who might benefit from a closer working relationship with ADCH and its members;
iii - the media and local and central Governments and devolved administrations;
iv - other bodies including non-member rescues who may benefit from joining ADCH.
The post holder’s primary objective is to engage directly and continually with members, to ensure they are fully aware of all of the benefits that membership of ADCH affords them, encourage attendance at meetings and participation and contributions in events.
The post holder will predominantly communicate with members by telephone, email and in person at meetings, workshops and through visits but will also be expected to manage and adopt multiple methods and channels of engaging more widely including, the ADCH website and Forum, Newsletters and Social Media.
Making personal and direct contact with every member including new and lapsed, and creating strong and meaningful relationships on behalf of ADCH is the core purpose of this role. The Relationship Manager will become the key point of contact along with the Association Manager, through which members feel they can communicate.
The Relationship Manager will play a key role in communicating widely the strategic objectives and ongoing work of the Association. This outward-facing position is about promoting understanding of the role and work of ADCH with and for its members and building a trust and confidence that enables two-way open communication, increased member attendance and participation at events. The role will be key in enabling members to achieve the very best value possible from ADCH by keeping them fully abreast of events, new benefits and help and advice that is available to them, across a number of specialist areas.
To ensure that ADCH meets its own primary objectives for welfare which is ‘to raise and improve standards of animal welfare within dog and cat rescue and rehoming centres, and to deliver a sector self -regulatory framework underpinned by a Code of Practice defining best practice’, ensuring members are fully-understanding of the importance of compliance with the Minimum Standards set by the Code will be a key part of the role. The post holder will therefore be a source of advice and support for members who need extra assistance and direction.
The post holder will manage the Association’s website, Member Forum, ADCH Know-How (online learning platform) and Social Media presence, and work closely with the Association Manager and ADCH Management Committee to communicate activities and messages as required.
Responsibilities and Deliverables
- To support the Chairman, Management Committee (MC) and Association Manager (AM) in the delivery of the ADCH Strategic Plan.
- Act as senior lead in the liaison on behalf of the Chairman and MC, in all things relating to the Association’s Member engagement.
- Work with the Association Manager to support the MC and WG chairs in their reporting back to members by creating suitable methods and forms of regular communication.
- In the first three months, speak personally and directly to every member and build on the work to date to create a contact list and database of engagement detailing discussions and actions with each. Thereafter, speak to every member at least twice a year to bring them up to speed on progress against plan, any new initiatives, support with advice and assistance as required, signposting to other sources of help eg NCVO, Charity Commission etc.
- Actively support members with the process to self-assess their centres against the Code of Practice Minimum Standards, providing guidance to members on the requirements of the Code and reporting back to the Animal Welfare Working Group with member feedback and recommendations.
- Compile, write and submit to the Chairman and MC on a quarterly basis a full report on member engagement communications and activities and highlighting any common themes, issues or emerging trends.
- With the AM, manage the formal Communications Calendar that facilitates proper and timely communications to members without bombarding them with multiple, mixed messages.
- Write any direct and relevant member communications for circulation via the relevant channel for posting online, or though social media including supporting and providing the AM with content for the monthly Newsletter.
- Work as the ADCH Webmaster to ensure that the website is up to date, the Forum posts are published and that member information is always kept current and content and member information is in a consistent format.
- Administer ADCH Know How, uploading content as it arrives and ensuring members enjoy smooth usage.
- Work closely with the AM to ensure that ADCH makes good on its promises and objectives and is delivering value for money, a strong service and an open and transparent communications to its members. We aim always to be accessible and responsive in the event of a member enquiry and the ADCH staff team will have primary responsibility for this.
- To fully support the AM (who has management responsibility for delivering the Conference) to create an exceptional conference programme that reflects the needs and wishes of the members.
- Work with the MC and the AM to promote ADCH and its value to the sector, to sponsors and potential supporters at every opportunity, to secure funding opportunities and raise the profile of the Association to a wider audience.
- Promote and support fluid, open and interactive communications between the Association and its members, being the first point of contact for members and others seeking advice and information.
- Handle and respond swiftly and comprehensively to member enquiries and requests and where necessary, ensuring the Chairman and/or Secretary provides a direct and timely response to anything they need to.
- Work directly with the MC and WGs in the delivery of projects by being that vital conduit between members and the Association, assisting in taking messages out to the membership, feeding back member contribution and advice on member needs and making recommendations on ways members might best receive new information.
- Supporting the change of legal structure for the Association by working with the WG chair, the AM, to plan, structure and agree a timetable for communications, consultation and final voting.
- Work directly with members to ensure they complete their annual Members Survey and submit it by the due date. Engaging members positively and proactively in this vital annual data gathering, so that returns are made by all members will be pivotal to ADCH’s long term success and so it is one of the key responsibilities of the post holder to deliver annually. We are seeking year on year, substantially increased participation from members in the survey.
- Ensure the Chairman and the MC are kept advised at all times of progress towards objectives and of any issues or concerns as they arise.
- With the AM, develop the Conference Feedback Survey, encouraging members to give us their reviews and deliver the post conference report to the MC, including recommendations for the future.
- Any other duties that might reasonably be expected to form part of this role.
Essential qualifications, experience and skills
- Experience of managing complex and high-value, high-importance projects with minimum supervision;
- Experience of working across organisations and/or with membership organisations of dynamic change/shifting priorities;
- Experience of working with volunteers and volunteer-led organisations;
- Sensitive to the needs and constraints of busy people working remotely and often without much resource or support and often as volunteers. An ability to inspire trust and confidence;
- Experience and ability to work alone and remotely, be a self-starter, someone who can get things done, whilst ensuring full and fluid communication with key stakeholders;
- Significant track record in delivering exceptional customer service and ensuring high satisfaction levels at all times;
- Ability to engage stakeholders, secure buy-in, problem solve and innovate for solutions;
- Ability to communicate both in writing and verbally, often long and complex messages, swiftly, clearly and comprehensively, yet in ways that enable busy people to read and understand quickly and readily;
- Experience of delivering both written and verbal updates, including formal reports, information to stakeholders of different levels;
- Proven experience of working constructively and collaboratively with people at all levels, in different geographical locations including and especially working with volunteers;
- Experience of communicating clearly, with the ability to adapt your communication style for different groups including through social media and on websites (this will be needed for managing the Forum, website and ADCH Know-How;
- Extensive interpersonal and consultative skills, including the ability to communicate, present, negotiate influence and build credibility and an ability to relieve the pressure and proactively support extremely busy people;
- Exceptional attention to detail in written communications and reports;
- High standards of written and spoken English;
- IT literate - experience of MS Office, basic website content management and social media experience;
- Commitment to understanding and delivering the vision and mission of the Association of Dogs & Cats Homes.
Willingness to travel to member organisations across the British Isles and the use of own car are essentials for his role.
There is a requirement for flexibility around the working hours for this role as members may often prefer to communicate outside normal office hours.
The ADCH is an equal opportunities employer and all employees are actively encouraged to contribute to the promotion of diversity.
All employees are required to act in accordance with their responsibilities under the Health & Safety at Work Act.
Data Protection and GDPR.
As part of your duties, you will be required to obtain, process and use information held on multiple databases and on computers or other devices. You may not use or disclose data for any other purpose than that for which it was recorded. You must only disclose data to authorised persons or organisations as instructed. You will work with the AA and the MC to ensure the ADCH is fully GDPR ready and complaint with all data and information management legal requirements.
Working for ADCH
Please note that all offers of employment require:
- References deemed satisfactory to the Association
- Confirmation from you that you are fit to perform your role. We reserve the right to refer you to our Occupational Health Practitioner if we feel it necessary
- Proof of eligibility to work in the UK
- Full UK Driving Licence and access to full use of a vehicle.
All new employees of ADCH will be subject to a probationary period of six months.
The post holder, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Association Manager will meet twice monthly for review and catch up meetings in London. One of these meetings can be via telecom.
The ADCH employs two members of staff, both of whom report to the Chairman:
- The Relationship Manager, who has lead responsibility for direct member engagement, the annual member survey and ensuring the membership remains fully informed and included in ADCH business and development plans;
- The Association Manager, who has lead responsibility for the management of the administration, ensuring projects deliver as agreed and direct management and delivery of the annual Conference.
Individual Annual Reviews are carried out each December by the Chairman. (current as at 19 September 2017)
Note – upon transition from unincorporated organisation to CIO the Management Committee (MC) will become Trustees of the charity.