Fern is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) created in 1995. Our mission is to achieve greater environmental and social justice, focusing on forests and forest peoples' rights in the policies and practices of the European Union. We do this by coordinating NGO networks and by working with partners to achieve change.
We believe that to be effective it is essential to understand and address the social dimension of environmental conflicts; that strong coalitions are more likely to achieve lasting change; and that presenting way forward is more effective than highlighting problems. We are committed to tackling gender injustice and supporting women's rights.
We have no director and strive to make decisions by consensus. Details of our current work areas and campaigns can be found at www.fern.org. We currently have 18 staff working from three offices, in Brussels (Belgium), Moreton-in-Marsh (United Kingdom (UK)), and Paris (France), and work with Partner organisations across Europe, South-East Asia, Central and West Africa and South America. The partner organisations are in most cases small NGOs, with varying financial and administrative capacities. https://www.fern.org/fr/
We are looking for a Partner and General Finance Officer to provide strong and professional support to the organisation. The post is a maternity cover, full time or four days a week, for one year.
Fern is a small campaigning organisation, and some flexibility will be required in working hours, for example in the case of preparing urgent funding proposals and budgets.
Occasional travel will be a necessary part of this role, including between the Belgian and UK offices and if necessary, visiting partners in Africa and Asia.
Key areas of responsibility and associated tasks
Purpose of the role
The Partner and General Finance Officer supports the organisation to ensure that partners with whom we have shared financial accountabilities are able to meet funder requirements and that Fern's general financial and administration work is delivered in a clear and timely manner. The officer takes a lead role in all financial aspects of the relationship with Fern's partners, including resolving issues, ensuring that Fern's donor obligations are met and coordinating colleagues' financial reporting.
● Conducting due diligence and risk assessments of partnerships to ascertain the type of support they need, including which organisations need direct in-country support and organising a maximum of two partner visits per year to minimise the risk that they are unable to deliver on the requirements of their contract.
● Preparing and monitoring Partnership Agreements and amendments, including budgets and fund transfers.
● Deciding which partner financial reports should be prioritised for checking and ensuring they are in line with the Partnership Agreement and subsequently working with partners whose reports do not meet donor requirements.
● Developing guidelines, procedures, tools, presentations, and templates to support partners in delivering quality financial reporting.
● Guaranteeing the necessary handover during any absences, by ensuring tools are in place for the Finance and Administration Manager and/or the partner lead to take over in case of emergency.
● Adhering to the House Rules and other agreed internal policies
● Inputting into the Finance, Administration, Human Resources Management (FAHRM) team strategy and annual workplans together with other team members.
● Delivering agreed activities as per the FAHRM workplan.
● Giving feedback on all organisational development annual workplans through the agreed process.
● Ensuring partners' finance teams are active in the development of funding proposals when it is deemed useful.
● If campaigners reach out, working with them to improve partner support activities.
● Supporting the Finance and Administration Manager to prepare donor financial reports. Including, but not limited to, processing book-keeping, payment requests to partners, filing paper documents, assisting with cash-flow forecasting.
● Supporting Fern and partners, before during and after audits.
● Supporting ad-hoc financial management tasks for the organisation.
● Participating in and helping to coordinate weekly FAHRM meetings.
● Attending and inputting into organisational meetings (management team, staff day out, retreat etc.)