Innovation Fund Manager

This job has now expired
Westminster, London
£44,298 rising to £49,113 after probation

The Strategy and Development Unit has a unique role in providing consultancy support to bishops and senior leadership teams in the Church’s dioceses on their growth strategies, and in advising on and managing the distribution of around £60 million per annum of national funding.

This includes the Strategic Development Funding, a major grant-making programme to support diocesan growth projects. The Unit is playing a key supportive role in helping the Church of England renew and reform its mission and arrest its decline.

This is an exciting opportunity to use your consultancy skills to support dioceses and mission agencies in applying to a new national Church grant-making programme; to advise them post-award on the implementation of their projects; and to carry out the monitoring and evaluation of the projects to help ensure their effective delivery.

As Innovation Fund Manager, you will implement the new Innovation Funding programme (totalling £6m in 2020-22) which will be available for smaller-scale projects to increase the number of new disciples, grow the impact of the Church’s social engagement work and generate learning. You will help dioceses and non-diocesan organisations to develop applications for funding and will support projects through implementation and subsequent evaluation, monitoring and shared learning. The work will also involve close consultation on project proposals with colleagues across the national Church institutions. It is expected that around 8-10 awards of funding will be made each year.

There will be opportunities to further develop your consultancy skills by assisting colleagues in their work, helping bishops and their senior leadership teams to support and shape their strategy development and implementation, and helping dioceses develop Strategic Development Funding applications, (awards of Strategic Development Funding are for major change projects and typically range from £1million - 5million) and supporting projects through implementation, evaluation, monitoring and shared learning.

To be successful you will need excellent relationship management and communication skills, analytical abilities and experience of supporting project management from inception through to delivery. Pro-active, resourceful and committed to making a difference, you will meet tight deadlines and undertake frequent visits to dioceses (including occasional residential events), working outside of office hours when required.

Interviews will be held on Thursday 20th February 2020.

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

Much of the Unit’s work is project-based. The actual work of the post-holder will vary over time in line with the Unit’s evolving objectives, but their duties and responsibilities will fall within the following broad headings:

1. Pro-actively engage with senior staff in dioceses and non-diocesan organisations on the development of their Innovation Funding applications

  • Provide advice to dioceses and non-diocesan organisations (e.g. mission agencies) on the purpose and scope of the new Innovation Funding programme.
  • Advise senior staff in dioceses and non-diocesan organisations on the development of their Innovation Funding applications (involving grants ranging from £100,000-250,000) in line with their existing strategies for developing their mission.

2. Support dioceses and non-diocesan organisations with the implementation and evaluation of their Innovation Funding projects

  • Support dioceses and non-diocesan organisations in implementing appropriate governance for their Innovation Funding projects aligned with existing decision-making structures.
  • Advise dioceses and non-diocesan organisations on the delivery of their project, undertaking monitoring and evaluation on a regular basis.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the projects supported by the Innovation Funding.

3. Ensure the effective management and governance of the Innovation Funding programme.

  • Manage the processes for tracking Innovation Funding grant applications and monitoring budgets and cashflow, including analysing how the funds are spent.
  • Manage the payments process.
  • Report regularly to trustee bodies on the progress, outcomes and impact of the funding.

4. Identify valuable insights and share these effectively with senior diocesan teams.

  • From the Innovation Funding programme and other sources identify what is working well in terms of the Church’s mission and growth.
  • Work with colleagues to communicate learning points to bishops and senior diocesan staff across the Church.

5. Help support the Strategy & Development Unit’s wider consultancy work.

Support colleagues in their delivery of the Unit’s wider consultancy work which comprises:

  • Helping bishops and their senior diocesan colleagues to develop their strategic plans and mission strategies in order to support the Church’s growth.
  • Advising bishops and senior diocesan staff on the development of their diocese’s Strategic Development Funding (SDF) applications (involving grants in excess of £1 million).
  • Supporting diocesan teams, programme managers and external consultants in the development of successful Stage 1 and Stage 2 (project plan) applications for SDF.
  • Advising bishops and senior diocesan staff on the delivery of their SDF programmes, assisting with attendance on programme boards and with monitoring and evaluation.

6. Carrying out any other duties as required

The Requirements



  • Experience of working in a consultancy environment
  • Excellent relationship management and communication skills with stakeholders at all levels.
  • Excellent analytical abilities and a questioning approach.
  • Knowledge and experience of supporting project management from inception through to delivery.
  • Experience of monitoring and evaluating the impact of projects and other initiatives.
  • Ability to present work attractively, persuasively and accurately, both spoken and in writing, including within a governance process.
  • Excellent ICT skills (including Excel, Word and PowerPoint).
  • Understanding of how to support the Church of England’s mission and ministry effectively and a passion for encouraging the growth of the Church.
  • Understanding of the Church’s structures and workings and ability to work well within them.


  • Education to degree level or equivalent.

Personal Attributes:

  • Able to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure when required.
  • Pro-active, resourceful and energetic with a commitment to making a difference.
  • Able to apply understanding, judgement, tact and discretion.


  • Willingness and ability to undertake frequent visits to dioceses (including occasional residential events) and work outside office hours (including evening and occasional weekend working).


  • Experience of programme management.

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for the National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those of you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.