Stand for Election: SMP Board

14 Aug 2020

We invite all Members to consider standing for election to the SMP’s Board of Directors at the 3rd October 2020 SMP AGM, which will be taking place on Zoom.


The SMP is governed by a Board of Directors which meets every eight weeks, usually at 6pm on a Tuesday evening in the Edinburgh City Chambers (or currently by Zoom).  It is vital the Board has the right mix of skills, experience and expertise to effectively govern the organisation.  We feel it’s also important the Board reflects the diversity and composition of our national network.

Directors are elected to serve a three-year term on the Board.  At the end of this Directors must stand down but are welcome to stand for re-election should they wish: they do so competing on an equal basis with those standing for the first time.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, members attending the AGM are invited to vote on the candidates based on the written information provided by the applicants.


Places available in 2020:

At the 2020 AGM elections six existing Directors will have to stand down from the Board, having completed their three-year term: Isabel Bruce, Nicholas Gubbins, Claire Martin, Tione Mtalimanja, Jeremaya Phiri and Ken Ross.

This means there are six places available for the elections on the 3rd October; however, we do not have to full all these places. 


Desirable skills/experience:

Every year the Board reviews its current composition prior to the AGM, considering three key questions:

a)       Does the Board have the necessary technical skills, experience and expertise to undertake its duties?

b)      Is the Board broadly representative of the Membership it represents?

c)       Is the Board sufficiently diverse?

As part of this 2020 review the Board is particularly keen to encourage individuals with the below experience/attributes to apply:

  • Finance: We are keen that at least one of the new Directors has finance/accounting experience and is able to also sit on our Audit and Finance Committee.
  • Fundraising: It is important that we diversify our income and reduce our reliance on the core governmental grant.  We therefore really encourage those with experience fundraising, including with regards grant funding, to stand for election.
  • Climate Change: With COP26 taking place in 2021, we are keen to encourage those with experience related to climate action to join the Board.
  • Digital: With so much of live now taking place digitally, we are keen to attract Directors with experience of the digital world: how to innovatively use digital tools in new and exciting ways to support networking and member engagements.
  • Young people: Youth engagement is at the heart of the SMP, so we are keen to encourage more young people to stand for election and help lead the Board.
  • Government/Parliament: We are keen to attract applications from  those with experience working with/in government and parliament.
  • Legal: Someone with knowledge and experience of Scottish law as relates to charities
  • HR: Someone with direct professional experience of HR matters (not just experience having managed a team)
  • Private Sector: Someone with relevant private sector experience
  • Diaspora applicants: Two of the six with directorships ending at this AGM are from the Malawian diaspora community.  We are very keen to continue to have a strong level of active diaspora leadership on the Board, so we are keen  to encourage Malawians resident in Scotland to stand.
  • Male applicants: To continue to honour the ‘Partnership for Change’ 50/50 by 2020 pledge, and having encouraged (very successfully) female applicants last year, we are required to encourage male applicants this year, as the remaining Board is 70% female.

Applicants do not have to meet one or more of these criteria but members voting at the AGM will be informed of these stated priorities.  All are welcome to stand.


How to apply:

Those interested in standing should:

(1)    Read the SMP’s ‘Information for Prospective Directors’ pack

(2)    Complete the ‘Application to Stand for Election Form’

(3)    Email the form and a photo of you to david(at) before 09.00 on the 24th September 2020.


Prior to the AGM members will be sent details of all those standing for election at the AGM.


If you would like to discuss your possible application, or just find out more about the process, please contact the Chief Executive, David Hope-Jones david(at) / 07857 766 023.

At its core, the SMP is driven by committed individuals who choose to donate their time and expertise for the advancement of our national network.  The Partnership cannot succeed without this commitment and volunteerism.  We are indebted to all our Directors, past and present, and we encourage members to consider volunteering their time if they feel they could help govern the network.