Pro Bono Economics (PBE) uses economics to empower the social sector and to increase wellbeing across the UK. We combine project work with individual charities and social enterprises with policy research that can drive systemic change. Our vision is for a United Kingdom with high wellbeing for all.
Experts and economists at PBE work on a wide range of issues related to wellbeing including mental health, education, employment, poverty, volunteering and civil society. The charity was founded in 2009 and is chaired by former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell.
The services PBE provides to small-to-mid-sized charities help them measure, understand and better articulate their impact, influence and inform policy and make best use of their data. Volunteer economists from across government, regulators and the private sector work in partnership with PBE to provide these services to charities on a pro bono basis. Whether they benefited from short-term support or in-depth evaluation, 94% of the charities that PBE has worked with say they would recommend us.
In 2020, the Law Family Commission on Civil Society was created by Pro Bono Economics with the generous support of Andrew Law and the Law Family Charitable Foundation. The Commission on Civil Society is an ambitious programme of ground-breaking research into how we can unleash the potential of civil society, to harness and enhance the powerful community bonds that exist in our nation.
About the role
Reporting directly to Pro Bono Economics’ Director of Policy and Communications, you are responsible for public affairs and influencing activity in the organisation, as well as some policy development.
You will work closely with the charity’s Research and Policy team and the Media and Communications Manager to ensure that PBE’s publications are as impactful as possible with policymakers; to build relationships with policymakers as PBE establishes itself as a leading thinktank; and to embed policy impact throughout the whole organisation through upskilling and awareness. Ultimately, you will play a crucial role in ensuring that the research and policy work that PBE undertakes continues to turn into real change – delivering the policies that are needed to support the charity sector to unleash its potential, and to improve the lives of those in society with the lowest wellbeing.
This is a varied and exciting role requiring an agile individual who is responsive to the ever-changing circumstances of the political world and has a strong awareness of political audience and circumstances. The successful candidate should have a genuine interest in current affairs and the role of charities in tackling social issues. This role puts a premium on having excellent communication skills, relationship building skills, interest in the policy environment, and some confidence in policy development.
Post type: Full-time, Permanent. Flexible arrangements will be considered.
- Persuading policymakers of the importance of the charity sector, and the need to enact policy changes to unlock the potential of the sector;
- Building and utilising a network of policymakers to champion the importance of policy change that unlocks the potential of the charity sector;
- Guiding and supporting internal research teams and external charities, economic associates, research consultants and communications professionals to ensure that PBE’s work is as impactful as possible with policymakers;
- Building networks and relationships throughout the UK political and think tank world to support PBE’s growing presence as a leading think tank;
- Undertaking policy development to further PBE’s mission;
- Upskilling colleagues and supporting ongoing awareness of the political environment;
- Reporting on PBE’s policy impact, including to the funders which make it possible.
Main Duties & Responsibilities
Relationship and coalition building
- Engaging with political stakeholders including politicians across the parties, advisors, thinktanks, civil servants and regulators;
- Encouraging political stakeholders to take up PBE’s policy ideas, champion the charity sector and speak out about the need to adopt policies that unlock the sector’s potential;
- Working with charities, grant-making trusts and foundations, philanthropists, umbrella organisations, academics and businesses to understand the issues experienced by charities and to bring together groups of supporters to champion policy solutions;
- Organising PBE’s activity at party conferences to ensure their effectiveness;
- Organising roundtables and other events with political stakeholders, including to bring political stakeholders and charities together to build consensus for solutions.
- Monitoring the political environment and researching the policy positions of political stakeholders and parties, and using that information to shape PBE’s outputs and communications to be as impactful as possible;
- Seeking out the opportunities for PBE’s policy positions to be heard by political stakeholders;
- Writing briefings, submissions to consultations, policy papers, blogs and articles as needed as part of influencing activity;
- Undertaking research and policy development in partnership with the research and policy team where appropriate.
Internal development and support
- Supporting press and social media activity and interventions, with a particular mind to supporting the growth of political actors following PBE’s social media accounts and policymakers speaking out publicly in support of PBE’s policy agenda;
- Training, upskilling and increasing the political awareness of the whole of the PBE team;
- Enabling and supporting members of the research and policy team with their political engagement;
- Supporting SMT in their engagement with political stakeholders, including briefing the CEO and Chair;
- Reporting and recording PBE’s policy and influencing activity, for the board, funders, and internal awareness.
Miscellaneous - Pro Bono Economics is a fast growing and dynamic organisation, so there may be tasks that fall outside of these core responsibilities that the Policy and Public Affairs Manager would be expected to support.
The Policy and Public Affairs Manager will report directly to the Policy and Communications Director and will be responsible for the organisation’s influencing efforts and delivery of real policy change, with a particular focus on securing the changes and commitments needed to deliver a more impactful charity sector following the Law Family Commission on Civil Society.
Ideal characteristics include:
- Strong political nous and influencing abilities;
- Good communication and interpersonal skills, including strong writing skills and relationship building ability;
- Able to work flexibly as part of a small team in a fast-moving environment;
- Creativity, innovation and a commitment to continuous improvement;
- Interest in social policy issues and issues that impact the charity and social enterprise sector;
- Some experience of organising events is desirable but not essential;
- A passion for PBE’s mission to unleash the potential of civil society and use economics to support the social sector and drive wellbeing improvements in the UK.