Director of Strategy and Engagement 


£100K package

Closing Date

Thursday 5 July


Strategy and Engagement

Reports to

Chief Executive

Key relationships

  • Chief Executive
  • The Executive Management Team
  • Chairman, National Officers and Trustees
  • Key External Partners
  • YHA Ambassadors
  • Key existing funders / potential funders


The role is home based. The Head Office is in Matlock, Derbyshire and the post holder will be required to spend time in London and with the team in Matlock.


The Director of Strategy and Engagement is a key member of the Executive Team and is responsible for developing and driving the strategy to put YHA on the map as a leading national charity.

The Director needs to ensure that the appropriate structures, systems, processes, competencies and values are in place to deliver the goals in the three-year YHA Business Plan. The role provides strategic and operational leadership to a group of departments.

The role coordinates at a strategic level with the other Directorates / functions of the organisation so that the strategy to make YHA a leading national charity is seamlessly aligned with the commercial necessities of running a financially viable network of hostels.

As a member of the Executive Team, the post holder will participate in the overall development of YHA strategy, working closely with the Board and key internal and external stakeholders. 


YHA is a self-funding charity with annual revenues of circa £50m. Budget for the Directorate is £2.5m (including a marketing budget of £900K) with a fundraising income target of circa £1m. There are 36 employees in the Directorate.

Principal responsibilities

The Role

  • Lead the development and delivery of the future strategy to put YHA back on the map as a leading national charity for young people, underpinned by a continued strong financial and commercial base.
  • Executive level responsibility for the following departments:
    • Communities (fundraising)
    • Programmes and Partnerships (newly established)
    • Digital (includes e-commerce)
    • Customer Insight (includes membership and engagement)
    • Marketing (includes external communications)
    • Volunteering and Impact
  • Lead the development, delivery and communication of new national level strategic partnerships, funded programmes and high level relationships in the charity, corporate and political worlds.
  • Oversee the development of a new engagement framework for all those who stay, join, volunteer or donate to YHA.
  • Oversee YHA’s future strategy to be a digital organisation.
  • Lead, motivate and develop the team through effective recruitment, performance management and development.

Other responsibilities 

  • Oversee the work of the Communities (fundraising) Team to enable them to deliver against goals and objectives set. Work with the CFO and COO to deliver strategies and plans that enable the organisation to maximise voluntary income (revenue and capital) in both the short and longer term.
  • Lead the development and management of strategic partnerships to maximise outcomes. 
  • Oversee the development and delivery of all communications and events work to support YHA’s status as a leading budget accommodation provider and national charity.
  • Plan, develop and ensure excellent delivery of the organisation’s marketing strategy, and develop plans to achieve strong brand awareness, growth in income, engagement in our cause and recruitment of new donors and potential service users.
  • Ensure the development of a strategic communications and media plan and key communications / materials, both external (including key fundraising events) and internal.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of the volunteering plan, harness volunteering activity (c3,000 volunteers and 800 weeks) to support operational efficiencies, investments, guest satisfaction and impact (e.g. through summer camps and DofE gold residentials). 
  • Lead the development of YHA’s impact strategy to ensure delivery of robust evidence of benefits or positive change to people (particularly young people).
  • Oversee the development and delivery of YHA’s digital strategy, cementing YHA’s status as a forward looking trading charity with a focus on young people.
  • Oversee the implementation of YHA’s engagement framework, including delivery of the new membership strategy.
  • Assume responsibility for ensuring full compliance with relevant legislation in the areas of fundraising, data protection, GDPR, and all applicable consumer law.

Person specification

Experience and skills: 

  • Significant leadership experience in a national level organisation of comparable complexity; this may be as a Director, or as a CEO of a smaller national organisation.
  • Substantial experience in the not-for-profit sector within one of more of the key departmental areas. 
  • Strong commercial nous and experience, and understanding of how to develop YHA’s profile as a trading charity.
  • Significant relevant experience in overseeing, or directly involved in, income generation, with demonstrable success at delivering to and beyond targets.
  • Full range of management and leadership qualities, skills and behaviours including evidence of delivery with decisiveness and accountability.
  • Strong credible and collaborative leadership experience, particularly in team development, performance management and continuous improvement.
  • Creative, entrepreneurial and innovative; a strong and confident networker who can inspire and influence whilst not afraid to take risks and ensure delivery.
  • A track record of development and delivery of programmes and funding.
  • High level communication skills, with experience of presenting and championing an organisation at the highest level.
  • Excellent people skills – to inspire and bring together teams, and work collaboratively with other Executive colleagues and the Board of Trustees.
  • Demonstrable appreciation of both the commercial aspects of YHA and the charity sector.
  • A commitment and passion for the mission and aims of YHA.