Community foundation bids fond farewell to CEO after 10 years

Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 10.29.16

After leading the Oxfordshire Community Foundation for a decade as Chief Executive, Jayne Woodley stepped down at the end of June. She led the transformation of OCF from a small grant-making body with limited resources to an ambitious organisation.

She is being replaced by Adrian Sell as Interim CEO through to the end of the year.

Adrian SellAdrian has a background in crisis response around the world, and strong connections with the local community and voluntary sector in Oxfordshire. His experience includes working on hurricane response, refugee and post-conflict programmes in Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, Dominican Republic and Algeria. Locally he has worked for Oxfordshire County Council and spent 10 years in the voluntary sector with East Oxford Action, Director of Services for Age UK Oxfordshire and Executive Director of OXPIP. More recently he was CEO of international mental health charity BasicNeeds.

Adrian said: “I am humbled and excited to be taking on the CEO role at OCF at this critical time. The organisation has been at the forefront of supporting and driving the community response to COVID-19 across Oxfordshire, and I hope to continue the good work and help make sure that the sector and communities of Oxfordshire can recover stronger from the crisis.”

Jayne was an inspiring, visionary leader. Since joining OCF from a successful 22-year career at Barclays Capital, Jayne’s many accomplishments include increasing the annual voluntary income raised by 647% (growing net assets held from £1.6m in 2011 to £7.9m in 2020), and uplifting the annual charitable distribution of grants by 496% (£262k in 2011 to £1.3m in 2020) over the same period.

She improved the governance and rigour of the organisation by achieving an “Exemplar” rating on the UK Community Foundations’ QA4 Quality Accreditation and proactively developed an extensive peer network and wider international perspective that has led to OCF being invited by the C.S. Mott Foundation to become a regular host for UK study visits organised by the European Community Foundation Initiative (ECFI); as well as developing a close working partnership with Buffalo CF in the USA.

She championed the early adoption of digital technology, with OCF the first amongst its UKCF peers to embrace Salesforce in 2012 as a proprietary CRM system, and to enter into partnerships with others such as 360 Giving and Local Insight, enhancing OCF’s capability to research, evidence and identify priority areas of need.

She was behind the publication of foundational research Oxfordshire Uncovered in 2016, a report that identified three key strategic needs for the county (homelessness, educational inequality and loneliness and isolation), kickstarting the ambition and development of OCF’s strategic programmes to find local solutions to these inequalities: Oxford Homeless MovementGrowing Minds and Age Friendly Banbury.

More recently she led OCF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, setting up the Community Resilience Fund to support Oxfordshire’s charities and bring relief to those most in need; her fundraising acumen and excellent network of donors and supporters helped to source significant donations, and the fund has quickly built to more than £1 million.

In addition, Jayne leaves with several significant new donor-advised funds in the pipeline, with one, Black Minds Matter UK, addressing the lack of mental health services available to black people.

Lord Lieutenant and OCF President Tim Stevenson said: “The footprint and impact of Oxfordshire Community Foundation has been transformed during Jayne’s 10 years in post as CEO. An organisation then struggling for resources and effect has been changed into one that makes a major contribution to the not-for-profit sector, to our communities and to the philanthropists who make it work. Many thanks to Jayne for all her hard work and enthusiasm.”

Tributes were also paid to Jayne by High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Amanda Ponsonby, and incoming CEO Adrian Sell, at her final OCF webinar last week: