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Charitable Funding Partner

Development and Alumni Relations Office

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 20th Jan 2022
  • Salary: £42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587.
  • REF: 80288
  • Closes: 20th February 2022
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time


Are you a successful Trust and Foundations fundraiser or research-funding specialist looking for your next challenge?Are you passionate about securing transformational-level gifts from charitable funders to help change lives?Join us in the ambitious Birmingham In Actioncampaign, which commits to raising over £400 million of charitable funding and one million volunteer hours, positioning the University as one of the world leaders in University development.

We are seeking to recruit a Charitable Funding Partner(CFP) to maximise philanthropic funding. A key member of the Development and Alumni Relations Office’s (DARO) Charitable Funding Team, you will work closely with a range of leading academics and senior leadership to: identify and create new charitable funding opportunities from UK and overseas Trusts, Foundations and Charities;set up and manage the development of long-term charitable funder relationships; and, develop compelling charitable funding bids to secure support for our life-changing research, education, and capital programmes. You will be an enthusiastic team player, inquisitive about the combined worlds of research and philanthropy with the skill to spot new funding opportunities, and confident in your ability to initiate and grow complex inter-organisational relationships. There will be opportunities for the successful candidate to shape and develop the focus of their portfolio in collaboration with DARO leadership.

We are an ambitious and successful research-intensive University (one of the top 100 research-led universities globally) and have produced 10 Nobel Prize winners, including three who received their awards in 2016. Academics here are tackling some of the world’s most pressing global challenges such as antibody testing and Covid-19, the impact of climate change on our woodlands and forests, issues caused by migration and displacement, the rise in youth mental health issues, and the prevention of needless maternal deaths in the developing world. Our students come from nearly 150 countries and our flagship outreach programmes mean that almost 25% of our student population come from disadvantaged backgrounds, one of the highest proportions in the UK. Philanthropy has always played an important role in shaping the University, most recently in 2015 when we closed the Circles of Influence Campaign, which raised £193 million, making it the largest HE fundraising campaign outside Oxbridge and London. Through ‘Birmingham In Action’, philanthropy is continuing to play a vital role in delivering projects to change lives locally, nationally, and internationally.

Main Duties

Fundraising and Relationship Building

Deliver against set financial targets to secure year-on-year charitable income growth, and create a sustainable pipeline of charitable funding prospects (UK and overseas Charities, Trusts and Foundations). There is support for the post-holder to be creative, experimental, and to take calculated risks,to create a step-change in our charitable funding portfolio, recognising the importance of “high risk – high reward”in transformative fundraising.

  • Identifying and creating new 6, 7 and 8 figure charitable funding opportunities by connecting the interests of charitable funders with the strengths and priorities of the University. Working with senior leaders, academics, and professional services staff (e.g. Research Support, Institute for Global Innovation) to support and build new and existing relationships with arange of charitable funders and external advocates who will help bring such opportunities to fruition.
  • Coordinating the charitable funding process from the proactive identification of philanthropic opportunities to the development and submission of compelling bids (including taking a leading role in writing proposals, coordinating budgets, organising peer reviews of documents and interviews, and coordinating quality assurance of all bid components) through to gift acceptance and/or donor feedback.
  • Managing the stewardship of a set portfolio of significant University charitable funder relationships (e.g.£m+ UK and overseas Charities, Trusts and Foundations) in conjunction with the lead academics and DARO’s Donor Experience Manager.
  • Planning and managing a pipeline of funding applications to achieve set targets, both for in-year presence and long-term sustainability ambitions.

Strategic and Operational Planning

Develop and deliver strategic and operational plans that will increase the number of charitable funders that are engaged with, and actively supporting, the University of Birmingham.

  • Building bespoke operational plans for the approach and acquisition of specific funder markets, capitalising on existing institutional strategic investments and collaborations where appropriate.
  • Understanding the strategic ambitions of the Birmingham In Actioncampaign, wider institutional research strategies, and the external funding climate, and using this knowledge effectively when considering how to prioritise project or application work.
  • Developing relevant high-level cultivation events and discovery days that will aid the expansion and strengthening of relationships with national and international charitable funders.
  • Working with the Director of DARO, Associate Directors, and Head of Charitable Funding to support the strategic direction of the Charitable Funding function.

Working Collaboratively

Working with Professional Services teams across the campus (including Research Support, Institute for Global Innovation, and Business Engagement) the post-holder will coordinate and support collaborative working by:

  • Building effective networks across the University (both with academics and professional services staff) to share research and funding intelligence, contributing to wider institutional plans to manage collaborative asks and approaches to key funders.
  • Working in partnership with Gift Administration, Contracts, Legal, and wider Research Finance teams to ensure charitable gifts are processed in alignment to donor wishes and counted in compliance with the campaign methodology.
  • Working in partnership with University and College senior leadership teams, academics, and professional services colleagues to develop authentic and meaningful funding proposals that align to institutional strategy.
  • Working closely with the wider Charitable Partnerships Team and Prospect Research Team to identify charitable funder principal gift level opportunities.
  • Supporting the wider DARO team, sharing intelligence and fundraising opportunities, to support different functions such as Major Gift Fundraising, Corporate Philanthropy, Principal Giving, Engagement, and Volunteering.
  • Actively managing equality, diversity and inclusion through monitoring and evaluation, and actively challenging unacceptable behaviour.


  • Maintaining detailed records of all actions taken and information collected on the CRM database, reporting against pre-agreed KPIs.
  • Responsibility for ensuring all due diligence and gift acceptance procedures are fulfilled.
  • Responsibility for adhering to relevant fundraising regulation and current data legislation, with a commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct.

Person Specification

Fundraising / Securing Research Funding

  • A strong track record of securing 6-figure and, possibly, 7-figure gifts / research funding for charitable causes.
  • Evidence of understanding and translating complex information to create compelling funding proposals, ideally within a Higher Education setting.
  • An ability to identify, build, and develop new and existing charitable funder networks in the UK and internationally.
  • Demonstrable experience of building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with senior level individuals both internally and externally (e.g. academics, senior leaders, Trustees).
  • Extensive experience of working to, and delivering against, a particular target.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Demonstrable experience of working with, inspiring, and influencing senior-level individuals both internally (e.g. Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Heads of College, leading academics) and externally (e.g. charitable funders and their networks).
  • An ability to present complex information, in both written and verbal form, in an engaging and accessible manner.
  • Strong negotiation skills and the ability to persuade and influence with sensitivity.
  • The ability to represent the Colleges and the University internally and externally with confidence, diplomacy, and authority.
  • A demonstrable record of achieving success through collaborative working.

Strategic Thinking and Understanding

  • Experience of developing strategic funding plans.
  • The ability to work with initiative, to take decisions, and to think creatively and laterally.
  • An ability to understand and be sensitive to the challenges faced by academics.
  • The ability to work under pressure and prioritise a varied and diverse workload.
  • Proven problem-solving capability.


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent experience.
  • A good understanding of the UK HE sector.
  • Passion for and knowledge of the role of philanthropy and charitable funding in higher education.
  • A demonstrable understanding of the regulatory environment in which fundraising and research are required to operate in.
  • Good all-round IT skills including competence with all aspects of MS Office and CRM databases.
  • The ability to work efficiently and effectively both in a team and independently.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and an excellent grasp of written English.
  • Experience of working in a large, complex organisation.
  • Experience of championing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in own work area.
  • The ability to monitor and evaluate the extent to which equality and diversity legislation, policies, and procedures are applied.
  • The ability to identify issues with the potential to impact on protected groups and take appropriate action.
  • The flexibility and willingness to work unsociable hours (evenings and weekends) when required.

We are committed to supporting hybrid working and look forward to receiving your application.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Charlotte Allen, Head ofCharitable Funding Partners,at c..r.allen@bham.ac.uk

Interviews are currently scheduled to take place week commencing 28th February 2022.

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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