Senior Major Gifts Manager
Candidate Pack – August/September 2014
University of Birmingham
Senior Major Gifts Manager
Candidate Pack – August/September 2014
Salary: Circa £50k + benefits
Are you a leading and recognised senior major gift professional with the ability to secure
institution changing leadership gifts?
The University of Birmingham, named The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year
2013-14, is entering the final year of its Circles of Influence Campaign. From the newly built
Bramall Music Building, to the £15m Birmingham Institute of Forestry Research, life-changing
Prostate Cancer trials, and scholarships ensuring the brightest and best experience University life
regardless of their background, our Campaign is diverse and has impacted on all elements of
University life as well as reaching far beyond into our local, national and international
With just one year to go this is your chance to join us, make your mark on our University and
garner support for amazing projects including the new University of Birmingham School (the first
secondary training school in the UK), a technology-rich new library to support 21st century
learning and research, and the Institute of Translational Medicine. Our academic breadth means
that there are endless opportunities to match philanthropic motivations to leading research into
global issues and the money we raise has far-reaching and long-lasting impact.
The Senior Major Gifts Manager will work closely with philanthropists and University senior
management and academics to solicit transformational gifts at the six and possibly seven figure
level. You will develop our existing prospect pool and expand our network of high profile UK and
international supporters. You will inspire and help the team to think creatively about major gift
fundraising and the role philanthropy can play within Higher Education and the wider vision of
the University of Birmingham.
The successful candidate will be an ambitious, commercially-minded fundraiser with a clear track
record of personally securing six figure gifts. You will be an engaging and perceptive
communicator, able to successfully sell a vision and to demonstrate long-term relationship
building resulting in successful stewardship. You must also be able to work insightfully and
credibly across University management and academic disciplines. You must show a genuine
enthusiasm for our Campaign and an understanding of our University’s research agenda, together
with the ability to opportunity spot and develop our supporter network.
The University of Birmingham is being assisted in this appointment process by the recruitment
firm Society. For a confidential discussion about the opportunity please contact Tanya Stevens on
0207 034 7201 or Ruth Davidson on 0207 034 7001. For the candidate pack, please visit Society.
The closing date is midday on Monday 22 nd September 2014.
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Founded in 1900, the University of Birmingham’s heritage as the UK’s first civic university is now
combined with one of the most compelling and ambitious agendas in higher education. It has
been recently recognised for its commitment to academic excellence and innovation by being
named The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2013–14.
Ranked by QS as 62nd in the world university rankings, Birmingham is a leading member of the
Russell Group (the Vice-Chancellor is the current Chair) and a founder member of the Universitas
21 global network of research universities (www.universitas21.com). The University is a pioneer in
sector leading initiatives. These include the ‘Birmingham Fellows’ programme, which has so far
seen 75 of the world’s best early-career academics join them; the much emulated unconditional
offers strategy to exceptional candidates introduced in 2012–13; and the University School which
will open in 2015.
Birmingham prides itself on a clear vision for the future, ambitious leadership, world-leading
academic strengths, and a secure financial base. Its five-year strategic plan ‘Shaping Our Future:
Birmingham 2015’ was published in 2010 and the University has made significant progress
against this plan. In support of this, the University is investing in the future, including an
investment plan of over £200 million in the stunning parkland campus which will see a new
library, sports centre and student accommodation, and in world-class academic appointments.
Not only does Birmingham have serious ambition but it also has financial resources to realise
those ambitions, and future plans are underpinned by long-established financial probity. The
University is large: it contributes £1 billion to the region’s economy and had a turnover of £493
million in 2012– 13. Surpluses and substantial philanthropic support are re-invested into the
intellectual and physical fabric of the institution, enabling the University to plan with confidence
for the future and to continue to invest in the facilities and services that are required for highquality
research, and an outstanding student learning experience.
Led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood (awarded a Knighthood in the Birthday
Honours list for service to Higher Education), the University is structured for swift decision
making, enabling it to capitalise on its academic range, financial strength and on any opportunities
that emerge in the fast changing global higher education environment.
Receives over 75,000 applications each year from students and welcomes 24,000 successful students to
the campus from 150 countries, the fourth-largest population of international students at any UK higher
Ranks 16 th overall in The Sunday Times University Guide 2014 and has current National Student Survey
satisfaction rankings standing at 88% (which is higher than the sector average);
Has a significant international presence including: an Office in Guangzhou, China; partnership agreements
with many of the world’s leading universities such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; an
office in New Delhi; a presence in Brussels; and a collaborative effort with the University of Nottingham to
develop a network of strategic partnerships with Brazilian Universities;
Is increasing its research grant capture, in 2012–13 ranking third for competitively won ESRC research
grants and second for the AHRC. It is a leading recipient of awards from charities and business partners;
Pursues strong links with industry, charities and policy makers to enhance research and educational
provision. Birmingham has had recent successes in establishing a Public Services Academy, conducting
leading medical research around the treatment of cancer, heart and liver disease and TB and growing an
outstanding Physical Science academic and research programme;
Is about to launch an innovative new University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form to offer
outstanding academic education for Birmingham’s young people whilst serving as a centre of teacher
education in the region and driver of widening participating in higher education;
Has invested in a wealth of cultural infrastructure and hubs on campus including the Bramall Music
Building opened in 2013, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Winterbourne House and Garden;
Will be opening a new sports development in early 2016 boasting the city of Birmingham’s first 50m
swimming pool that will not only provide facilities for performance sportsmen and women but also offer a
new resource to the local community.
THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Birmingham is a major European centre and the second city of the United Kingdom. It is a city of
business and ballet, canals and world-class concerts, jewellery and jazz, historical interest and
contemporary vision. Birmingham has a diverse community that creates a vibrant, multicultural
and exciting to place to live and work.
The heart of Birmingham is symbolised by Symphony Hall, considered one of the greatest concert
venues in the world and a fitting home for the globally respected City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra (CBSO). Symphony Hall forms part of the impressive International Convention Centre,
which overlooks attractive canals at the hub of the UK’s canal network. At the magnificent
Hippodrome Theatre is the internationally renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet, adding further
cultural depth to the city. Apart from London’s West End, Birmingham boasts the highest
concentration of live theatre in the UK, including regular tours by major opera companies. A
brand new £189 million Library of Birmingham has recently opened, housing a collection of 1
million books, the library also has more than 200 public access computers, theatres, an exhibition
gallery and music rooms making this the largest library in Europe.
The City Museum and Art Gallery houses the world’s finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings,
alongside a major collection of Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary pictures. The restored
Gas Hall Gallery has international touring exhibitions, while the Halcyon and Ikon galleries
feature innovative contemporary works. National landmark sites abound, including the National
Indoor Arena, the National Exhibition Centre, National Motorcycle Museum, National Car
Heritage Museum, and the National Sealife Centre.
Birmingham City Centre is served by three major railway stations: New Street, Moor Street and
Snow Hill. Birmingham New Street is at the heart of the UK rail network and is the city's major
railway hub with direct links to all other major cities in Great Britain and regular services to
University station on the Edgbaston campus.
DEVELOPMENT, ALUMNI AND BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT (DABE)
The award winning Development, Alumni and Business Engagement team has grown
significantly over the past decade and works currently across the Alumni Relations, Data and
Business Intelligence, Development (Major and Regular Giving) and Business Engagement arenas
with a team of circa 70 staff. We have built a collaborative and supportive team lead by the
Director of Engagement, Nick Blinco, who is well respected in the sector and recently was a part of
the Pearce review into Higher Education fundraising.
Head of Alumni
Head of Data and
Head of Business
Deputy Head of
Deputy Head of
Senior Major Gift
Major Gift Officers
DABE is delivering The University of Birmingham’s Circles of Influence Campaign, the
University’s first Campaign since the University was founded. Originally launched in 2009 with a
target of £60m, the remarkable support we received from alumni and friends meant that we
successfully achieved the target one year early and re-launched the Campaign with a combined
phase 1 and 2 target of £160m, one of the most ambitious targets for any organisation outside
Oxbridge and London. July 2015 marks the end of our Campaign and we again expect to exceed
this stretching target.
Our hard work has earned the respect of our colleagues across the University, and the support of
senior leadership is demonstrated by significant investment in expanding our team over the last 5
years, as a result of which we have doubled annual income to £10m per annum.
DABE works closely with the University’s senior management team including the Chancellor,
Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, and Heads of
College, as well as leading academics, project champions, and senior members of the professional
As the Senior Major Gifts Manager you will work with the Head and Deputy Head of Development
to inspire the wider team and model successful fundraising behaviours. You will see a career in
fundraising as an opportunity to meet and encourage amazing individuals to join forces with the
University and create brilliant outcomes. You will be creative, positive and full of enthusiasm and
this will be evident to the wider team. You will be passionate about relationship building with your
alumni prospects but also about building wider networks for future benefit. This means that in
essence your role will be two-fold:
• Responsible for the cultivation, delivery, promotion, and stewardship of major gifts (six and seven figures)
both personally, and by supporting others;
• Responsible for the development of new audiences to include high net worth (HNW) UK and corporate.
Development of Current Prospect Pool
• Personally secure numerous 6 and possibly 7 figure donations in support of the University of
Birmingham, working to agreed targets;
• Develop and manage a portfolio of around 80 of the University’s highest ranking prospective donors. You
will maintain close personal relationships with each prospect, integrating them with the University
whenever possible and working closely with the senior management team and leading academics of the
University to bring the prospective donors to the point where they can be asked for philanthropic support;
• Act as ‘secondary’ canvasser to support the activity of other key members of the DABE team who may
have senior level prospects;
• Work closely with colleagues within the DABE team to support your approach, cultivation, solicitation,
and stewardship of prospects and donors;
• Work closely with the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, Heads of College, and other senior colleagues and
volunteers to develop approach and cultivation strategies and to bring gifts to fruition;
• With support from the research team, develop long and short term solicitation strategies and use these to
maximise income and foster a ‘culture of giving’ across the whole of your prospect pool;
• With support from the Proposal Writer, develop tailored proposals for your fundraising prospects,
designed to meet their individual interests, and asking them personally for their donation. These
individuals will fall predominantly into the leadership (6 figure) and occasionally principal (7 figure) gift
• Use initiative to identify and develop sometimes unusual possibilities that could open new fundraising
• Maintain detailed records of all actions taken and information collected on the Raiser’s Edge database;
• Be comfortable working to stringent targets set by the Head of Development, including but not
exclusively, the number of visits to potential donors, the number of solicitations made, the number of
proposals opened and closed, the amount raised;
• Be familiar with methods of tax-efficient giving in the UK and overseas and understand the relevant
Development of New Audiences, Prospects, and Pipeline
• Development of HNW non-alumni and corporate philanthropy (locally and nationally);
• Develop bespoke approach strategies for newly identified HNW non-alumni in conjunction with the
research team, academic colleagues, and other key members of DABE, and build relationships to fruition;
• Identify and develop key local and national prospects who have the potential to support philanthropically;
• Identify and secure lead volunteers and influencers in the business community locally, nationally, and
• It is expected that new ‘leads’ will come from a variety of sources including the wider DABE team,
academic and staff networks and volunteer, donor, and University friend networks. You will also be
expected to develop your own networks and ‘leads’ in a number of ways that may include: looking at your
prospect pool networks and securing advocates; making yourself visible to a HNW audience; developing
relationships with wealth management companies and industry bodies.
• Provide expert, credible and influential major gift fundraising advice to the most senior internal and
external stakeholders, including the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, Heads of College, leadership
volunteers and other DABE fundraisers;
• Influence senior academics, leadership volunteers and potential donors;
• Demonstrate an enthusiasm for building and using external networks for institutional benefit;
• Express complex ideas coherently through a variety of media to challenging individuals and on occasion
to a wider audience.
Performance and Resource Management
• Work with the Heads of Development and Data and Business Intelligence to co-create targets annually
ensuring they are stretching but achievable;
• Stringently monitor your performance against your targets and KPIs ensuring you act quickly to minimise
issues and highlight problems appropriately keeping the Head of Development informed;
• Manage both time and resources efficiently through rigorous prioritisation;
• Understand the priorities for the Academic Colleges, the University Strategic Plan and its implications for
Colleges, DABE and the University;
• The postholder will also display the University Leadership capabilities as appropriate to the grade.
The appointed candidate will be expected to demonstrate evidence of the following skills,
capabilities and experience:
Fundraising – Major Gift
• Strong track record of securing 6 figure major gifts from individuals for charitable causes,
preferably in Higher Education or in the wider charity sector. We will expect applicants to be
able to draw on a number of examples to demonstrate their ability and success in this area;
• Significant experience of working in a target-focussed fundraising office;
• Strong and established track record of building long-term relationships from scratch to
• Strong track record of engaging with senior individuals and building a volunteer network;
• Passion for, commitment to, and some knowledge of Higher Education, the University of
Birmingham and the role of philanthropy;
• A thorough understanding of and experience in share, legacy and other ways of tax-efficient
giving in the UK and overseas;
• The ability to construct a solicitation strategy;
• Experience of building and using personal networks for institutional benefit;
• Personal confidence, independence and determination to succeed as an individual and as part
of a team.
Strategic Thinking and Perspective
• Project management experience and a highly-developed capacity for short, medium and
long-term strategic planning;
• An understanding, and ideally direct experience of, the challenges faced by academics and
academic fundraising project champions;
• Some knowledge of, and commitment to, the Higher Education sector and a strong belief in
the importance of universities in society, coupled with an awareness of the issues that they
face and an acceptance of the importance of the diversification of their funding base;
• Experience of managing fundraising projects from the identification of the project through to
completion and sign off;
• Appreciation of the vision and mission of the University of Birmingham.
• Ability to deal with situations with a high degree of sensitivity, tact and diplomacy, especially
where situations can be emotional or challenging;
• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills including the ability to prepare
applications and reports for potential prospects and to present confidently to audiences of all
• An empathy with and ability to build understanding of the worlds of business, academia,
medical research and clinical practice;
• Negotiation skills and the ability to persuade and influence with diplomacy and sensitivity to
gain commitment to a change or course of action;
• The ability to represent the University with confidence and authority;
• High level of awareness of own impact and the ability to modify behaviour accordingly, listen
and respond constructively to the realities and needs of others by using a range of
communication skills and strategies.
• Enthusiastic, target-driven, commercially minded, accountable and motivated to raise money
for the University of Birmingham;
• Ideally educated to degree level or equivalent;
• Ability to work under pressure and prioritise a varied and diverse workload;
• The desire to support colleagues in the achievement of their individual and the collective goals
and to celebrate others’ success as positively as your own;
• Rounded IT skills including competence with all aspects of MS Office, email, and the Internet;
• Experience of working with a large and complex database (we use Raiser’s Edge);
• The ability to work with initiative, to take decisions and think creatively and laterally;
• Remain positive, adaptable and flexible when dealing with ambiguity, paradox, complex
situations and the unexpected;
• The ability to work calmly, effectively and with a sense of humour, both in a team and
independently and to remain cheerful in times of pressure;
• The flexibility to work unsociable hours (evenings and weekends) when required and to travel
in the UK and possibly overseas;
• An understanding of the implications of the Data Protection Act.
APPOINTMENT DETAILS AND HOW TO APPLY
Applications for the Senior Major Gifts Manager should be uploaded through the site of our
recruitment partner Society.
Applications should consist of a CV, ideally accompanied by a covering letter of no more than two
A4 pages addressing the criteria in the Person Specification.
The deadline for receipt of applications is midday on Monday 22 nd September 2014.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview on Thursday 9 th October 2014.
An appointment will be made subject to receipt of satisfactory references. The appointed
candidate will be offered a salary that is commensurate with their experience and the seniority of
their new role.
Other benefits include:
• access to the USS pension scheme;
• access to our sporting facilities;
• excellent transport links including the University station;
• additional holidays at Christmas and Easter.