Build a fundraising career at the National Trust

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The National Trust is one of the biggest charities in the UK. Fundraising plays a vital role in ensuring the future of the nation’s most special places, and it is currently on a journey to grow its fundraised income to £100 million by 2020.

The charity is currently recruiting for a programme officer (gifts in wills), fundraising operations and compliance manager, stewardship and cultivation manager, philanthropy manager and philanthropy co-ordinator.

Laura McHale, head of philanthropy, tells us about what it’s like to work for The National Trust’s fundraising team.

NT team

What attracted you to work for the National Trust?

The National Trust was founded upon a set of simple principles that remain at the heart of today’s strategy – to look after special places forever, for everyone. Working for an organisation that has such a clear vision for the future is really important to me and was one of the first things that attracted me to the role. 

Where were you working before?

Before joining the National Trust I was the senior philanthropy manager for a medical research charity and have worked for many years in the fundraising sector. I have been privileged to work for some amazing causes and with inspirational people over the years, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play my part at the National Trust – an organisation that is close to my own heart and the hearts of so many others. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I’ve been welcomed into this role by colleagues who share a vision and passion for the cause, and with that combination greeting you at the office door every day, it’s easy to feel inspired and part of the team, even in your first few weeks of the job. 

What makes the National Trust a special place to work?

The National Trust has combined over a century’s worth of experience with a dynamic approach to delivering its vision in today’s ever changing landscape. This creates an infectious energy that extends throughout the network of houses, land and coastline that we protect, helping to keep us at the cutting edge of fundraising and creating huge opportunities to inspire and engage with our supporters.

Tell us more about your role in the fundraising team

As the head of philanthropy I lead a team who have the opportunity to work one-to-one with supporters, creating lasting and rewarding relationships that connect our donors directly with the impact of their gift. This can come in many shapes and forms, from the restoration of an eighteenth-century painting to the protection of a stretch of coastline that is dear to someone’s heart. In every case, what makes this a truly special job is our ability to connect people to a part of our work that they are passionate about, and show them the difference they have made.

What is the key purpose of the fundraising team?

Fundraising is part of the DNA of the National Trust. It drives us forward as one of the UK’s leading charities and enables us to do more to conserve and protect our nation’s special places for today and for future generations. We value our relationship with every single one of our 4.5 million members and supporters. 

What kind of people succeed at the National Trust?

The people working for the Trust come from all walks of life, making it a truly exciting and inspiring place to work, and every member of the team, no matter their department or role, is passionate about what they do and the part they play in the National Trust story. The fundraising team is no different. We have some ambitious targets, but we also have the organisational support that we need and all the right tools in place to deliver them. The next chapter is where things get really exciting, and I’d encourage anyone who wants to work for a charity that can demonstrate real impact to be a part of our story.

Sum up what it’s like to work for The National Trust

The National Trust is a large charity with a big vision, and it’s the hard work of our 11,000 members of staff and thousands of volunteers who make this vision a reality.  


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