What is it like to work at...the Eden Project?
Published: 01 Feb 2018 By Eden Project
Dawn George, director of HR at the Eden Project, provides insider insight about the director of philanthropy role it’s recruiting for
Dawn George, director of HR at the Eden Project
Tell us about the Eden Project and the work you do
Eden is an educational charity, we exist to connect us with each other and the living world. When you arrive at our home in Cornwall you see a sign proclaiming that we’re ordinary people trying to change the world, and asking you to join us.
What role are you currently recruiting for and what does it involve?
We’re at a real turning point in our story right now, which is why this new post of director of philanthropy is so important. We have big ambitions – there has never been a more important time for people to appreciate and look after our planet and each other, and we’re creating connections at our Cornish home, across the UK and internationally.
We can provide important building blocks: a much-loved brand, millions of visitors, thousands of members and a track record of delivering imaginative and engaging projects ever since the original transformation of our site when Eden was created in 2001.
Our leadership team is driving a new and ambitious strategy and we aim to make good on our promise to change the world; as Eden's director of philanthropy you will be an integral part of our team and sustainable growth strategy.
What kind of person are you looking for?
This role will provide strategic leadership for high value, relationship-based fundraising. The post holder will be responsible for building on the work done to date, refining the core cases for support, extending the network of potential donors, leading to the launch of a major fundraising campaign. This work will be primarily focused in the UK and US but with the intent that we develop our philanthropic donations and network globally as appropriate.
We need someone who has the knowledge and skills to develop worldwide global stewardship in order to strengthen our local, national and global offering.
Why would someone want to work at the Eden Project?
How often do you get an opportunity to work at the eighth wonder of the world?! These are exciting times for Eden as we expand our profile, the person who is successful in gaining this role will be a key part of that success and growth moving forward.
What exciting initiatives are you working on?
Our work matters, and we can say with confidence that it is making a real and positive difference. We have much more to do; that’s where you come in. We’re going to need new sources of support: in particular, major donors and legacies to sit alongside our current funders such as trusts and foundations and the Lottery.
What opportunities for training and development are there?
This is a senior management team role, where we tailor development coaching plans to the needs of the individual to ensure they are supported in their role and career growth.
What challenges are senior fundraising professionals currently facing?
The world of fundraising has evolved significantly over recent years, not least in respect of major donor and philanthropic giving. The challenges are many, but the opportunities - if approached effectively - are infinitely increased and more attainable. However, there is a need to engage more effectively with those individuals and organisations that need to be on board to achieve positive growth and change.
This new role at Eden is particularly challenging due to the diversity of our programmes; local vs. international focus, multiple partners and stakeholders etc. so we need someone that understands the 'science' behind the new world of philanthropic giving. We are very fortunate to have a committee of influential and highly passionate people who are supportive, but challenging of our future fundraising vision.
However, before we 'go live', we need to prepare for effective engagement with those keen to make positive change. Philanthropy is a sophisticated world and, particularly in respect of Eden's mission and vision, no longer operates at local and national levels; many philanthropists travel regularly - as do we - but we need to recognise and manage these complexities.
What tips would you offer applicants who want to apply to work at Eden Project?
Be yourself and show us what you can add to the team!
Sum up what it’s like to work for Eden Project
Never a dull day, and no two days the same! It’s an energetic environment hosting people who are passionate about what we do and how we deliver it.
(This job vacancy has now expired)