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Head of Fundraising

Born Free Foundation
Flexible remote with regular presence at our office in Horsham, West Sussex
£40,000 - £44,000 depending on experience
Closing date
1 Apr 2021

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Fundraising, Events Fundraising, Major Donor/ Gifts, Supporter Development, Trusts & Foundations
Environment / Conservation, International, Animal
Full Time
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Job Details

About the Charity

Born Free works tirelessly to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs.  As a leading wildlife charity, we oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild.

We promote Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of wildlife, especially threatened species in the wild, and to protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. We seek to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world.

Set up initially as Zoo Check in 1984 by Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna and their son Will Travers, Born Free has worked tirelessly for nearly 37 years to prevent captive animal suffering and phase-out zoos.  Will continues to lead the organisation as Executive President, and Virginia remains active on the Board of Trustees, working closely with the team to share our vision and programmes on public forums. 

The Opportunity

The Head of Fundraising will build a contemporary, ambitious and multi-faceted commercial and fundraising structure as part of the next stage in the Foundation’s evolution, ensuring the ethical and sustainable approach to our fundraising activity aligns with our Sustainable Partnerships agenda. This role will maintain and grow our income base, harnessing a data driven approach to developing a fundraising pipeline in line with the organisation’s strategy, but also managing existing service and philanthropic relationships.

The successful candidate will be highly motivated by, and passionate about, the mission of Born Free.  They will be able to demonstrate a significant record of accomplishments building and managing commercial and fundraising income streams, and ideally also of experience in stewarding high-level donor relationships. 

They will bring evidence of managing complex stakeholder relationships and a nuanced leadership style with the requisite gravitas and credibility to engage at the highest level. This will include the proven ability and confidence to identify and develop new opportunities, whilst also delivering a meaningful, cost-effective, and measurable retention strategy. 

Importantly, this role must demonstrate experience and understanding of ROI, excellent financial management of all work streams, budget management and strict expenditure control, contractual analysis and agreement, and fully understand and manage the complexities of compliance regarding income generation within an organisation with charitable status. 

The Role

The Head of Fundraising will be dynamic and entrepreneurial, and have the confidence, authority and experience to be immediately credible, internally and externally.   

Key tasks will include:

  • Develop a contemporary and ambitious multi-faceted fundraising strategy with strong commercial acumen, that will enable the Foundation to maximise its impact globally and in the long term;
  • Develop and deliver world-class fundraising campaigns through utilisation of market segmentation and targeting across all aspects of the Fundraising portfolio. This will include, but not be limited to our traditional fundraising streams - HNW donations, in-person and virtual events, individual and regular giving, legacy gifts, Animal Adoptions, general and emergency appeals, supporter stewardship journeys and raffles;
  • Work collaboratively with the Head of Communications and PR, ensuring income generation opportunities are fully considered as part of media plans and campaigns, deliver maximum impact, and are aligned to meet our financial commitments;
  • In collaboration with the Head of Communications and PR, and working with the Events and Relationships Manager, you will be responsible for the professional delivery of all physical or virtual events and exhibitions, implementing the most advanced and cost-effective technologies available and maximising all benefits to the Foundation;
  • Oversee the effective management and stewardship of existing and ongoing, individual philanthropic partners.  Identify organisational opportunities for new philanthropic income, including new donor prospects, supporting the existing process of professionally stewarding High Net Worth individuals;
  • Work closely with the Chief Finance Officer to develop and maintain accurate systems for recording and reporting against all Fundraising activities, with particular emphasis on funds raised, versus costs.  Develop annual budget-planning, deliver monthly and quarterly reviews of income and expenditure forecasts for reporting upwards to the Executive and Trustees;
  • Work with the Executive President, Managing Director and Heads of Department to ensure the delivery of commercial and fundraising activity equably across the Born Free portfolio, contributing to the strategic debate, and supporting future growth in revenue and engagement;
  • Keep up-to-date with fundraising trends and legislation, and ensure compliance with the Charity Commission, fundraising regulation, and data protection requirements, including the General Data Protection Directive;
  • Work collaboratively with internal stakeholders, external partners and other charities;
  • Take collective responsibility for delivering the objectives of the Fundraising Department in accordance with the strategy established by Executive Management Team and approved by the Board of Trustees;

The successful candidate should ideally demonstrate the following attributes: 

  • University Degree or College Diploma in Professional Fundraising (or Marketing within the charitable sector);
  • Minimum 5 years in a senior marketing and/or fundraising position. Demonstrable experience, creativity and innovation in income-generation, fundraising, and achieving targets derived from both commercial and philanthropic sources through an established network;
  • Excellent financial/business acumen and numeracy skills, comfortable with data and budgetary control;
  • Advanced knowledge in CRM systems (ideally Raisers Edge) and the ability to compile and analyse performance data to develop metrics that support decision-making;
  • Experience in operating in both the UK NGO and INGO environment;
  • Excellent relationship-building skills, including the identification of new opportunities, and the ability to engage with key supporters and major donors;
  • Experience in negotiating and developing service contracts and commercial tri-partite agreements which protect Born Free’s reputation and financial interests;
  • Highly-professional with exceptional interpersonal skills, and the ability to support, motivate and inspire confidence with colleagues and a range of external stakeholders;
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to work with the Head of Communications to craft and deliver compelling messages and to produce concise, persuasive information;
  • A strong empathy and engagement with the work of the Foundation, and the desire to drive it forward, bringing energy and determination to its mission;
  • Decisive and straightforward; low ego and a team player; high levels of drive and energy; a sense of humour; impeccable, innovative and creative story-telling capability, and a healthy level of curiosity for external and current affairs.
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills, and strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work intuitively with a “can do”, entrepreneurial approach, in a small, fast-paced and dynamic team.

The candidate will report directly to the Managing Director, and work closely with the Executive President, and the Senior Management Team.  This role will directly manage a team of five personnel but will reach out to and engage with our international organisation with outstanding campaigns and fundraising strategies. 

Please note that this role will involve occasional out-of-hours working (including evenings and weekends).   

Our excellent benefits package includes opportunities for continuous professional learning, a generous annual leave entitlement, working from home with regular team meetings (Covid permitting) to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, wellbeing support, and a competitive pension.

At Born Free we strive to create a working environment that promotes and values diversity; where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work in a creative and safe space. We are committed to equal opportunities and to building a more inclusive team that reflects the communities we serve.  There is always more work to be done, and we endeavour continuously to make progress, hold ourselves accountable and grow, both as a charity and as individuals.

Applications with a covering letter and CV should be sent to by 5pm Friday 19th March 2021.  Important: Please include HOFR//21 in the subject of your email. 

Please note that if an application is received which is particularly interesting to Born Free, we will be contacting candidates on a rolling basis for interview before the dates above.  So, if this is the job you want to apply for, apply now, and please don’t wait until the deadline date. 

If you do not receive an invitation for an interview by Wednesday 24th March, then you have unfortunately not been shortlisted.  The first round of interviews are scheduled to take place on either 25th or 26th March.  The interviews will take place on Zoom, due to Covid-related restrictions. 

Thank you for your interest. 

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