Senior Development Executive, Trusts and Foundations

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Oct 02, 2019
End of advertisement period
Oct 27, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Closing date 27 Oct 2019 23:00 (UK time)
Salary £32,817–£40,322 (Grade 7)
Location Edinburgh
Department Development & Alumni
Category Professional & Managerial
Status Either

About Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team

The Development and Alumni Office (DAO) comprises the Development, Alumni and Development and Alumni Services teams. The DAO works to empower Heriot-Watt University to achieve its strategic aims by building productive and enduring relationships between the University and its network of supporters, philanthropists and organisations, in order to support priority initiatives and developments. The team seeks to build on the strong foundations in place in order to maximise the philanthropic and engagement potential of Heriot-Watt’s stakeholder groups. This post is part of the Development team, which is led by the Head of Development and includes three Senior Development Executives, a Development Executive (Regular Giving), a Stewardship Officer and an Administrative Assistant.

Detailed Description

This is a skilled role requiring specialist knowledge and expertise of Trusts and Foundations. The post holder will be responsible for securing a high return on investment in the form of major philanthropic grants from charitable trusts and foundations, providing significant funding for a spectrum of University projects including capital campaigns, research, and scholarships. The post holder should have exceptional communication and written skills, with strong influential and negotiating skills in order to develop high quality funding proposals and impact reports.

Key duties and responsibilities

  1. Work closely with the Head of Development, the senior development team and academics to plan, co-ordinate and support the University’s fundraising approaches to trusts and foundations. This will include overview of the trust portfolio, managing a pool of trusts, scheduling approaches, liaising with colleagues on project information, meeting with administrators and trustees, arranging visits to the University and writing effective proposals to secure gifts in the five, six and seven figure range. Establish good working relationships with key staff of the major UK Trusts and Foundations – ensuring where necessary other senior colleagues are involved. Manage a portfolio of trust prospects and meet an agreed annual target.
  2. Ensure that funding applications of the highest quality, priority and relevance are developed, agreed and submitted in order to secure optimal levels of support. Maintain up-to-date and in-depth intelligence on potential funders’ priorities and preferences through desk research and face to face meetings.
  3. Work closely with colleagues to plan events, seminars, and meetings that strengthen stakeholder and supporter relationships and promote the University’s work. Liaise with colleagues to implement appropriate stewardship programmes that thank and maintain long term relationships with foundations, including correspondence, visits, events and personal meetings.
  4. Prepare and update materials that effectively communicate complex academic and scientific projects to both internal and external audiences in order to support fundraising and to maximise visibility of campaigns and philanthropic projects.
  5. Act as an information source within DAO and HWU on funding from the trusts and foundations sector, and as a central point for incoming queries from trusts. Serve as a resource for colleagues across the Development team, ensuring the most compelling and effective approaches are made to trusts by providing peer review of applications and ensuring consistency of message and grant seeking practice. Work with the Head of Development to maintain close contact with other colleagues who are responsible for research grants and ensure smooth co-ordination of funders who make both research and philanthropic grants.
  6. Ensure that current and accurate information on contact details, income, application records and activity in this area is maintained on Raiser’s Edge database.
  7. Assist in the wider work of the department at the request of the Head of Development.
  8. Keep abreast of professional and regulatory developments in charity legislation and higher education fundraising.

Education, qualifications and experience


  • Educated to degree level in relevant field.
  • Experience working with and securing large gifts (£100k+) from Trusts and Foundations both in the UK and internationally.
  • Experience of fundraising, proposal writing and strategic planning.
  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral.
  • Capability of representing the University at the highest levels.
  • Ability to comprehend, digest and express complicated information is critical.
  • Ability to think both strategically and tactically about the relations between potential donors and fundraising goals.
  • Ability and inclination to meet potential funders and to ask them for significant financial support.
  • Ability to promote interest amongst prospective donors in the goals of HWU.
  • Ability to identify and work with professional and academic colleagues in the cultivation of prospects and in the solicitation of gifts.
  • A detailed understanding of Universities as a complex charity
  • An interest in and knowledge of factors affecting higher education in the UK.
  • Ability to promote the complex work of HWU to potential major funders with the utmost enthusiasm, clarity and integrity.
  • Sound grasp of charity law, fundraising techniques, people management and superlative interpersonal skills.
  • Member of the Institute of Fundraising or a similar professional institute.

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Sunday 27th October 2019

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of non-European nationals. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

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