Donor Partnerships Officer
Location: London, UK
Last Date: July 6, 2008

Job description

Position: Donor Partnerships Officer
Department: Donor Partnerships (part of Marketing & Communications)
Responsible to: Donor Partnerships Manager
Works with: Marketing & Communications, Health and Policy, Programmes and Finance Dept.’s and Field representatives
Grade: D
Salary: £23,500 – £26,500 per annum

Merlin is the only specialist UK charity which responds worldwide with vital health care and medical relief for vulnerable people caught up in natural disasters, conflict, disease and health system collapse. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.

The Marketing and Communications department was created in 2005 as a result of a strategic decision by Merlin to expand and develop its marketing and communication activities in order to significantly increase the amount of voluntary income raised by the charity. The department has three distinct areas:

• Individual Giving – responsible for raising money from donors up to a single gift of £5,000. Activities mainly split into developing and upgrading existing donors on database and acquiring new donors through a variety of techniques and mechanisms
• Donor Partnerships – responsible for raising money from wealthy individuals (£5,000 and above) and via partnerships with private trusts/foundations and companies
• Communications – responsible for raising profile and reputation of Merlin amongst UK public in the media and the brand management of the organisation in all public fora

Main purpose of the role
To raise income from private donors, with a focus on potential major donors, and also with some trusts, foundations and corporate when appropriate, giving gifts of at least £5 000 and key working long term relationships worth up to £1million plus.
Overall Objectives (scope)
To generate funding for Merlin in line with agreed budgets; emphasising core income when appropriate.

1. To cultivate and manage (as the key worker) relationships with private donors with the potential of giving one off gifts of £5000 to over £500 000, to generate both unrestricted and restricted funds.
2. To identify and research potential new, private donors and create and develop relationships with them in order to secure new sources of unrestricted and restricted funding.
3. To contribute to Merlin’s Marketing and Communications strategy.
1. To generate funding for Merlin, emphasising core funds and contribute to Donor Partnerships Annual Plan

• to be responsible and work independently to research, acquire and cultivate relationships with new and potential donors in the private sector, with the aim of helping achieving the income targets, specifically the major donor income target, as outlined in the Donor Partnerships Annual Plan
• create and develop concept ideas and fundraising proposals for private donors and being responsive to their requirements
• co-ordinate and liaise with other team members on relationship building and cultivation events, such as breakfast and lunch briefings, private dinners and presentations, as and when appropriate
• be responsible for the day to day running of Merlin’s major donor programme
• maintain accurate and up to date records (on Raiser’s Edge and hard copy files) of all activities and donor contact
• represent the Donor Partnership team in internal meetings when required
• work with consultant/s and external contacts to progress the major donor strategy
• represent Merlin at external donor meetings when required
• provide support to other areas of Donor Partnership activity as directed by the Donor Partnerships Manager

2. To cultivate and manage (as the key worker) relationships with private donors with the potential of giving one off minimum gifts of £5000 to £500 000, to generate both restricted and unrestricted funds
• cultivate and manage relationships with key contacts of existing potential major donors through all appropriate communication channels and face to face meetings
• to undertake appropriate and specific research relating to existing potential major donors
• to work closely with other Merlin departments and country offices to identify and develop funding proposals, budgets, reports, etc.

3. To identify potential new major donors (via individual contact, trusts and foundations or corporates) and create and develop relationships with them in order to secure new sources of unrestricted and restricted funding
• to undertake appropriate and specific research relating to potential new private donors
• to develop and cultivate new relationships where appropriate with private donors, including meetings, briefings, presentations and other ad hoc communications
• to liaise with Merlin Ambassadors to identify and cultivate potential new leads and networks for funding opportunities
• to keep up to date with important developments in the third sector through various media such as the internet and sector publications

4. To contribute to Merlin’s Marketing and Communications strategy
• offer financial data on income and information on activities and outcomes for continued evaluation of the effectiveness of Donor Partnership strategy
• contribute to the work of Merlin’s communications team, and the writing and production of relevant marketing / fundraising / communication materials where appropriate, as requested by Donor Partnerships Manager

Undertake all other reasonable tasks appropriate to the role and as required by the Director of Marketing and Communications

Dimensions and Limits of Authority

• Asking for funding independently and at face to face meetings with one or more people in attendance, for one-off or multi-year gifts of up to £500,000 + per year
• Key work relationships – which includes working through a process of identifying, researching, cultivating, involving and asking for funds - with private donors which give, or have the potential to give, unrestricted and restricted funds to Merlin
• Key work relevant external contacts – which includes working through a process of identifying, researching, cultivating and involving - in relation to research and a broader knowledge of networks for potential private donors
• In discussion with Donor Partnerships Manager and / or Senior Officer, to prioritise those projects requiring funding, in order to achieve the most effective outcome for Merlin
• Spokesperson for Merlin with responsibility for communicating Merlin’s vision, aims and needs, when discussing and meeting with external contacts in connection with private donors
Person Specification
Qualifications, experience and competences

• Successful experience of working in an environment which required skills in negotiation and marketing and or fundraising, and a high level of direct donor/client communication
• Good ability to work as part of a team to develop and implement relevant strategies
• Good ability to work independently to develop and implement relevant strategies
• Successful demonstrable record of securing new donors/clients and donations/work
• Successful experience in securing gifts or new work of between £5000 - £500,000+ and achieving a minimum return on investment of 1.4
• Good demonstrable ability to create budgets for specific proposals
• Successful experience of writing effective proposals, executive summaries, reports and updates for cultivation and fundraising purposes
• Excellent relationship management skills with demonstrable experience of establishing and building strong and effective relationships at a senior level with donors and potential supporters and of managing successful relationships with staff at all levels including Trustees, Patrons and representatives overseas
• Ability to lead face to face meetings and the confidence to ask for funding using effective and appropriate language
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to understand complex information and convey it concisely, persuasively, and confidently to varied audiences
• Experience of managing a wide and varied workload, prioritising, decision making and delegating effectively, and ensuring the achievement of targets within a fast paced and changing environment with tight deadlines
• Excellent written and spoken English,
• Confident and proficient user of MS Office
• Ability to attend events and meetings at weekends and outside of working hours
• An understanding of and commitment to the mission and values of Merlin

Qualifications, experience and competences
• Practical experience of the issues and challenges of working in a not-for-profit sector
• Interest and understanding of the key international and national current affairs and political issues that effect humanitarianism, aid and development work
• Experience of using Raisers Edge or similar fundraising database

If you want to apply for the position, download an application form from our website and send it to

Closing Date: Sunday 6th July 2008
Interviews: 10th/11th July 2008


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