Appointment of the Head of Transformational Philanthropy


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Head of Transformational Philanthropy here at the University of Manchester.

Manchester is having its moment. Right now, we are preparing to launch our first ever major fundraising and engagement campaign to mark our 200th anniversary in 2024. To make that happen, we are building an exceptional team of people to champion bold thinking that is rooted in impact.

In the past ten years, we have significantly grown our fundraising income, with over £100 million received in the past five years alone and donor numbers increasing by 3000 to over 6000 every year. With over 400,000 alumni around the world, there is enormous potential for further philanthropic growth. With thriving alumni and donor communities in Asia, the USA, Europe and the Middle East, there is great potential for our transformational philanthropy programme, particularly as we recover from the pandemic.

The Head of Transformational Philanthropy is a critical appointment for Manchester and will play an important part in our campaign journey. You will operate at the very highest level of donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship (seven, eight and even nine figure gifts) for bold, impactful projects across the University. Your success in this role could contribute to global solutions for climate change, sustainability, medical research, poverty and societal advancement.

We are focused on continued growth, on innovation and on impact. You will be joining a highly motivated, collaborative, supportive and friendly team. Driven by the desire to make a difference, we encourage our teams to be ambitious and bold, to stretch themselves and not be afraid to try something new.

So much of what we do is about building and nurturing relationships – whether that be with each other, with colleagues across the University or with our alumni and donors – which is why integrity is at the heart of how we work.

If you have a fearless personality, boundless optimism and a desire to create a healthier, fairer and more sustainable world, we’d love to hear from you.

Dale Cooper
Deputy Director, Global & Transformational Philanthropy

About us

The University of Manchester is part of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, with outstanding facilities and the widest range of courses. Our University is highly respected as a centre of teaching excellence and innovative research.

Our vision is to be recognised globally for the excellence of our people, research, learning and innovation, and for the benefits we bring to society and the environment.

With 25 Nobel Prize winners among our current and former staff and students, we have a history of world firsts and brilliant discoveries, from splitting the atom to giving the world graphene.

We’re committed to world-class research, an outstanding learning and student experience, and social responsibility in everything we do.

The University of Manchester was the first and most eminent of the civic universities, furthering the frontiers of knowledge through research and teaching, but also contributing to the well-being of its region and society more widely.

You can read more about our University vision, values and strategic plan here.

Hear what The University of Manchester means to our Chancellor, the award-winning writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE:

More information

You can read much more about the University on our main website here

Development and Alumni Relations

About the Division of Development and Alumni Relations

In the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, our aim is to help everyone connected to The University of Manchester to make a positive impact in the world.

  • We help the brightest young people to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background.
  • We help our researchers make new discoveries and breakthroughs to improve our world.
  • We help alumni, donors and others to stay part of the Manchester story, wherever they might be.

The Division aims to provide an outstandingly communicative, engaging, stimulating and rewarding experience to donors and alumni who wish to play a partnership role in taking areas of shared interest forward. The University benefits from the interest and support of the UK’s largest alumni community for a campus-based university, maintaining contact with over 500,000 alumni in over 190 countries.

Beyond philanthropy, we work with alumni volunteers who are engaged in programmes that bring current students and alumni together in order to enhance the student experience and take the University’s commitment to Social Responsibility to new levels.

Please see our Strategic Partnership team organisational chart here.

Please see the DDAR organisational chart here.

DDAR: Team Values

Working in Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Manchester is exciting, rewarding and fun.  Our four values reflect who we are, how we do things, and what we want to achieve. Underpinning everything is our drive and commitment to make a positive impact and to make a difference.

The role

Head of Transformational Philanthropy

Job reference:

Background to the role

Manchester is having its moment. Right now, we are preparing to launch our first ever major fundraising campaign to mark our 200th anniversary in 2024. To make that happen, we are building an exceptional team of people to champion bold thinking that is rooted in impact.

At Manchester we don’t just focus on what we’re good at. We ask what we’re good for.

Through our teaching we are educating a new kind of socially responsible graduate – tomorrow’s thinkers, doers and leaders of a better world. Through our research we are addressing the most pressing global challenges with bold and brilliant solutions. Through innovation we are turning ideas into reality, creating the jobs and industries that will sustain us in the future. And in the heart of the city and beyond, we are breaking down barriers to art, science and learning in order to build stronger, more resilient communities.

Manchester people are different. We share a pioneering spirit and the courage to make a difference. If you have a fearless personality, boundless optimism, and a desire to create a healthier, fairer, and more sustainable world, we’d love to hear from you.

Sound exciting? We think so too.



Job Title:  Head of Transformational Philanthropy
Reports To:  Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships
Organisation Unit:  Division of Development & Alumni Relations

Working closely with:
President & Vice Chancellor; Vice Presidents and Deans of all faculties; senior academic leads, Director of Estates; Director of Student Experience; senior PS colleagues; Director of Development; Directors of multi-disciplinary research institutes; senior academic leads in all faculties; senior colleagues in DDAR; high net worth individuals, senior alumni, friends, advisors, key volunteers and benefactors; charitable trusts, foundations, grant giving organisations and funding bodies.

While this post is designed to focus on those relationships of the highest value, there will be some line management responsibilities. We are committed to providing direction, coaching and motivation for an experienced fundraiser, the Senior Officer, Transformational Philanthropy.  With a large major gift team, the ability to influence colleagues outside of your direct team will also be essential.

Overall purpose:

Reporting to the Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships, the Head of Transformational Philanthropy will operate at the very highest level of donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship to secure significant support (seven, eight and nine figure gifts) in support of the University’s key priorities.

Provide University-wide leadership to develop, plan and implement the transformational philanthropy strategy to significantly increase philanthropic income across the University and cultural institutions.  An exceptional major gift fundraiser, you will be responsible for managing a portfolio of relationships with alumni and significant philanthropists, to secure gifts for bold, impactful projects and programmes across the University.  You will provide leadership, expert advice, mentoring and encouragement for all development professionals at the University who are managing relationships with potential and current transformational philanthropy level donors. You will proactively build the pipeline, demonstrating a creative approach to reach potential new donors globally. Serve as a member of the Division’s Senior Management Team, actively contributing to the overall direction, success and achievements of the Division.

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons and all appointments will be made on merit. As we are committed to the principles of the Race Equality Charter Mark, we would particularly welcome applications from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community who are currently under-represented at this level in this area.


Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities or Duties:

The post-holder will undertake a range of activities commensurate with the grading and responsibility of the post, which will include the following:

As a member of the DDAR Senior Management Team:

  • Represent the interests of DDAR as appropriate, demonstrating a strong understanding of and up to date knowledge of the University’s strategic objectives and those of the Division as a whole in order to best represent these internally and externally as appropriate.
  • Be the point of contact within the Division and across campus for both:
    1. transformational philanthropy.
    2. any other areas of Division-wide responsibility as agreed with the Deputy Director and Director.
  • Keep abreast of broad new developments and initiatives nationally and internationally across all areas of work covered by DDAR. Working closely with the Director and Deputy Directors, ensure open and consistent communication across the senior management team of current and emerging priorities, and proposed new initiatives, within the area of specialism.
  • Represent the interests of the Division at, prepare submissions for, and take responsibility for follow-up from, University-wide strategy groups and committees, as agreed with the Deputy Director.
  • Contribute actively to joint planning across the Division and with senior University colleagues to develop DDAR strategic and operational plans, and to take shared responsibility for the delivery of DDAR goals across all of these plans.

Strategic planning and consultancy

  • Working closely with the Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships, develop and deliver the strategy for transformational philanthropy (gifts above £1M).
  • Develop and lead solicitation plans for agreed top-level potential donors, working closely with the President & Vice Chancellor, the Vice Presidents and Deans, and members of the senior academic and Professional Services (PS) leadership team, to confirm specific introduction, engagement and negotiation strategies for these top-level donors.
  • Undertake regular reviews and analysis of the internal and external landscape in transformational philanthropy to identify opportunities, threats and weaknesses in the University’s activities and to develop strategies, policies and programmes to address these.
  • Provide high level support and consultancy to the President & Vice Chancellor, members of the Senior Leadership Team and senior academics across the University as a ‘resident expert’ on all aspects of transformational philanthropy.
  • Represent the University nationally and internationally, including but not exclusively through the Council for the Advancement of Education (CASE), ensuring external recognition for the University in the area of transformational philanthropy, to support the profession as a whole, but also to keep abreast of new innovations and best practice and to use this insight in strategic planning and implementation.

Personal leadership in top-level fundraising and donor relations

  • Achieve agreed multi-year fundraising targets working within an agreed expenditure budget.
  • Undertake the personal solicitation of seven, eight and nine-figure gifts from prospective donors, focusing on face-to-face visits and strategic fundraising events. The role-holder will be expected to play a leading role in securing significant gifts.
  • Responsible for the transformational philanthropy prospect pipeline; monitoring and reporting on progress, working with colleagues to ensure relationships are moving, providing forecasts and updates for Deputy Director and senior University colleagues.
  • Have a deep understanding of the University strategy and plans, and the detail of specific elements within it, to speak with authority and credibility with top level UK and international potential donors, often at short notice, and to write persuasive compelling gift proposals.
  • Write and coordinate high-level proposals to individuals and organisations in and consultation with DDAR and academic colleagues.  To ensure that all gift proposals are costed accurately, are strategically aligned and approved at the appropriate level in the University (including senior finance staff and academics).
  • Demonstrate a full understanding of the University’s responsibilities to its donors and uphold the University’s policies on the acceptance of gifts and management of benefactions.
  • In collaboration with academic and Professional Services colleagues, follow up on gift solicitations to ensure closure and satisfactory settlement and recording of major gifts and commitments.

Leadership and resource management

  • Demonstrate inspiring, confident leadership for transformational philanthropy, influencing, supporting and coaching fundraisers outside of your direct line management to ensure all relationships with transformational philanthropy donors and potential donors are effectively managed, from the moment they are identified through to donor stewardship. You will be expected to provide training and guidance for colleagues and volunteers on face-to-face solicitation techniques.
  • Responsible for financial planning and resource allocation relating to transformational philanthropy activity; monitor fundraising budgets to ensure maximum efficiency, value for money and delivery of key objectives.
  • Working closely with the Deputy Directors and Heads of Philanthropy, to develop, refine and articulate prioritised fundraising needs to ensure that they are suitable and attractive for transformational philanthropy donors and potential donors. Monitor these over time to ensure they continue to reflect University priorities.
  • Work collaboratively with the Trust & Foundation Officers to identify, cultivate and solicit charitable trusts and foundations with a view to raising awareness of the University’s role in a national and international context.
  • Work with Communications colleagues to develop and contribute to appropriate support documents for priority projects and opportunities designed to inspire transformational philanthropy donors.
  • Responsibility for ensuring you adhere to relevant fundraising regulation and current data legislation whilst ensuring fundraising is ethical and that due diligence is undertaken as necessary.
  • Based on the principle that prior donors are the best future prospective donors, work closely with academics and with colleagues in the donor relations team to oversee implementation of effective stewardship plans so that major donors are fully aware of the impact of their gifts and feel motivated to make further significant gifts to the University.
  • Work collaboratively with the External Relations Events Team to ensure there is an effective event programme for transformational philanthropy donors and potential donors.
  • To establish strong relationships with senior academics working with transformational philanthropy potential and current donors, provide high level of support, advice and guidance for them.
  • To update key donor-related boards (including the Global Leadership Board (GLB), the North American Foundation for the University of Manchester (NAFUM), and the Hong Kong Foundation for the University of Manchester (HKFUM)) on progress, through presentations and wider communications, working with board members and Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships to identify global opportunities for high level benefaction.
  • Support the Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships, to develop and strengthen the understanding of principles of major gift fundraising among academic champions and other leaders by means of workshops, seminars, and one-to-one conversation and training.
  • Working collaboratively with the Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships, identify philanthropic priorities which support the University’s financial sustainability and ensure the Development team are delivering against targets to ensure a proportion of philanthropic income is discretionary/budget relieving.
  • Embody DDAR’s values, leading by example to build a culture and processes that enable innovation and thoughtful risk-taking.
  • Work collaboratively across DDAR, fostering coordinated teamwork and support between functional teams.
  • Undertake national and international travel as required and undertake other such duties as may be required from time-to-time by the Director of Development.

Knowledge, skills, experience and attributes


  • Proven and significant experience of face to face, philanthropic fundraising, including significant work with private high-level personal donors, with a track record of leading negotiations towards, and securing, six and seven-figure philanthropic gifts.
  • Knowledge and experience of national and international trends in private philanthropic giving to higher education, in order to have immediate credibility with philanthropists, other donors and peer fund-raisers.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development.


  • Sound judgement and operating talent to achieve immediate credibility and influence with top-level private individuals, Trustees, CEOs, senior academics, and partner organisations.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to deal effectively, and with integrity, with a wide range of people internally and externally (including alumni, donors, volunteers, University staff and students and businesses).
  • Ability to comprehend and amalgamate complex subject matter and to articulate such matter clearly and concisely to a lay audience.
  • Exceptional organisational and planning skills, with the ability to focus on the things that matter and to empower others to do the same.


  • A high level of empathy, discretion and tact to be able to discuss potentially highly emotive subjects with donors and potential donors and to understand and appreciate their thoughts, concerns and expectations.
  • Ability to exert influence beyond areas of immediate line management.
  • Perceptive, with excellent judgement and highly developed emotional intelligence.
  • Solutions-focused with strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Resilient, able to work well in a fast-changing environment, sometimes under pressure and managing conflicting priorities.
  • Works collaboratively; builds and maintains productive relationships with others.
  • Results oriented and ambitious, with a drive to continuously improve.
  • A creative thinker, with a keen interest in trying new things and innovation to bring about positive change.
  • Demonstration of a personal commitment to, and belief in, education, research and scholarly enquiry.
  • Willingness to travel and work outside normal hours when required.


  • An understanding of the Higher Education landscape and global philanthropic trends.
  • Experience of fundraising outside the UK.
  • Knowledge of legal, regulatory frameworks for philanthropy internationally.

Terms of appointment

Grade 8 pay scale £53,348 – £63,668 with scope up to £69,557 for outstanding candidates.

The annual leave year is 1st October to 30th September and entitlement is 29 days plus four days Christmas closure plus public holidays.

The post holder will join the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Hybrid Working.

For information on the benefits of working at the University of Manchester please click here.

Working Smarter, Living Better

The University offer hybrid working called Working Smarter, Living Better. We want to create a more flexible future because this can be good for individual work-life balance and also good for the University in terms of attracting and keeping talent, enhancing diversity and inclusion and using resources more sustainably.

We have introduced a hybrid working pilot across Professional Services (PS) and over recent months we have been co-developing our approach to hybrid working, refining our principles and developing a detailed managers’ guidance pack and support for staff. The Principles include an overview of hybrid working, the four hybrid working categories that roles may fall into, information on policy and procedures and the obligations of hybrid workers can be found here.

We would be pleased to discuss the hybrid working options for this role with any interested candidates.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University of Manchester. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultant at Anderson Quigley: Nicola Reames on +44 (0)7907 574 794.

The closing date for applications is Friday 25th March 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • Please include details of two referees in either your CV or covering letter, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form here.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1369.