Appointment of the Senior Development Officer


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Senior Development Officer here at the University of Manchester. Through this search, we hope to appoint three new Senior Development Officers for our team, each with a particular focus: Senior Development Officer, Health; Senior Development Officer, Student Support; and Senior Development Officer, Humanities.

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 Senior Development Officer will play an important part in our campaign journey.  You will identify and secure philanthropic income from high-net-worth individuals – engaging with both alumni and non-alumni – in support of a number of key philanthropic priorities for the University.  Your success in role could contribute to major advances in medical research; student support; and Humanities faculty-led projects. Manchester has a strong track record of ‘growing its own’. This role could lead to a strong career trajectory within our exceptional team of development professionals.

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.

Luke Taylor
Deputy Director, Development

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 Development 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

Senior Development Officer

Job reference:

Background to the role

Right now is Manchester’s time to shine. We are preparing to launch our first ever major fundraising and volunteering 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. Not only do we share the values of integrity, being bold, being ambitious, and being collaborative, we also 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:  Senior Development Officer
Reports To:  Head of Development/Head of Philanthropy
Organisation Unit:  Division of Development & Alumni Relations (DDAR)

Key relationships:

Head of Philanthropy/Head of Development; Senior Development Officers and Development Officers as well as the wider Development Team; Director of Development (DDAR); Division colleagues including but not exclusively Alumni Relations, Prospect Research and Donor Relations; Faculty Leadership; students, Senior Alumni, Friends, Stakeholders, Advisors, Key Volunteers and Benefactors.

Main purpose:

The Senior Development Officer will identify and secure philanthropic income from High-Net-Worth Individuals – engaging with both alumni and non-alumni – in support of agreed fundraising priorities and identified and access-related initiatives.

You will initiate contact and build relationships with prospective donors, actively develop and lead gift proposals for donors wishing to support the University of Manchester and be a key relationship manager at University-wide level with private individual donors, leading them towards support for agreed University philanthropic priorities.

You will also line manage 1-2 Development Officers.

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:

  • Identify areas of shared interests held by prospective/current donors and the University and develop pathways of interest, participation and involvement that lead to tangible support for the University, principally through philanthropy. Prospects will typically be leading executives, business figures, other individuals, family charitable trusts and philanthropists.
  • Establish and manage the University’s relationship with a portfolio of senior alumni and potential donors (typically giving from £50,000 to £1,000,000+) towards agreed targets and performance metrics. This will involve initiating contact, regular face to face and telephone discussions with prospective and current donors in the region, London and the rest of the UK.
  • Manage the processes and approvals involved in gift proposals and subsequent gift agreements, including detailed activity plans and associated multi-year budgets for donor-funded programmes, ensuring appropriate agreement and sign-off for all major gifts.
  • Lead, prepare and facilitate gift proposals to individuals and organisations in co-ordination and consultation with academic and DDAR colleagues. This will involve liaison with key stakeholders and high-level copy writing to produce timely proposals by summarising detailed and often complex academic programmes in a style which is accessible and motivating for the audience.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of donor-related policies and demonstrate a full understanding of the University’s responsibilities to its donors, whilst upholding the University’s policies on the ethical acceptance of gifts and management of benefactions.
  • Provide high level strategic support and consultancy to senior members of the University community to facilitate their becoming successful in all aspects of major donor communications and help lead the development of strategies for donor relations and assessment of potential philanthropic projects.
  • Work closely with existing board members and key volunteers and to help identify, recruit and steward new prospects and donors.
  • Work closely with senior colleagues to identify emerging priorities and projects, prepare powerful case statements and develop, commission and edit appropriate publications and materials aimed at relevant donor audiences.
  • Demonstrable ability to support, develop and motivate people in a supervisory, mentoring or coaching role.
  • Act as an ambassador both internally and externally for the University.
  • Undertake national, European and international travel as required, and be flexible to work outside normal hours where necessary.
  • Attend Division-led events (and wider University where appropriate) and engage with our guests and alumni audience.
  • Undertake other such duties as may be required from time-to-time by the Head of Development, Deputy Director for Development and Director of Development.

Essential knowledge, skills and experience

  • Proven experience of successful fundraising (six figures and above) with high level private personal donors and philanthropists.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills with the necessary listening, influencing, facilitation, negotiation and diplomatic skills to represent the University at the highest levels.
  • A track record of successfully leading negotiations on philanthropic proposals for complex joint projects or programmes, gaining approval of key internal and external stakeholders across different disciplines.
  • Maturity of judgement and operating talent to achieve immediate credibility and influence with Trustees, CEOs, senior academics, donors and partner organisations.
  • Proven ability to think creatively and highly strategically.
  • Ability to comprehend and amalgamate complex subject matter, with a good eye for detail, and to articulate such matter clearly and concisely to a lay audience.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, with demonstrable experience of writing and presenting effective, clear and persuasive proposals.
  • A proactive team player with a positive attitude to problem solving, who is committed to achieving shared goals, able to adapt and learn on the job and has a helpful and friendly customer-focused approach.
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and to effectively prioritise a varied and diverse workload.
  • A resilient, can-do attitude with the tenacity and patience required to achieve successful fundraising outcomes.
  • Awareness of cultural sensitivities and the ability to navigate such sensitivities appropriately.
  • A demonstrable interest and passion for securing funding for education, scholarly enquiry and activity aligned with the priorities of the University.
  • A strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity.
  • A high level of computer literacy.
  • Willingness to work outside normal hours when required and undertake travel within the UK, Europe and on occasion, internationally.

Desirable knowledge, skills and experience

  • Have experience of working with a wide range of colleagues from a variety of disciplines across a large and complex organisation.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of issues in UK higher education funding.
  • Have knowledge of, and interest in, issues around access and widening participation in higher education.
  • Have previous experience of line management.
  • Have knowledge of, and interest in, health and medical research, the Humanities and/or issues around access and widening participation in higher education.

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.

Manchester is a Disability Confident Employer.

Terms of appointment

Grade 7 pay scale £42,149 – £51,799 with scope up to £56,587 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 noon on Friday 8th April 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 AQ1383.