Appointment of the Director of Development & Alumni Relations


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Director of Development & Alumni Relations at University College Oxford (Univ).

The last two years with the spread of the coronavirus across the world and the role it has played in widening economic and social disparities between people, countries and regions, has been one of challenge and opportunity.  At Univ we rose to the challenge and embraced new ways of working and relating to each other.  We were determined to keep our staff and students safe whilst doing our best to provide our students with an engaged student experience.  We have been very conscious of the emotional toll that the lack of social engagement had on some of our students and staff and are now at the point where we are learning the lessons from last year and building on those things which worked well.

One of our priorities was to maintain contact with alumni and friends of Univ through a range of virtual events.  Our alumni are a crucial part of what makes Univ a College known for it’s friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  Univ is one of the oldest Colleges in Oxford (founded in 1249) and we combine that ancient heritage with a forward looking and modern approach.  We are an inclusive College, committed to opening up access and demonstrating that academic excellence and diversity go hand in hand.  One of the things I am extremely proud of is the way that Univ has pioneered outreach and access initiatives over the years.  In this drive we have had the unstinting  support of our alumni, who have been the champions of change.  Most recently they have supported our transformational capital development ‘Univ North’ which represents the College’s most significant expansion since the 17th century and will deliver an environmentally responsible, inter-generational College community with accommodation, nursery, café, gym and common spaces in beautiful grounds.  We will break ground on the site later this year.

This is an exciting time to join Univ.  We are all about maintaining and building relationships, championing excellence and inclusivity and promoting diversity.  We are open to ideas, innovative, global in our outlook and focussed on providing a rich and robust student experience.

If you share our vision and would like to be part of our College community I hope you will consider joining us.

Baroness Valerie Amos
Master, University College Oxford

The Context

The University of Oxford

Oxford is a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research and the oldest university in the English-speaking world.  Oxford’s students and staff come from every background imaginable. There are around 24,000 students from over 140 countries at Oxford, studying as undergraduates and postgraduates.  Their range of backgrounds and interests helps to make Oxford one of the most exciting teaching, learning and research environments anywhere as well as one with extraordinary resources to offer its students.

Oxford has a distinctive collegiate structure.  There are 39 Oxford colleges, which are financially independent and self-governing, but relate to the central University in a kind of federal system.  The collegiate system is at the heart of the University, giving students and academics the benefits of belonging both to a large, internationally renowned institution and  to a small, interdisciplinary academic community.  Colleges bring together leading academics and students across subjects and year groups and from different cultures and countries, helping to foster the collaborative and multidisciplinary approach that underpins much of the outstanding research achievement of the University, and makes Oxford a leader in so many fields.

Oxford was ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

More information about the University of Oxford can be found here: University of Oxford


University College

University College (known as “Univ” for short) was founded in 1249 and is thought to be the oldest college of the University of Oxford.  The College combines an ancient heritage with a forward-thinking and modern approach, blending academic excellence with an atmosphere that is friendly, relaxed and welcoming.

The College occupies a historic site in central Oxford and is a lively community of around 400 undergraduates and 230 graduates from a wide variety of backgrounds.  It offers a rigorous and nuanced education designed to inspire its students to be intellectually bold, to be challenged and be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.  Alongside the academic underpinning there is a wide range of social and sporting activities on offer, together with strong wellbeing support.

At its heart, Univ is an inclusive institution and has pioneered many innovative outreach initiatives over the years in its pursuit to widen access to Oxford, many of which have been adopted university wide.  The College has recently launched the ‘Beacon Programme’, a major new initiative designed to drive participation and inclusion in education and research, targeted at British undergraduate students of Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage, members of the Traveller community, care-experienced students, asylum-seekers, and refugees.  The Beacon Programme will unlock opportunities for role models and leaders of the future, sending a powerful signal to the higher education sector and driving the pace of much-needed change.

Thanks to the support of its alumni and supporters, the College currently has one of the most generous bursary schemes in Oxford, such that no UK-based undergraduate at the College with a household income of under £52,000 needs a parental contribution to meet their living costs.  The College is also one of Oxford’s leading colleges for postgraduate study, with over 35 fully funded postgraduate scholarships awarded each year.

Univ has recently embarked on a transformational capital development in north Oxford (‘Univ North’), which represents the most significant expansion of the College’s footprint since the 17th century.  The College is working to deliver an exceptional model of environmentally responsible planning and construction that will result in a two-site collegiate community.  The project will offer accommodation, a café, a gym, a nursery, common spaces and research facilities – all set in beautiful, landscaped grounds.  The new development has a huge amount to offer, not just to the College, but also to the city and the local community.

Over its long history, Univ has produced many distinguished alumni who have excelled in a variety of fields.  These include two British Prime Ministers and a President of the United States of America.  Other notable alumni include CS Lewis, writer of the Narnia books; Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist; Alexandra Wilson, lawyer; and Roz Savage, the first woman to row across all three oceans solo.

This is a particularly exciting time in the College’s history, with imminent commencement of the Univ North construction and commitment to continue the drive for inclusivity and excellence.  The election of Baroness Valerie Amos in 2019, the first woman Master of University College Oxford and the first black head of any Oxford college is a further demonstration of the College’s commitment to equality and diversity.

The College celebrates its 775th anniversary in 2024.

For more information about the College, please visit:

Background to the Role

University College has a long history of philanthropy having been founded on a bequest by William of Durham in 1249.   More than 770 years later, philanthropy remains central to the College and there exists today a substantial community of donors and volunteers whose generous support has funded academic posts, bursaries and scholarships, student support and capital expansion.

University College has one of the longest-established and best-performing Development Offices in Oxford.  The Development team is responsible for an extensive programme of alumni outreach, fundraising, events and communications designed to foster and maintain relationships between the College and its global alumni body. Mindful of its long and distinguished history and of the need to secure its future, generations of Univ alumni have contributed to the College’s continued success through a variety of forms of engagement with the College.

There is a strong culture of philanthropy within the College community and its alumni body are supportive and engaged.  The College has one of the most widely supported annual funds of any UK higher education institution, with more than a third of Old Members regularly making a gift to the College.  The College’s alumni have facilitated transformational change through their support.  There is also a collaborative and constructive working relationship between the College and the central University’s Development team.

The Development Office currently comprises nine people, including the Director of Development & Alumni Relations.  The team is structured across regular giving, major gifts, alumni events and fundraising operations.  There has been a recent move to expand the fundraising operations function in order to give greater emphasis to data systems, processes, and regulatory compliance.  The College’s Communications team works closely with the Development Office.

The Director of Development & Alumni Relations reports to the Master and the Governing Body, which currently comprises 56 Fellows.  There are also a number of committees which guide implementation of development and alumni priorities. The Development Committee is chaired by the Master and helps to shape development policy.  The Director also attends and reports to meetings of the Old Members Trust and the Development Board. Click here for details of the Committees and their terms of reference.

Univ’s Development Office directly manages its Old Members Trust as well as its own alumni database.  The Old Members Trust has a separate endowment.  Additionally, there is an established 501.c.3 in the US to manage USD gifts from alumni.

The College has seen a period of intense fundraising activity in recent years.  In 2016, the College completed its ‘Univ 20/20 Campaign’, which ran for nine years, and raised over £55m to support a range of initiatives, including post-graduate scholarships, undergraduate bursaries, Fellowships, undergraduate access and support for the general fabric of the College.  More recently, the College launched a successful campaign in support of the Univ North project.  Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the College received an impressive total of almost £10m in new pledges in 2020/21.

Owing to the constraints created by the coronavirus pandemic, it has not been possible to host the College’s usual busy schedule of face-to-face alumni and other events.  However, the Development team’s virtual innovations have been well-received by alumni and supporters of the College.  The virtual ‘Global Conversations’ series hosted by the Master, year-group reunions and the book club have become very popular.  Other events, such as ‘Univ in the Arts’ have also been successful virtually.  The College hopes to resume a more extensive schedule of in person events in 2022.

The College sees the next phase of its fundraising priorities as focussed around consolidation and stewardship – of ‘giving back’ to the alumni who have been so generous towards the College over recent years.  The College wants to use its 775th anniversary in 2024 as an opportunity for a celebration.  Ongoing fundraising projects include access, sustainability, bursaries and scholarships.  Additionally, continuing to secure the College’s endowment is a key priority for fundraising.

The Opportunity

The College seeks an outstanding individual for the role of Director of Development & Alumni Relations, to lead and manage fundraising and alumni engagement across the College.  The Director will play a key role in delivering the College’s strategic priorities and in contributing to College life.

Leading and inspiring a talented team of eight, the Director will be responsible for devising and implementing a broad fundraising strategy, which aims to deliver the College’s funding priorities in a creative and innovative manner.  One of the main responsibilities of the role will be to enrich the long-term relationships between the College and its wider community in support of a range of development goals.  The successful candidate will bring an empathetic approach to developing those relationships to help to deliver the philanthropic income required. The Director will also have overall responsibility for the College’s comprehensive alumni relations’ programme, ensuring that it continues to evolve to meet the needs of its global alumni body. The postholder will be a champion for the College and will be expected to undertake face-to-face meetings with current or prospective donors in the UK and overseas.

As a Fellow, you will be expected and encouraged to take up the opportunities this brings and to immerse yourself fully in the Univ community.  You will see your responsibility in the College as being broader than that of pure fundraising and alumni engagement. Alongside the Senior Tutor, Domestic Bursar, Finance Bursar, and Welfare Fellow, and working under the Master, you will be part of the Senior Officers’ group, having a role which is integral to the advancement of the College as a whole.  Ideally, you will stay in role for a good number of years, building trusted and longstanding relationships within the community and contributing to a positive reputation for development and alumni relations across the College and externally.

As the College’s chief development adviser and lead fundraiser, you will have your own portfolio of major gifts prospects and will play an important role in the solicitation of major donations.  You will work closely with the Master, involving her in the relationships with the College’s top prospects and ensuring that she has sufficient support to play an effective role in securing major gifts.  You will additionally develop and oversee effective fundraising at all levels, with the help of Fellows, alumni and volunteers as appropriate.  Crucially, you will bring an understanding of the internal pressures in delivering the development agenda and will possess an excellent knowledge of fundraising from an ethical and regulatory perspective.

The successful candidate will be a good listener with well-developed interpersonal skills and outstanding leadership abilities.  You will demonstrate emotional intelligence and strategic ability as well as the capacity to inspire confidence in others.  You will operate in a calm, thoughtful, collaborative and respectful manner.  You will also have a strong sense of integrity and a proven track record in income generation, outstanding organisational skills and a passion for the mission of University College.

This is a special opportunity to work in one of Oxford’s oldest Colleges with a bold, forward-looking agenda.  The role will particularly appeal to those that would enjoy working in a collegiate environment alongside an inspirational and progressive academic Fellowship.

Please use the following link to view the Staff Diagram.

The Role

Job title: Director of Development & Alumni Relations
Job reference: AQ1279
Accountable to: The Master/Governing Body
Accountable for: The Development & Alumni Relations Team


This is a significant and wide-ranging role with responsibilities spanning fundraising, strategy, relationship and stakeholder engagement, and events coordination. The postholder is responsible for leading and managing Univ’s Development & Alumni Relations Office as well as engaging in the intellectual and social life of the College.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Formulate and implement fundraising and alumni relations strategies that enable and enhance the delivery of the College’s overall strategic vision.
  • Support the Master, Fellows, members of the Development Committee and key stakeholders in targeting and securing major gifts and legacies for the College.
  • Identify and target potential benefactors and champions for the College with a view to expanding the donor base and asking for major gifts and legacy pledges.
  • Advise on and engage in the stewardship of the College’s major benefactors.
  • Advise on and engage in relationship building and management of the College’s alumni base.
  • Serve as an advisor to the Master and other senior officers as a member of the College’s team of senior officers.
  • Build relationships with senior officers of the College, including the Finance Bursar, the Senior Tutor, the Domestic Bursar and the Welfare Fellow to enable effective co-ordination of philanthropic activity within the College.
  • Build a strong relationship with the College Accountant to ensure effective management of the College’s philanthropic resources.
  • Oversee and lead the Development Office, including recruitment and management of staff and be responsible for the management of its budget.
  • To oversee the College’s regular giving programme.
  • Oversee the organisation and support of fundraising and alumni relations’ events.
  • Oversee the development and alumni relations’ publications and communications programme, including newsletters, website and brochures, in collaboration with the College’s Communications Office.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of efficient systems within the Office in relation to gifts (including from the United States), database management, due diligence and other donor information.
  • Responsible for the oversight of reporting to the College’s Development Committee, Development Board and Old Members’ Trust and to report to the College’s Governing Body on development, alumni and related business.
  • Advise the Master, senior officers and Governing Body on potential conflicts of interest and reputational matters linked to donations and gifts.
  • Remain informed on best fundraising practice, ensuring always that the College’s fundraising systems, processes and activities are consistent with the Charity Commission’s requirements, evolving data protection regulations and other relevant legislation.
  • Liaise with the central University Development Office and other colleges on development matters, representing the College’s views within the Oxford Development Forum and reporting key activity of this Forum to the Master and Fellows.

The Development Director is a:

  • College Trustee and member of the Governing Body.
  • Member of the Finance Committee.
  • Member of the Development Committee.
  • Member of the Univ North Working Party.
  • Member of the University Development Director’s Committee.

The above is not an exhaustive list, and other requirements may emerge as necessitated by changing roles within Univ, and its overall objectives.



Knowledge and Experience

  • A proven track record of successful fundraising or income generation.
  • Experience of developing and implementing a fundraising strategy.
  • A demonstrable ability to secure gifts or income from individuals at a significant level.
  • A proven ability to interact readily and professionally with a range of high-level and diverse stakeholders.
  • A track record of successful leadership, organisation and management of a team.
  • Experience of working with senior level volunteers and/or donor development boards.
  • Up to date and in-depth knowledge of fundraising regulation.
  • Experience of budget management.
  • Experience of overseeing the maintenance and enhancement of a CRM database and a knowledge of data-protection legislation.
  • Professional knowledge of tax-efficient giving, including legacies and overseas giving.
  • Experience of fundraising in an international context (desirable).
  • Understanding of collegiate universities (desirable).

Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent communication skills both orally and in writing.
  • Sound networking skills with the ability to negotiate and influence at all levels.
  • The presence, gravitas and intellect to operate effectively at a senior level.
  • The propensity to quickly form positive relations across a complex landscape.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to inspire and nurture a team.
  • A collegiate and collaborative working style.
  • The ability to demonstrate emotional intelligence, sensitivity and tact where needed.
  • The ability to manage time and prioritise a substantial workload in different areas.
  • A willingness to travel extensively abroad as well as in the UK.
  • Strong IT and relationship database literacy.
  • A commitment to the aims and values of University College. 

Terms of Appointment


You will be elected to a Fellowship of the College, to membership of the College’s Governing Body and to membership of the Senior Common Room.  Membership of the Governing Body constitutes trusteeship of a charity.  The appointee will enjoy the rights, privileges and trustee obligations of Fellowship, and full Common Room rights, including the right to lunch and dine in College when the kitchens are open.


In the region of £75,000-£85,000 per annum commensurate with experience.

Probationary Period

Probationary period of 12 months


Eligibility to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Annual Leave

Six weeks’ paid holiday plus public holidays, including the periods at Christmas and New Year and Easter when the College is closed.


Hours of work are the normal hours of work of the College, which are generally from 9.00 am to 5.15 pm, Monday to Friday each week.  You will be expected to work such hours or days as may be necessary so as to properly fulfil your duties and some flexibility will be required, as you will be expected to attend events in the evening or at weekends occasionally.


You may be required to undertake travel on College business from time to time. Appropriate travel and subsistence expenses will be paid for such travel and work outside Oxford.


Equality of Opportunity at University College

The College is an equal opportunities employer and we welcome applications from all candidates and strongly encourage applications from women and black and ethnic minority groups.  No applicant will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her sex, marital status, race, ethnic or national origin, disability or sexual orientation.


Data Privacy

Please note that any personal data submitted to the College as part of the job application process will be processed in accordance with the GDPR and related UK data protection legislation.  For further information, please see the College’s Privacy Notice for Job Applicants and our Policy on Data Protection at

How to Apply

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

Should you wish to discuss this role in strict confidence, please contact Nicola Reames on: +44(0)7907 574 794 or

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the person specification.
  • 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 the following online equal opportunities monitoring form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference number AQ1279


Shortlisting: Tuesday 22 February
Panel Interviews:

1st round = Thursday 3 March
2nd round = Thursday 10 March (in person, on campus, subject to Government guidance)