Appointment of the Director of Development

St Mary's University


Thank you for your interest in joining St Mary’s University as our new Director of Development.

At St Mary’s University, we are dedicated to preparing our students for flourishing lives and successful careers within a community of mutual respect. We aspire to enable every student to achieve their full potential, through outstanding support for their learning and giving them a broad and rich experience. Inspired by our Catholic mission, we pride ourselves on being an academic community which values positive human relationships, promoting belonging and supporting individuals to be the best version of themselves.

In challenging times, we continue to thrive, achieving real progress and success in student satisfaction, research and community impact. We have recently climbed to our highest ever positions in two of the major university guides and the Complete University Guide 2024 ranks St Mary’s 7th for student satisfaction. The 2021 Research Excellence Framework results found that the majority of research submitted by St Mary’s was 4* world leading or 3* internationally excellent in its originality, significance and rigour.

We are now seeking to appoint our Director of Development. Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Director will have a wide-ranging role with responsibilities including fundraising, strategic relationship management, events co-ordination and leadership of alumni activities. The Director will have the opportunity to lead, grow and reshape a refreshed Development and Alumni function and will be the driving force behind our £15m fundraising campaign to support critical new projects including the establishment of a Medical School and our 175th anniversary in 2025.

You will bring extensive knowledge of philanthropy and donor care and experience of leading fundraising teams, ideally with higher education or a related sector. You will bring strong interpersonal skills with the ability to cultivate and manage a wide range of stakeholder relationships. You will bring a track record of successfully leading major giving campaigns and will share our ambition and values.

This role offers the opportunity to join St Mary’s at an exciting time and play a critical role in the advancement of the University, building our profile and reputation to help deliver our vision and ambitious agenda.

You can find out more about the University and the role on this site and our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you.

Richard Solomon
Chief Financial Officer

About us

Established in 1850 and with a deep heritage in education, St Mary’s University, Twickenham has a strong reputation for teaching excellence and a student-centred approach. Our aim is to prepare students for flourishing lives, successful careers and social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching in a community of mutual respect based on our Catholic ethos and values.

Developing and enhancing partnerships is important and we work with other universities at home and abroad, dioceses and institutions, local FE colleges and many schools across the UK. With nearly 6,000 students, 750 staff, and a turnover of over £55 million, the University makes significant contributions to our local community and wider society, empowering our community to have a positive impact on the world.

Key achievements and highlights

  • Top 5 in the UK for teaching quality (The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024)
  • Top 10 in the UK for student experience (The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024)
  • 7th for Student Satisfaction 2024 Complete University Guide.
  • Highest ever position in the Good University Guide and Complete University Guide.
  • 98% of graduates are in employment, vocation or further study within 15 months (HESA 2020).
  • Ofsted Outstanding assessment of our Primary and Secondary ITE provision for over ten years.
  • In the National Student Survey 2023:
    • The University was rated no 1 in London for Academic Support, with a rating of 89%.
    • The University was rated 2nd in London for Teaching on my Course, with a rating of 88%, almost three percent above the sector average.
    • The survey found 94% of students said that staff were good at explaining things, the top score in London, and 87% said staff made their subjects engaging.
  • The University was also rated in the top ten nationally and 2nd in London for Learning Opportunities, and in the top five in London for:
    • Organisation and Management (second)
    • Assessment and Feedback (fifth)
    • Student Voice (fifth)

We are an inclusive Catholic university seeking to develop the whole person and empower our community to have a positive impact on the world.

Our students and staff are at the heart of everything we do. We are an inclusive university, open to those of all faiths and none, and a local institution in a global city, serving a growing and richly diverse student community in locations both real and virtual.

Rooted in our Catholic Foundation, with the value of the human person at its heart, our values set us apart, shape our behaviour and inform all our decisions in a university that responds to the demands of today.

We celebrate differences and welcome diversity, recognising that everyone is born with a unique identity. St Mary’s is a place where all students and staff can reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society.

Generosity of Spirit
Across the University there’s a strong sense of encouragement, collegiality, empathy, helpfulness, and service to others.

We respect all and treat everyone as we ourselves would want to be treated.

We strive to be the best at everything we do. We set high standards and seek continuous improvement in all our practices and work.

Vision 2030: The Future of St Mary’s

St Mary’s is committed to providing our students with a transformational experience. Offering strong support and challenging goals whilst they study with us and opportunities to be part of the wider St Mary’s community beyond their time here, we want our students to be highly skilled, informed and civically engaged. Vision 2030 sets out how we will do this, building on the successes of the past and setting our direction for the coming years.

To achieve our Vision, we have identified five Pillars that will support our strategy.

  1. Achieving Student Success: With a rich history in education, St Mary’s is committed to high quality delivery in education, research and the wider student experience. We will continue to provide an outstanding academic, sporting and social experience, to ensure our students flourish while they are with us, and beyond.
  2. Developing our People: We seek to empower our staff to reach their full potential by developing a supportive, inclusive, collaborative and inspiring working environment. We want our staff and leadership to reflect and encompass the diversity of our student body and the wider community.
  3. Driving Growth: Through growth we can reach more students, employers and communities, and ensure the University’s sustainable future. We will expand our applied and professional programmes and offer more flexible ways to learn.
  4. Developing Partnerships: We will identify organisations with whom we can work with to deliver shared goals. We will share our knowledge and expertise with other universities, further education colleges, and civic and sporting organisations at home and abroad.
  5. Enhancing our sense of Place: We treasure our historic campus and will continue to develop it as a safe space and to guard it for future generations. We will open up our work to the public and strive to have a positive impact in our local community. We will play a dynamic role in the educational, cultural, sporting, and economic life of south-west London.

You can read more about our Vision 2030 here.


St Mary’s University is located in Twickenham, which is just half an hour by train from the heart of London. This gives both staff and students access to the best of both worlds: a dynamic, bustling city and a tranquil, riverside suburb, with excellent schools and facilities. Many staff and students choose to work and study at St Mary’s because of its prime location.

 A snapshot of the local area

A leafy, suburban neighbourhood, Twickenham is a mixture of period houses, formal gardens and parks surrounding King Street, the town’s centre. Twickenham offers many traditional pubs and restaurants, with many diverse cuisines. Church Street runs adjacent to the river and comprises cafés, boutiques, small bookshops, and a church.

The lively riverside towns of Kingston and Richmond are a short bus ride away from the University. Throughout the day, the towns attract visitors who come to enjoy the shopping centres, cinemas, restaurants, live music venues, bars, and theatres. Teddington, just along the road from the University, was recently named “the best place to live in London” by the Sunday Times.

Outdoor spaces

Marble Hill Park in East Twickenham is a charming local park and the setting of Marble Hill House, a Venetian villa built for a mistress of George II and now a local landmark. Just a short stroll along a peaceful riverside road into secluded woodland gardens is Orleans House Gallery, a stunning 18th century house and gardens which now serves as an art gallery, hosting regular exhibitions and workshops.

St Mary’s is close to two of London’s eight royal parks. Both Richmond Park and Bushy Park, where Parkrun started, offer staff and students hundreds of acres of beautiful, secluded woodland for get-away-from-it-all walks, as well as space for cycling and running.

Twickenham and the adjacent River Thames also provide lots of opportunities for outdoor activities.

Culture, history and heritage

Flood Lane and Church Lane lead down to the river where you can enjoy a drink in one of the riverside pubs or cross the bridge on to Eel Pie Island. Many musicians began their careers or played sets at the Eel Pie Island Hotel and recorded material at Eel Pie Studios.

In 2017, St Mary’s became the proud operator of The Exchange in Twickenham – a newly built community venue that boasts a 300-seat theatre, six studio rooms, a café and a bar. St Mary’s students benefit from teaching and training at the site, with drama students staging performances in the theatre.

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, museums, galleries and other historic houses open to the public are also among unique features of the local area. On St Mary’s campus itself is Strawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole’s Gothic Revival villa.


The rugby capital of the world, Twickenham Stadium is the home of the Rugby Football Union. Seating 82,000, it is the 5th largest stadium in Europe and hosts the Six Nations matches and the Rugby World Cup, as well as the annual varsity match between rival universities Oxford and Cambridge. The prestigious matches attract fans from around the globe who celebrate in Twickenham’s pubs and bars, creating an unrivalled atmosphere. The area is also home to Harlequins and London Irish rugby clubs.

The stadium has a state-of-the-art fitness centre attached, as well as a world-renowned rugby museum. The stadium is also regularly used as a venue for concerts.

Find out more at

The role

Director of Development (AQ2461)

Apply now

Job title: Director of Development
Department: Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Reports to: Chief Financial Officer, with a dotted line to the Vice-Chancellor
Responsible for: An expanding department covering fundraising and alumni, currently comprising: (i) Development Operations Manager; (ii) Bid Writer; and (iii) Alumni Officer.
Hours: Full time

This is a critical and wide-ranging role with responsibilities including fundraising, strategic relationship management, events co-ordination and leadership of our alumni activities. The postholder will lead the University’s Development Office, be a member of the University’s Executive Committee, and participate in the wider intellectual and social life of the University.

Service information:
As the University builds on its proud heritage, we are looking for exceptional people to help shape our future. We provide a high-quality professional environment inspired by our distinctive ethos and Catholic mission and values. Our values of excellence, generosity of spirit, inclusiveness, and respect inspire us to create an academic community in which everybody is welcome and which puts the student at the centre of all our endeavours.

Reporting to the CFO, the Director will have the opportunity to lead, grow and re-shape a refreshed Development and Alumni function. The successful candidate will be the driving force behind our £15 million fundraising campaign to support critical new projects, including our 175th Anniversary. The Director will work closely with, and have significant support from, the Vice-Chancellor, Governors and senior staff to achieve our ambitious goals.

Job purpose:
The Director of Development will be a visible leader within the University and a powerful ambassador externally. Responsible for leading the Development and Alumni Relations Team and a broad network of donors and stakeholders, the role will transform the University’s approach to fundraising and philanthropy, delivering against demanding targets and key projects.

Main duties and responsibilities:

Strategic responsibilities

  • To devise strategies that will position the University to maximise returns from private funding sources, considering best practice in philanthropy in the UK and internationally.
  • To advise and support the Vice–Chancellor, the CFO, and the Executive Team on best practice for securing private funding, including assistance in planning events and providing written communications for public events, input for printed materials, and assistance with writing speeches for alumni events.
  • To develop infrastructures that will involve alumni, friends, and representatives of corporations, trusts, and foundations, whether by event, volunteer posts, or personal involvement opportunities in order to build strategic and influential relationships that will result in private funding.
  • To provide leadership and advice to various University Committees and staff with regard to Development strategy, marketing, and the positive and negative impact of operational decisions on the University’s ability to secure funding from private sources.

Operational responsibilities

  • To lead the major gift fundraising programme that includes effective tracking of relationships, clear staff
    responsibilities, and a coordinated approach to securing private funding.
  • To play a leading role in the University’s high priority capital campaigns, including the lead for alumni and stakeholder engagement, bid writing, and positive donor relationships. Currently, the highest priority projects are the establishment of a new Medical School and the celebration of our 175th Anniversary.
  • Lead a co–ordinated approach to managing alumni and developing relationships for the maximum benefit of the University to maintain life–long relationships with alumni after graduation and to assist the University in benefiting from the goodwill and engagement of alumni for fundraising, wider career business development and volunteer roles.
  • Lead the mapping, engagement, monitoring and evaluation of the University’s key external audiences to deliver its ambitions relating to fundraising and philanthropy. Use audience insight to make recommendations and develop strategic objectives.
  • Lead, inspire, motivate and develop the Development and Alumni Relations team to achieve and exceed ambitious income targets.
  • Manage the requirements for the accurate recording of all gifts to the University, including planning for the appropriate stewardship of donor relationships.
  • Responsibility for the Development and Alumni Relations Office, the performance of staff including the staff development and performance review scheme.
  • Develop a Development and Alumni Relations Office that is accessible, helpful, effective, and a model of best practice in Higher Education.
  • Set and implement standards for involving and briefing the Vice–Chancellor, the CFO, and the University Executive and other relevant staff and stakeholders in advance of fundraising events in order to deliver a consistent institutional message, position the individual to secure private funding, or increase enthusiasm/participation among non–development personnel in the fundraising.
  • Report on and benchmark fundraising performance against KPIs and projections; identifying areas for effective performance improvement and targeting of existing fundraising efforts.
  • Responsibility for infrastructure that delivers annual fundraising targets and ensures that charitable donations and other fundraising income is accurately accounted for and spent in accordance with the donor’s wishes. The expectation is that giving capacity will be increased significantly.
  • Actively engage in national and global networks, building the University’s profile and identifying opportunities and threats to University business from political, economic, social, or other factors; and provide commentary and recommendations to Senior Leadership Team.


  • Be involved in the appointment and selection processes for staff as required.
  • Contribute to relevant internal committees, chairing as required and engaging with relevant external groups and stakeholders.
  • Deputise for the CFO where appropriate.
  • Undertake any other activities assigned from time to time by the CFO as commensurate with the role.
  • Engage in continuous personal and professional development in line with the demands of the role, including undertaking relevant training and development activities to develop themselves and support the development of others.



All of the following criteria are essential unless otherwise noted.

Knowledge and qualifications

  • Professionally qualified/or with a relevant degree, plus extensive relevant leadership, and managerial experience in relationship management. Desirable
  • Professional accreditation or membership of a relevant national body. Desirable
  • Demonstrable track record of achieving stretch financial targets in a professional context.
  • Extensive knowledge of philanthropy and donor care, across all income streams, ideally in a Higher Education context or within complex organisations.
  • Extensive experience leading fundraising / philanthropy teams, ideally in a Higher Education context or within complex organisations.
  • Strategic operational planning, management, and business process skills.
  • Experience of leadership within a large complex organisation and of managing and controlling substantial budgets/resources/funding.
  • In-depth knowledge of relevant regulations and legislation and the implications of non-compliance by the University.

Skills and Abilities

  • Strong interpersonal skills including motivational, negotiating, influencing, and networking nationally and internationally.
  • Outstanding organisational skills with the ability to multi-task and to prioritise workload.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, including impeccable attention to detail.
  • Proven people and change management skills.
  • IT literate, Microsoft Office applications and donor prospect database.
  • Advanced financial and commercial awareness and understanding.
  • The ability to work with professional and academic colleagues in the cultivation of prospects and in the solicitation of gifts, with the capability to manage and develop relationships with volunteers, donors and prospects.

University policies and procedures

All staff are expected to undertake their work in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful manner, particular consideration should be given to the University values.
St Mary’s University reserves the right to change and amend this Job description/Person Specification in accordance with the changing requirements of the organisation.

Terms of appointment

The salary is dependent on experience and will be negotiated with the preferred candidate.

Holiday entitlement is 30 days annual leave, plus public holidays and University closure days between Christmas and New Year.

The successful candidate will be eligible to join the Group Life Assurance Scheme.

St Mary’s offer a range of additional benefits including the Cycle2Work scheme, season ticket loan and on-site gym and sports facilities at a discounted rate.

More information on employee benefits can be found at

We promote applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of background, belief or identity, recognising the benefits that a diverse organisation can bring and particularly encourage applications from groups which are underrepresented in the University workforce.

We recognise the benefits and importance of an environment that supports flexible working and are open to conversations about this throughout the application process.

How to apply

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

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the essential experience criteria of 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.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Elyse Turner-Pearce at, +44 (0)7808 648 559 or Elliott Rae at, +44 (0)7584 078 534.