Head of Global Philanthropy
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, United Kingdom
3d ago

Job Purpose

The University of Glasgow seeks an exceptional individual for this new senior fundraising and leadership position within the Development & Alumni team.

The Head of Global Philanthropy will shape, drive and lead a bold and impactful strategy for global and transformational philanthropy, working across the University to identify and create compelling philanthropic priorities, attractive for significant philanthropists, trusts and foundations and companies globally.

The candidate will provide inspiring leadership to motivate the team to achieve ambitious philanthropy targets, to be innovative and to work collaboratively across the team and across the University.

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Main Duties and Responsibilities


1. Work closely with the Director to develop the strategy to attract philanthropic support of £1M+ from potential donors located in the UK and internationally.

2. Develop and implement the annual operational plans and budgets for principal (£1m+) gifts and with the International Philanthropy Manager - international major (£10K £1M) gifts activity.

3. As a member of the Development & Alumni Management Team, assist the Director in the development, management and delivery of the University’s strategy for fundraising and alumni engagement ensuring its alignment with broader External Relations strategy and goals.

Demonstrate leadership in fostering a collaborative, ambitious culture of self-management.

4. Inspire, lead and develop the Global Philanthropy team, acting as coach and mentor, to ensure that each team member continues to grow and fulfil their potential.

This will include sharing the opportunity for them to work on £1m+ gift opportunities where appropriate.

5. Partner with the appropriate Development & Alumni staff to ensure consistency of approach and efficiency in the operation of the Principal Gifts and International Major Gift programmes and to develop policies and procedure to support them.

6. Win and maintain the confidence of the Principal, Senior Management Group and leading academics as a trusted expert on, and champion of, philanthropy across the University.

7. Engage with colleagues throughout the University to build better understanding of principal gift philanthropy and of international major gift fundraising.

8. Be prepared to provide a leadership role for projects that might fall outside the direct remit of Global Philanthropy, as required by the Director and Vice Principal, External Relations.


9. Serve as a specialised fundraising professional using expert skill and knowledge to take a proactive approach to identifying and developing opportunities for transformational philanthropic investment across the University.

10. Project manage initial ideas through to concrete proposals for philanthropic support ensuring proposals are properly costed, strategically acceptable to the University and deliverable often by a number of different departments across the University.

11. Build relationships of trust with leading academic colleagues, working with them to identify new potential donors at the £1M plus level from among their own networks.

Devise and provide high-level advice, consultancy and coaching to support the academic community to engage and consult with and report to potential donors of seven and eight figure sums.

12. Exercising a high level of independent judgement, lead the engagement process for potential donors of gifts over £1 million including major philanthropists, foundations and corporates, moving potential donors to the point of proposal and ask, analysing progress and making and reviewing estimates of future giving.

13. Plan and devise solicitations for gifts of £1M+, deciding where, when and by whom the ask should be made. This includes making direct asks in person and coaching senior University management to do the same.


14. Working with the International Philanthropy Manager, create and deliver a programme to identify engage and solicit international potential supporters (individuals, foundations and companies) for gifts of £10,000 to £1M, focussing particularly on priority markets.

15. Support the International Philanthropy Manager to manage the network of senior international volunteers (e.g Campaign Leadership Board) to assist in the fundraising, by making introductions, accompanying to meetings, hosting small cultivation events etc.

Coach and support these volunteers to fulfil these roles.

16. Support the International Major Gifts Programme by including in visits to international markets discovery, cultivation and solicitation visits for mid and major level donors and attendance at alumni events as well as pursuing leads for £1M+ opportunities.

17. Ensure effective integration with University teams operating overseas, for example international alumni engagement and student recruitment, taking advantage of shared agendas wherever possible.


18. Maintain awareness of changes in higher education, societal and governmental and technological environments and scan relevant fundraising operations to ensure best practice and responsiveness to environmental change.

19. Explore new models of philanthropy suitable to attract gifts of attract gifts of over £1million and international major gift support

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

KNOWLEDGE / QUALIFICATIONSEssential A1 Ability to demonstrate the necessary strategic competencies required to undertake the duties associated with this level of post having acquired the necessary professional knowledgeOR Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 9,10 or 11 (Ordinary / Honours Degree, Post Graduate Qualification), or equivalent, including being professionally qualified in relevant discipline, with a broad range of professional leadership experience in strategically important specialist areas.

A2 Highly developed knowledge of the principles, theory and practice of major gift fundraising and alumni relations including regulation and compliance in an international context.

A3 A thorough knowledge and understanding of the higher education sector including an understanding of university globalisation and international strategies and of the work and culture of academic life.

A4 Knowledge and understanding of how to identify warm potential donors of £1M+ and develop the creative propositions from the University’s base of work to inspire them to invest.

A5 Ability to rent vehicles and drive overseas, in particular in North America

SKILLSEssential C1 An entrepreneurial and innovative approach, able to generate new ideas and seize opportunities for philanthropic support.

C2 Able to build partnerships beyond the sphere of immediate authority and deliver results C3 Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills : an active listener able to negotiate, with a significant ability to influence and persuade and to develop compelling propositions for support from complex information.

C4 Proven skills to lead, manage and inspire people including skills to support, develop and direct staff.C5 Ability to think strategically in a structured manner while operating in a complex multi- stakeholder environment C6 Gravitas : credible as a senior University representative to CEO level external contacts and to senior University leadersC7 Excellent organisational skills and the ability to resolve conflicting prioritiesC8 Ability to manage and control budgets : financially literate with a sound understanding of financial management procedures.

C9 Ability to demonstrate the values and behaviours outlined in the University’s Leadership Behaviour Framework and Values (see attached).

EXPERIENCE D1 Demonstrable experience of strategic planning and leadership for major gifts programmes.D2 Experience of working in a leadership capacity in an international environment including working independently overseasD3 A track record of personally soliciting and securing philanthropic gifts of six -eight figures.

D4 Experience of working in partnership with senior staff to develop successful relationships with senior external figures, particularly high value potential major donors.

D5 Experience of building high performing teams, managing and coaching teams to build confidence and reach their full potential.

D6 Experience of the systems and processes necessary to underpin successful fundraising including reflecting and managing alumni and donor relationships on Raiser’s Edge or a similar database.

Desirable E1 Track record of developing and securing a range of £1M plus gifts.


  • Development & Alumni forms part of the University’s External Relations Directorate which also includes UK / EU Student Recruitment, Access and Admissions, International Recruitment & Partnerships, Short Courses, and Marketing.
  • Management responsibility for a team of 3 staff.
  • The postholder plans spending against an operating budget of approximately GBP 100,000 which currently includes budget for alumni events in priority markets.
  • Member of the Development & Alumni Management Team
  • Identified pool of 100 potential donors across UK and International with capacity to give more than £1 million
  • The postholder will be required to undertake both short and long-haul international travel - often operating solo. This will include spending weekends away from home.
  • A level of UK travel and evening and weekend work is also expected.


  • Maintaining the balance of delivering against key strategic priorities, while being able to offer a flexible approach to meet unexpected opportunities, in particular opportunities with principal and major donors, while keeping a clear overview of capacity of the team.
  • Long term horizons are involved in developing plans for principal and major gift fundraising and planning and managing relationships with potential donors of 7 and 8 figure sums.
  • These can extend over many years, sometimes decades.

  • In developing relationships with potential Principal Gift donors (typically business leaders, philanthropists, trustees of private foundations) the postholder will need to represent the interests of the entire University from the full range of research and teaching to widening participation, commercialisation, student enterprise etc.
  • This requires the ability to interpret the University’s strategy and key messages and decide appropriate responses to questions and challenges about the University work and aspirations in all these areas.

    This often has to be done independently and on the spot in meetings with potential donors.

  • In developing cases for support with academic colleagues, use independent judgement to decide the balance between the attractiveness and ambition of presentation and the reality of what it will be possible to deliver if funding is secured.
  • This will take vision, clarity of thought and diplomacy to manage academic and donor expectations.

  • Advancing proposals at £1M plus level to agreement requires significant independent judgement and authority to broker the interest and priorities of potential donors, academic colleagues and University management which are sometimes in conflict.
  • The postholder will have to decide the level and focus of gift solicitation. This often has to be done independently on the spot in meetings with potential donors.
  • Decisions about recruitment and professional development of staff in Global Philanthropy and wider team when appropriate.

  • The University is currently in the private phase of an institutional Campaign with a working target of GBP110M. A significant element of the Campaign focusses on the ambitious campus development on the site of the former Western Infirmary adjacent to the University.
  • The University currently secures between GBP7M and GBP14M in philanthropic support (New Funds Secured as per Ross CASE Survey methodology) and aims to raise this to GBP 20M per annum in the course of the next 3-5 years.
  • Current priority market focus for the international major gifts programme is on USA, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. Alumni Engagement in China has been driven by the Adam Smith Business School alumni team and there could be significant philanthropic potential there for future development depending on regulatory restrictions.
  • International philanthropic cash income currently averages GBP 750K 1M per annum over a three-year period. This has been boosted this year by the University’s largest international gift of USD 7.5M.
  • The Campaign is supported by a Campaign Leadership Board of leading alumni and friends. In addition, there are seven Directors of American Alumni of Glasgow University (AAGU) a US based charity which support the University.
  • Typically, these volunteers are civic and business leaders in positions of influence.


  • Senior Development & Alumni and External Relations staff to direct and plan work and meet objectives
  • A range of colleagues across the University to build greater understanding of the operation, impact and communications value of philanthropy
  • Principal, Vice-Principals, Heads of Colleges and academic champions to develop proposals and engage with prospective donors.
  • External

  • The postholder will manage some of the University’s most important and valuable relationships. Together these are worth several millions of pounds and have considerable influence and reputational value.
  • Senior volunteers such as Campaign Leadership Board and representatives of partner organisations such as 501 c 3 organisations in the USA.
  • Typically, these are successful business, media and civic leaders.

  • The diverse community of alumni of the University
  • International wealth and business advisers where appropriate.
  • Professional colleagues in other Higher Education institutions
  • Standard Terms & Conditions

    Salary will be on the Management, Professional and Administrative Grade, level 9, £52,560 - £59,135 per annum.New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.

    The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.

    Relocation assistance will be provided where appropriate.It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

    We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

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