Senior Major Gifts Manager

Reporting to: Director of Development

Contract: Permanent 4/5 days per week 

Location: Royal Drawing School, Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3SG

Salary: £42,000 - £44,000 per annum pro rata (depending on experience)

Job Purpose 

The Senior Major Gifts Manager plays a key role in ensuring the School’s annual fundraising target is met. Working both independently and with the Director of Development and Senior Volunteers (Trustees/Development Committee and other advocates), this individual will identify, cultivate, solicit, and manage their own portfolio of funders and prospects, working across all areas of Major Giving (individuals, trusts, foundations and corporate).  A particular focus will be on cultivating, securing and stewarding donations for Core School Programmes, most notably the Drawing Year and Young Artists programmes.  

As a creative self-starter, with excellent inter-personal skills, the Senior Major Gifts Manager will apply energy and creativity to bring donors and prospects closer to the School and its mission. The Senior Major Gifts Manager will manage a defined pool of prospects and donors, in line with an agreed strategy and delivering against an individual fundraising target.  


Specific Responsibilities 

  • Deliver against a defined six-figure fundraising target, taking responsibility for a cohort of prospects and patrons
  • Identify and present suitable projects within the RDS portfolio of activity that will resonate with prospects and donors, with a particular focus on the Drawing Year and Young Artists Programme and future Campaigns.
  • Deliver the highest level of donor care through excellent communication skills: meeting donors and prospects in-person, building rapport and ensuring correspondence is appropriate and consistent.
  • Write compelling proposals/applications and reports for individuals, trusts and foundations, to engage supporters and showcase the impact of our work
  • Collaborate with colleagues, in particular the Development Manager (Planning and Operations) to schedule and deliver a calendar of Patron/Development events. 
  • Collaborate closely with the Special Projects Lead on projects that require funding.
  • Adhere to best practise in prospect cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, and ensure that the appropriate due diligence policies are followed. 
  • Provide clear and effective reporting on the relationships managed within the portfolio, ensuring the Development Manager, Planning and Operations has the correct information to log and track gifts from pledge to renewal on the database.
  • Deputise for the Director of Development when required.


Key outcomes

  • Achieve personal fundraising target, contributing to overall delivery of the Development department’s target.
  • Demonstrate highest level of donor interaction and relations – actions that result in an engaged and informed donor pool
  • Produce excellent and regular donor communications, both written and in-person
  • Identify new prospects, that are subsequently approached and stewarded to maintain and grow giving
  • Contribute to departmental budget control
  • Submit in a timely fashion proposals and reports to Trust & Foundations
  • Contribute towards a well-supported Development team


Person Specification 

  • At least 3 years’ experience in donor-facing fundraising essential, in addition to 2+ years in development/comparable client liaison role.  A particular focus on Major Gifts and/or working closely with (U)HNWI preferred.
  • Proactive, creative and able to take own initiative.
  • Highly organised with the ability to work at pace and manage a number of projects and priorities simultaneously.
  • Demonstrable experience of working to and meeting challenging fundraising targets; proven ability to secure six-figures awards.
  • Experience of independently managing a designated group of donors and prospects and moving those relationships forward to successful outcomes.
  • An understanding of and commitment to excellent stewardship and donor care
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; a developed ability to influence and inspire donors and prospects around a given cause or project. 
  • Confidence to drive forward relationships with individual donors and prospects, meeting independently and presenting proposals face-to-face and in writing.
  • Experience working with a CRM system. 
  • Flexibility to occasionally work outside of normal office hours and travel to various locations as required.
  • A passion for the arts and an understanding of the arts education landscape. 
  • Experience of managing a patron-giving programme (desirable) 


If you feel you meet some of the criteria but not all, please feel free to enquire and learn more. 

To apply, please complete the Online Application Form. We would also be grateful if all applicants would fill in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Monitoring Form

Application deadline: Monday 30th January 2023, 12pm (midnight)