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Christian Aid

Major Donor Manager

About Christian Aid

Christian Aid is a Christian organisation that insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.

Role Purpose

To develop, lead and deliver income targets and develop a strategic plan for Major Donor growth. To develop ways to attract and recruit new major donors and retain current supporters to ensure that maximum funding is secured for Christian Aid’s work. To be responsible for leading and motivating a team of 8 people and line managing 5 staff, implementing moves management techniques and overseeing strategic opportunities to increase income. The postholder will manage a portfolio of key supporter relationships, and expected to deliver to personal income targets.

Role Context

The major donor team is responsible for all the fundraising from individuals who make gifts of £5000+ per year. This includes fundraising specifically for the In their Lifetime appeal, emergency appeals, ongoing development projects, and core funds. The major donor team sits within the Philanthropy & Partnerships team and works alongside the Trusts & Foundations, US Fundraising, In their Lifetime Campaign and the Research teams.

Key Outcomes

  • To develop and deliver annual and 3 year plans and budgets with agreed targets and to monitor, evaluate and report against them on monthly basis to the Head of Philanthropy & Partnerships.
  • Ensuring a significant increase in acquisition rates year on year, in order to increase income from major donors, through creative and innovative ways to engage prospects.
  • Retention of donors is maintained in order to maximise income from existing major donors through the ongoing development and improvement of stewardship plans.
  • Positively and actively work with the Prospect Research manager to ensure that the team have sufficient prospects to work with in their portfolios in order to reach annual targets.
  • Positively and actively work with the In their Lifetime appeal manager in order to ensure the best tools and communications are available for fundraisers to achieve their prospect income targets.
  • Activities created and managed with the goal of securing major gifts and maximising income from prospects and contributing to the increasing of major donor income.
  • Personal fundraising achieved through relationship development. To develop genuine strategic, two-way, face to face relationships with specific donors developed, and the highest level of donor care provided.
  • Line management reports are motivated, their skills are developed and they have the right tools, processes and systems to do their job, and receive the necessary personal support and development through 1:1 meetings, and performance management.
  • To be an active member of the Philanthropy & Partnerships Management team and work on special projects with other managers and the head of Philanthropy & Partnerships where needed.
  • Positive relationships developed with Directors, Trustees, regional colleagues in order to get support for major donor fundraising.

Role Requirements


Reports to: 

Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships team

Direct reports:


Overall people management responsibility:



Represent Christian Aid at meetings with high net worth individuals, major supporters, key influencers and policy makers.


Raise awareness of the major donor programme with key internal parties including the Churches team, regional staff, Insight team, Programme Funding, International division, Policy and public affairs and communications unit. Network with other major donor fundraisers and ensure Christian Aid has good sector knowledge. Finance and supporter relations for grant management. Directors and Trustees who assist in making contact with high net worth individuals etc. Other fundraising teams to ensure constancy of approach and avoiding any duplication in fundraising (projects and approaches).

Decision making:

Responsible for developing, implementing and managing the major donor strategy raising set targets per annum. Controls the major donor budget line. Oversees the work of the major donor staff. Responsible for ensuring that Christian Aid representation to major donors is on brand and in line with corporate objectives.

Analytical skills:

Excellent organisational skills, the ability to negotiate and inspire both donors and staff and the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively are all key elements of the role. Analysis and financial reporting is key in keeping fundraising from these donors on track. This role has significant interaction with Directors, Trustees and CEO. This will involve briefings as well as accompanying to meetings and events.

Developing self and others:

The role holder receives some support from their line manager but is expected to undertake their own work as well as be responsible for the work of their team. They need to be able to influence not only externally but internally as well, where agendas might be competing and helping to make effective priorities work for CA. The role holder will need to be able to manage their team and support them in their work. The individual skills and experience of the manager are key in helping line reports to decide how to prioritise their work load and who to effectively target to support Christian Aid.

Person Specification

Applied skills/knowledge and expertise:


  • Experience of leading a team of major gift fundraisers (or equivalent) to build profitable individual relationships and secure significant major donor income.
  • Experience of preparing and delivering against agreed plans and budgets.
  • Excellent communication skills – written and oral. An ability to communicate confidently and clearly to senior board-level/trustee level audiences.
  • Ability to plan, monitor and implement major projects to agreed deadlines often with conflicting priorities.
  • Ability to deal with people at the highest level in a range of disciplines, and to achieve objectives through these contacts. This will involve negotiation skills, motivation, influencing, tact, diplomacy and persuasion.
  • Track record of successfully asking for and delivering high level major gifts and for defining and delivering a strategy for growth in income from major gifts.
  • Extensive staff management and leading a team to deliver results including an ability to empower and support those who work with and for them.
  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout the regions and internationally.
  • Ability to handle sensitive situations with tact, diplomacy and confidentiality.
  • Degree or equivalent qualifications.
  • Knowledge of and interest in developing world issues.


  • Development studies or relevant degree.
  • Knowledge of church and ecumenical structures.

IT competency required:


Competency Profile

LEVEL 3: You are expected to be able to:

Build partnerships:

  • Manage teams or lead projects supportively, involving others in discussing how to take work forward, helping people feel part of the team and treating everyone equally.
  • Influence others to develop shared understanding and work cooperatively and collaboratively towards common goals where there are different personal or organisational agendas.
  • Develop and maintain new relationships with individuals and organisations to further Christian Aid’s aims.
  • Recognise and value differences in people; be ready to challenge assumptions, beliefs or attitudes in self or others.
  • Manage expectations and adhere to what’s agreed, by doing what you say you’re going to do.

Communicate effectively:

  • Reflect the needs of different audiences, adapting style, media, timing and pace to communicate effectively.
  • Show understanding of how personal and external factors affect others’ communication style and needs and seek to manage these differences to ensure that all voices are heard.
  • Clarify expectations and anticipate others’ interests and potential issues, to help them get involved in debate and dialogue.

Steward resources:

  • Accept accountability internally and externally for the effective use of Christian Aid resources.
  • Before using or commissioning new resources, look for ways to achieve more effective outcomes by using existing resources in a new or different way.
  • Manage resources and workloads to ensure your own and others’ goals are achieved.

Deliver results:

  • Create plans with key milestones and measurable outcomes: track progress and adjust to meet the objectives, ensuring others are aware of changes and reasons for them.
  • Ensure individuals and teams understand and agree to work to the overall goals, specific objectives and quality standards.
  • Make recommendations or decisions in the best interest of Christian Aid, involving others as needed both within and beyond your work area.
  • Be willing to take action or make recommendations or decisions in difficult or ambiguous situations.
  • Commit to your decisions and be accountable for them.
  • Show willingness to adapt if your initial decision did not produce the expected result.

Realise potential:

  • Demonstrate continuing commitment to your own professional and personal development.
  • Use coaching and mentoring skills to support others to develop.
  • Encourage others to give their best by discussing goals and aspirations and recognising achievement.
  • Provide an appropriate level of supervision according to need; know when to provide help and when to give others space to learn.
  • Give constructive and timely feedback to others on difficult or contentious issues.
  • Deal with poor performance directly and sensitively, seeking appropriate and timely advice and support if needed.

Strive for improvement:

  • Be open to radical suggestions.
  • Evaluate the benefits and risks of new ideas and ways of working and identify ways to reduce risk.
  • Find and implement ways to better support internal knowledge- and information-sharing.
  • Coach others on dealing with resistance to change.
  • Seek and evaluate a range of viewpoints, internal and external, about how Christian Aid could do things better.