Appointed Head of Philanthropy & Principal Gifts (12-month FTC)


With nature in freefall, WWF are urgently tackling the underlying causes that are driving the decline, and finding solutions so future generations have a world with thriving habitats and wildlife. It’s a huge challenge, but if we all act together, there is hope.
**Interviews will occur on a rolling basis, therefore please apply ASAP.**

Over the last 6 years, WWF’s Philanthropy & Events team has more than trebled their income raising vital funds to protect the future of our planet for people and nature.

This is a pivotal role in the team who are on track to generate £12m this financial year through significant partnerships with trusts, foundations and HNWIs.

WWF are looking for an exceptional major gift fundraiser who can drive income growth and support the Philanthropy & Events team in their ambitions to generate £30m annually by 2027. We are seeking someone who can not only steward the philanthropy and principal gifts programme during the fixed term contract but also make a significant contribution in developing and growing the portfolio. You will use your strategic mindset to secure transformative 6- and 7-figure gifts and lead a skilled team of philanthropy managers.

About the role

As Head of Philanthropy & Principal Gifts you will:

  • Support the development of their strategy from £12m to £30m
  • Lead on some of WWF’s most significant gifts and relationships (£1m+ relationships)
  • Adopt a principal giving approach, strategically scoping opportunities for significant partnerships and driving new business opportunities
  • Provide leadership and coaching to a team of 4
  • Oversee the development of the 2030 Circle giving club and its c.60 members donating £5k+
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues in the programmes team to co-create, write and review visionary propositions around WWF’s strategic priorities that win support and influence funding decisions
  • Be responsible for budgeting and target setting, co-creating Annual Operation Plans and monitoring Key Performance Indicators

About you

Ideal skills and experience:

  • Significant experience of managing and securing major gifts at the 6- and 7-figure level from trusts, foundations and HNWIs
  • A strategic mindset and principal giving approach to funding opportunities
  • Ability to lead, motivate and develop direct reports, including setting priorities and goals that are achievable, aspirational and inspiring
  • Strong donor management skills and able to demonstrate successful stewardship and engagement with high value funders
  • Outstanding written skills with ability to convey complex environmental issues and needs to secure funding and continued support
  • Ability to work collaboratively across teams, departments and external stakeholders

Employee benefits

There’s never been a better time to join WWF. As a leading independent conservation organisation, they have an important job to do to reverse the loss of biodiversity and restore nature. Working together with colleagues, partners and their incredible supporters WWF act with urgency, integrity and passion to secure a future where both people and nature thrive.

WWF-UK are based at the Living Planet Centre, which is not only the heart of the charity, but one of the greenest buildings in the UK. It shows that through the smart use of design, materials and technology, it’s possible to create a state-of-the-art building with minimal environmental impact.

Benefits include:

  • 25 days’ annual leave, three days of which are to be taken when WWF-UK offices are closed in December, as well as the eight bank holidays (pro rata for part-time/fixed term contracts). Annual leave entitlement increases by an extra day per full year of service, up to 30 days a year. 
  • You don’t have to pay anything into the WWF-UK scheme, and they’ll contribute 7.5% of your basic salary. But if you contribute 2.5% or more, this will increase to 10%
  • Life Assurance (3 x salary)

Apply for this role

WWF are reviewing applications and interviewing on a rolling basis. If you are interested in the position, please let Cristy know when you’re available to speak and share an up-to-date CV.

QuarterFive and our clients know fundraising could better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the people the charity sector supports. We encourage individuals with relevant skills and experience to apply for roles regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief. If you think you meet some of the criteria for a role and would like to discuss how your other experience might transfer, please ask us for a chat. We’re here to support you. Appointments will be made on merit alone and we will gladly make reasonable adjustments to always ensure a fair process.

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