Philanthropy Manager

  • Job title: Philanthropy Manager
  • Job Type: Full time, Permanent
  • Salary: £40,000
  • Department: Development and Alumni Engagement Office
  • Reporting to: Director of Development and Alumni Engagement
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Start: Early 2024
  • Closing Date: 22 January 2024 at 11:59 pm
Apply here

In light of the increased scale and scope of the work that Highgate will undertake in the next decade, we are seeking to appoint a Philanthropy Manager, to secure five-six figure donations from a portfolio of prospective individual donors and companies and to work with our Development Manager (Stewardship) to step-change our legacy programme.

The postholder will work closely with the Development Director to develop and enhance the school’s fundraising strategy and capabilities.  Working with the Development Office and other members of the school staff, you will raise funds from current and former parents, Cholmeleians, other friends of Highgate School and companies.

You will have direct responsibility for:

  • Contributing to the development of a robust overarching fundraising strategy, working closely with the Development Director and other team members.
  • Soliciting gifts from your portfolio of medium level (£10k – £25k) and major (£25k – £1m) donors and partners including individuals and companies.
  • Planning and running a legacy/planned giving campaign, in conjunction with the Development Manager (Stewardship).
  • Playing a key role in fundraising communications and stewardship and reporting strategy and activities with a specific focus on medium/major donors and partners and legacies.
  • Working closely with the Development Manager – Operations and Campaigns to ensure that all gifts are recorded correctly and allocated to the correct projects/expenditure codes.

Key criteria for success

 In the first twelve months the successful candidate will have:

  1. Developed strong working relationships with the Development Director, colleagues in the Development Office, the Headteacher, Bursar and Senior School staff.
  2. Established relationships with a portfolio of 80-100 medium/major potential donors  and partners, through face-to-face meetings.
  3. Be at proposal stage with 20+ prospective donors and closed some early gifts
  4. Started to identify new prospective major donors and partners
  5. Continued to expand the School’s legacy fundraising programme, identifying and reaching out to new potential constituencies.
  6. Kept effective records through consistent and diligent use of the Raisers Edge database.
  7. Built positive working relationships with Team members and contributed meaningful to an ambitious and dynamic team culture

The Department

The Development Office works to create mutually beneficial relationships with Alumni and supporters to create a dynamic culture of involvement, engagement and philanthropic giving. This is an exciting time to join the team and be a part in this. We recently introduced bursaries for Junior School pupils and we have ambitious plans to expand the percentage of Highgate pupils receiving means-tested bursaries over the coming years, making our classrooms more representative of the communities we serve. The Development Office plays a key role in this by securing individual donations and running community participation campaigns and communications activities and events.

Our fundraising track record

Highgate School has raised over £13M towards the two pillars of our case for support: supporting children in our school through our bursary programme and supporting children in our local community and at local state schools such as our sibling school, LAE Tottenham. We are proud that donor participation grows each year and to receive legacies and gifts of every size up to our largest gift of £3M.

We are also nimble and creative. During the early phases of the Covid-19 pandemic, our charitable response, Highgate is Here, raised over £250,000 towards providing digital access and combatting hardship at Highgate and in our partner schools. Highgate is Here built on our nationally-recognised educational partnerships and deep-rooted links with our local community to provide a real and lasting impact for families in our school and for our community.

Our ambition

The need for the work we do – raising funds to provide means-tested fee assistance to bursary families at Highgate, including expanding our newly-established Junior School bursary programme, supporting our partnerships with over 60 state Schools across 7 London boroughs and our relationship with the London Academy of Excellence in Tottenham (LAET) – has never been more necessary. Crucially, fundraising will be integral to the School’s development plans over the next 5-10 years.  Success in fundraising will have a significant and positive effect on the pace at which the school can take these plans forward.

This is an exciting time to join the team: with the arrival of a new Development Director in July 2023, who joins us from a Partner role at More Partnership, inspired by working with us as our fundraising consultant over the last year, the Headteacher and Governors are seeking to build on Highgate’s success by developing an overarching philanthropic mission for the school. As a result, we need to increase our fundraising capacity to include a new Philanthropy Manager.

Job Description

The main responsibilities of this role will be as follows:

Fundraising Activities

  • To develop relationships with a portfolio of donors and potential donors, leading to face-to-face fundraising asks for four-six figure gifts.
  • To develop and run the School’s legacy/planned giving campaign, working with the Development Director, Development Manager (Stewardship) and volunteers to increase the number of bequests to the School.
  • To work with the Development Office team on the stewardship and recognition of donors, with a specific focus on medium/ major donors, corporate partners and people who have left legacies.
  • To work with the Development Manager – operations and campaigns to ensure that prospect activity is accurately ‘tracked and to help identify, research and manage potential donors.
  • To remain fully informed about the developments and achievements of the School’s charitable vision (for example, by attending events and presentations at which the Head speaks about this).
  • To work with the team to deliver successful fundraising events and campaign (such as our annual Giving Day) as needed.
  • To represent the School in a professional manner and in keeping with its ethos.

Alumni Relations/Events

  • To assist with and attend events (online or in person) for Cholmeleians, parents and friends of the School as needed; this will require some evening and weekend work for which appropriate time off in lieu may be given at your line manager’s discretion.


  • To respond to  enquiries about fundraising from Cholmeleians, parents, donors, prospects, partners, well-wishers and other members of the community in a timely, welcoming, friendly and helpful manner at all times.
  • To carry out any other duties as may reasonably be requested by the Development Director and Head, Chief of Staff or Bursar.

Please note, this role may require occasional travel outside London.  Attendance at evening and weekend commitments, in particular fundraising and engagement events outside normal office hours, will be required.

There will be potential to develop, over time and in consultation with the Development Director and Head, the scope and details of this job description.

These duties and responsibilities are intended as a guide. They are not exhaustive: the Philanthropy Manager will be expected to undertake any reasonable task or responsibility as required by the Development Director, Head and Bursar.

Person Specification
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Qualifications
  • Essential
    • Educated to graduate level or equivalent.
  • Experience
  • Essential
    • Demonstrable successful fundraising or transferable professional experience (for example in marketing, PR, education or the charitable sector).
    • Experience of fundraising or developing effective partnerships with companies/organisations as well as individuals.


    • Working in an educational institute (e.g. a university or a school).
    • Experience of line-management, project management or volunteer management
  • Skills / Knowledge
  • Essential
    • Excellent written and spoken English;
    • Numerate and confident in handling financial data;
    • Knowledge of Microsoft packages.
    • Flexible with a ‘can-do’ approach, and the ability to:
      • Work independently and imaginatively, and also as a part of a team, and to take the initiative;
      • Communicate effectively with a wide variety of people;
      • Work calmly under pressure and manage a diverse workload within tight deadlines;
      • Ensure a high level of attention to detail and accuracy in all work undertaken.


    • Awareness and understanding of safeguarding and welfare of children;
    • Knowledge of database systems commonly used in fundraising management e.g. Raiser’s Edge, Donor Strategy, etc.
  • Personal Attributes
  • Essential
    • Commitment to Highgate’s ethos;
    • Highly motivated with exceptional attention to detail;
    • High levels of personal integrity and maturity;
    • High standards of written and oral presentation;
    • A willingness to travel in the UK, and to work outside normal office hours;
    • A willingness to adapt to the culture of an independent school;
    • Diplomacy and tact and a good sense of humour;
    • The ability to maintain in strictest confidence any information received concerning School matters;
    • Common sense;
    • A positive, flexible and responsive attitude and approach to work


    • A willingness to be involved in the wider life of the School.


Location | Highgate Village, adjacent to Hampstead Heath, with quaint shops and easy connections across London.

Pension | AVIVA workplace pension scheme offered – 21% employer contribution, with the ability to flex up to 11% of this as additional non-pensionable salary, employees contribute a minimum of 5%.

Personal development | Comprehensive induction support for new staff. Focus on continued professional development for all employees.

Leisure facilities | Free access, at stipulated times, to our sports facilities, including a fitness suite and swimming pool (recently refurbished).

Holidays | Generous holiday allowance of 33 days (including bank holidays) for full-time staff. Most holidays will be taken during school holiday periods.

Lunch | A complimentary lunch including hot meals, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and dessert.

Help with sustainable travel  | Access to the Cycle to Work Scheme and a Season Ticket Loan scheme for public transport.

Family-friendly policies | Highgate appreciates that employees sometimes have family commitments so we try to be as supportive as possible, for example with enhanced maternity pay (8 weeks’ full pay, then 10 weeks’ half pay) and paid dependant leave.

Working at Highgate

A culture of community, kindness and belonging

Highgate is a caring, open-minded community, where we promote kindness, empathy and friendship. Everyone who works and studies with us deserves to feel they are part of a welcoming environment that enables them to be themselves and to thrive as individuals.

Our community extends beyond the school, through partnerships, charity work and our commitment to equality, inclusion and sustainability. All members of our school community are encouraged to look outwards and play an active role.

In a recent ISI inspection (Dec 2021), it was noted that “Pupils show exceptional respect for, and appreciate diversity within the school and wider community, and their own and other cultures, demonstrating sensitivity and tolerance to those from different backgrounds and traditions.”


Staff wellbeing

Highgate is committed to staff wellbeing, which we promote by encouraging a strong work-life balance; trying our best to support flexible working requests; providing a nutritious complimentary lunch in the dining hall; and offering access to sporting facilities including our recently renovated swimming pool.

The Staff Wellbeing Committee, with representatives across the School, meets regularly to drive forward initiatives, and a selection of staff have been trained as Mental-Health First Aiders.

We encourage an open culture throughout our school, with regular staff surveys, action committees and opportunities to feedback. We strive for continual learning and improvement, and staff training and development is paramount. There are opportunities to participate in the wider life of our school, such as taking part in trips or societies and getting involved in partnership projects.

More details about working at Highgate can be found here:

Work with us    Aims + Ethos

Charitable work and sustainability

As an independent school, we want to use our position as a charity effectively: to make high-quality education accessible to as many children as possible – through our bursary programme at Highgate and through our work with local state schools. We have partnerships with over 60 state schools across 7 London boroughs, and we are the principal educational sponsor for London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham – an academically-selective state sixth form in a community where such opportunities are lacking.

Alongside this, our staff and pupils undertake charitable activities throughout the year. These range from staff giving up their time to neighbourhood schools and charitable organisations, focused fundraising campaigns, to pupils undertaking community work in the local area or further afield.

As a school, we have a central role to play in educating our pupils, staff and parents about the importance of environmental sustainability. We are taking positive action to adapt our operational performance to tackle the negative effects of climate change. We encourage all our staff to reflect upon their personal and professional practices, to support our environmental agenda and to make positive changes wherever possible.

Application procedure

  • Closing Date: 22nd January 2024
  • Interviews: w/c 22nd January 2024

Contact: The Recruitment Team are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Early Application: Applications will be considered ‘as and when’ received and we may close the vacancy if we appoint before the closing date.

Apply here


We know that more diverse teams are stronger teams, and that the more inclusive we are, the more our staffand pupilswillfeel a sense of belonging and willthrive. To enable us to make reasonable adjustments, please let us know of any disabilities (including neuro-divergence) when you submit your application.  


As this role will have regular unsupervised contact with children you must, if appointed, comply with Highgate’s Safeguarding Policy and Staff Code of Conduct. If in the course of carrying out the duties of the post the post holder becomes aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety and welfare of our pupils, these concerns must be reported immediately in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy.  If whilst in the post, Highgate becomes aware of any safeguarding concerns to staff, pupils or the community; these will need to be followed up in line with the safeguarding policy and code of conduct which is underpinned by KCSIE and other legislation. These concerns may need to be shared with other agencies.  A copy of these policies will accompany all offers of employment. Training will also be provided to all staff to support Safeguarding practice.

Please read before you apply

Highgate is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to this post, including checks with past employers, the Disclosure and Barring Service and overseas police check if necessary. Candidates from overseas must provide information about their past conduct, for example, by providing documents issued by overseas teaching authorities. DBS Privacy Policy

Please note that this role is ‘exempt’ from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore, you are required to declare any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not ‘protected’ (i.e. filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide details of all unspent convictions and those that would not be filtered, prior to the date of the interview. DBS Code of Practice

In accordance with the latest guidance from KCSIE, we shall be conducting online searches on any candidates who are shortlisted.

Apply here