Fundraising Officer

Auckland Castle Trust
Bishop Auckland, County Durham
10 Jun 2017
10 Jul 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Auckland Castle Trust (ACT) was set up by Jonathan Ruffer in 2012 with an ambitious and radical vision: to transform a 900-year-old bishop’s palace from an unknown private dwelling into a vibrant world class heritage attraction and catalyst for economic and social regeneration.

Within 5 years, this £70m project will attract over 200,000 visitors and £4 million per year into the town and surrounding area. ACT will provide new direct opportunities through employment, volunteering and participation to the local people of County Durham and aims to stimulate opportunities for enterprise linked to the development of this internationally significant visitor destination.

The first few years of Auckland Castle Trust (ACT) have seen the site secured. The project now extends to a series of related elements, both in Auckland Castle and in the nearby Market Place of the town itself. This includes;

  • Restoration of Auckland Castle, the palace home of the Prince Bishops of Durham for more than 800 years, with grade I listed architecture one of Europe’s largest private chapels, and the celebrated Zurbarán pictures, placed there 250 years ago as a plea for religious tolerance, will be fully restored to its original gothic opulence.
  • An innovative re-interpretation of the Walled Garden: Dating back to the 17th Century, the Walled Garden will be re-imagined, complete with a contemporary glass restaurant and its own apprenticeship programme offering training in catering, horticulture, building skills and visitor services
  • The Faith Museum: the first museum of its kind exploring faith in the British Isles from pre-history to the modern day
  • A Spanish Gallery: Celebrating the Golden Age of Spanish and Latin American art
  • A new Welcome Building in the Market Square
  • A Mining Art Gallery: Using artworks painted by miners and about mining to celebrate the heritage of the North East

Work on much of the project is now well underway, with the buildings due to open in stages between 2017 and 2019.

Job Purpose

Working with the Head of Development you will identify and develop fundraising opportunities whilst actively maintaining and supporting existing relationships with supporters. With your knowledge and experience in a range of fundraising techniques, including individual giving, corporates, membership schemes, and trusts and foundations; you will be an excellent addition to this vibrant and ambitious charity.

Along with excellent written and oral communication skills, you have strong numerical skills, be well-organised, highly productive and outcome focused. We are looking specifically for candidates with strong skills in individual giving, membership schemes and corporate giving who is highly motivated and driven to succeed.

Key Outputs and Accountabilities

  • Provide excellent administrative services in support of various fundraising initiatives including:
  1. the preparation and submission of bids to Trusts & Foundations
  2. Processing and logging all donations and related correspondence
  3. Research, prepare and write grant reports
  4. Provide reports on income and activity as necessary
  5. Continuously aim to improve the efficiency of administration processes necessary for the smooth running of the fundraising department
  6. Actively develop and maintain processes to enable the effective functioning of the Fundraising team.
  7. Maintain existing and prospective donor/funder records, including developing procedures for good data management.
  • Achieve fundraising targets and plans by:
  1. Administer and develop fundraising membership schemes, eg the Friends of Auckland Castle
  2. Research and source intelligence on current and prospective donors
  3. Monitor income generation from donors against targets, maintaining accurate records
  4. Be the first point of contact for all enquiries relating to fundraising and respond appropriate to all such requests
  5. Work with the marketing and communications team to ensure that donors are appropriately acknowledged
  6. Work with the marketing and comms team to maintain and keep the fundraising pages of the website up to date
  7. Grow and develop the Friends programme
  8. Provide excellent support and stewardship to supporters
  9. Manage relationships with a cold and warm portfolio donors
  • Manage relationships with relevant internal departments and external agencies.
  • Ensure all relevant activity is carried out in accordance with ACT policies and procedures, Charity Law, Inland Revenue (Gift Aid) and Data Protection.

Person Specification


  • Evidence of success at securing charitable donations from a range of sources.
  • A minimum of one years’ experience and a proven track record in a fundraising role
  • Success in preparing and submitting trust and foundation grant applications
  • Knowledge and experience of a range fundraising techniques and activities, specifically individual giving, membership schemes and grant fundraising Knowledge of the charity sector (desirable)
  • Consistent high level of donor care and responsiveness
  • Demonstrable literacy and numeracy
  • The ability to think creatively and capable of generating new ideas, opportunities and resources
  • The ability to manage a large workload, prioritising competing demands in a fast paced environment
  • A track record of working across teams and of developing effective working relationships
  • Ability to identify opportunities for innovation and creativity contributing to the organisation’s goals and continued success


  • The ability to work independently, be a self-motivator and possess excellent judgement
  • Organisational skills with the ability to juggle multiple priorities
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Good research skills
  • Good IT skills (MS Office, Word, Excel)
  • Attention to detail and high level of accuracy
  • Ability to work to deadlines