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Philanthropy Lead

London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Impact investing, Social venture capital
  • Closing Date:

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Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in some 40 countries, providing emergency relief, resettling refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 26 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.


IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high-quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender-based violence. IRC-UK comprises approximately 120 staff. In Europe, the IRC also has offices in Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Stockholm and Geneva.

External Relations Department

The IRC's strategy centres on its ambition to continue to improve the scale and effectiveness of its programmes worldwide with evidence of what works best to impact people’s lives in conflict and fragile settings.

The organisation’s External Relations (ER) unit is responsible for the global delivery of the IRC’s private sector resources (financially contributing circa US$200M per annum, as well as key partnerships and influence that support our mission), and plays an important strategic role in the creation of IRC’s brand, awareness and support for its advocacy goals. ER teams based at New York headquarters and globally deliver marketing, communications, advocacy, and private-sector funding to support this work.

The ER unit has begun delivering a new and ambitious Private Sector Engagement strategy that will enhance IRC’s ability to “punch above its weight” in income, partnerships and awareness. At the same time, believing that the root of our success lies in a high performance team and culture, we need to build our internal infrastructure, a strong global team, dynamic culture and forward thinking ethos, as well as establish 21st century analytics, reporting, and operational and business management practices that help us achieve our goals.

As part of the ER unit, the IRC’s International Philanthropy & Partnerships (IPP) department raises funds from global private foundations, corporate foundations, from business areas including corporate social responsibility, marketing, sponsorship, employee giving and match giving, as well as non US based high net worth individuals. The IPP department maintains a growing portfolio of strategic partnerships in the US and other markets, primarily in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Latin America, & Africa, and matches funder interests with IRC’s extensive programs globally.

The IRC’s private fundraising capability in the UK has grown significantly over the past three years. Ambitious growth plans are in place to deliver increasing income and influence from the private sector as part of an exciting global External Relations strategy.

This role sits within the UK Philanthropy team, an integral part of the IRC’s International Philanthropy and Partnerships (IPP) department that leads on the organisation’s engagement with corporations, foundations and individual philanthropists globally.


As Philanthropy Lead UK you play a pivotal role in the implementation of the UK Philanthropy team’s strategy, with a particular focus on the deepening and diversification of the team’s portfolio of relationships with HNWIs, leading to multi-year gifts of £500,000+.

In this role you will provide top-class account management for a small portfolio of HNWI introducers, utilising their influence and passion for the IRC’s work to establish new relationships with their peers whilst also maintaining their own personal giving. You will have a drive for forming new relationships and relish the opportunity to identify, establish and develop new networks of individuals, effectively partnering with professional HNWI advisors/influencers and tax efficient giving vehicles to do so. You will contribute the experience and knowledge you gain from this to develop and implement a new strategy that will elevate IRC’s engagement with the private client space in the UK, also contributing to our global strategy. Together with the Head of Philanthropy, UK, you will also develop and implement a new engagement strategy for the UK Board of Trustees working to leverage their networks and influence to support the IRC. You will also be responsible for identifying and leading on cross-team initiatives that support the development of the wider team’s portfolio, additionally acting as a mentor to other members of the team. The success of this senior level role will be in the ability to swiftly and proficiently build impactful networks of donors and influencers as a result of significant experience in the philanthropy space.

Scope and Authority


The Philanthropy Lead UK will implement the Philanthropy team’s strategy in collaboration with the Head of Philanthropy UK, specifically designing and leading on initiatives to diversify the philanthropy portfolio delivering £500,000+ gifts from HNWIs. This will contribute to the philanthropy team target and the overall target for International High Net Worth team, as part of IPP. They will be responsible to help inform the IPP-wide HNWI thinking in areas such as new business, private wealth engagement and board engagement.


  • Reports to the Head of Philanthropy UK
  • Works closely with members of the UK based Philanthropy, wider IHNWI team and global IPP team
  • Close working with Country Programme and regional teams, the Awards Management Unit as well as IRC’s Technical Units
  • Engagement with senior IRC staff including the President’s Office, the Executive Director of IRC-UK, Senior Director of IHNWI and Vice President of International Partnerships and Philanthropy.
  • Key contacts across IRC in Europe and internationally:

ØCommunications team

ØPolicy and Advocacy team

ØUK Finance team

ØEngagement with the UK and International Board

ØInternational Partnerships and Philanthropy Team

ØUSA Philanthropy


a)Partnership identification, cultivation and stewardship (70%)

  •  Manage a small portfolio of HNWI introducers, leveraging their influence and networks to grow support for the IRC, with a particular focus on the cultivation of new prospects with the capacity to support at a £500,000+ level
  • With support from IPP’s research and prospect management function, independently drive forward activities that lead to the identification of new prospects with the capacity to support at a £500,000 + level, significantly growing the new business pipeline across the UK Philanthropy team
  • Identify and access key new audiences for the IRC-UK and develop bespoke engagement plans that speak to the interests of the selected audiences, executing in a timely manner
  • Proactively develop a network of private sector advisors, influencers and introducers in HNWI circles, growing the IRC-UK’s profile within these audiences – particular focus should be exerted in building networks of contacts with philanthropy advisors in the market.
  • Work closely with senior internal stakeholders to drive new relationships forward and inform the HNWI reflections on giving modalities and board-engagement related activities for the purpose of establishing new income-generating relationships and networks for the UK Philanthropy team.
  • Design and lead the implementation of a calendar of cultivation activities for UK Philanthropy, including but not exclusive of IRC-led events, actively seeking opportunities to share these ideas and approaches with other team members in support of the wider IPP strategy.
  • Work in partnership with other fundraising colleagues across the IRC to identify and create cross-fertilisation of relationships, surfacing new prospects for the UK Philanthropy team
  • Collaborate with Global Partnerships and Philanthropic Services team (GPPS), the UK Award Management Unit and country office staff (globally) to ensure timely and accurate project funding opportunities are matched to the requirements of donors and needs of the organisation
  • Support partners and country offices in the delivery of successful field and virtual visits as required, potentially attending the field trips personally.
  • Use Salesforce to keep clear and accurate records of communications, interactions and financial information, contributing to the team’s schedule of reporting

b)Strategy and knowledge (20%)

·Lead on the design and the implementation of a strategy to leverage peer-to-peer and HNWI advisor relationships resulting in £500k+ level philanthropic gifts, in line with the philanthropy team strategy and in collaboration with the Head of Philanthropy.

  • Design and implement a strategy to build a strong network of influencers and introducers in HNWI circles, such as Family Offices, Wealth Managers and Philanthropy Advisors, growing the IRC-UK’s profile within these audiences.
  • Support the development of a UK board engagement strategy and contribute through deep, existing knowledge the international board engagement strategy as a vehicle to new networks of contact and support for the IRC.
  • Through a mix of formal and informal channels, contribute to the overall IHNWI and IPP Strategy more generally.
  • Contribute to the development of best practices around new business for the IRC globally, collaborating with other teams within IPP and US Philanthropy as necessary.
  • Keep abreast of sector trends and actively seek out opportunities for IRC.

c)Team collaboration (10%)

  • Maximise the Philanthropy and Partnerships team’s prospecting strategy by identifying cross-income stream opportunities for collaboration and referrals, passing new donors into portfolios as appropriate.
  • Act as a mentor and coach for Philanthropy team colleagues, deputizing for the Head of Philanthropy as required.
  • Participate in, and on rotation lead, various team meetings and activities, taking a role as a senior team member.
  • Lead by example in championing diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), team behaviours and shared objectives.
  • Play an active role in collaborating within and across global and national fundraising teams in the IRC, facilitating the exchange of cross-border fundraising expertise and internal resources.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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