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Development Director
Malvern St James Girls’ School

Job Description

Full Time or 0.8 Part-Time

Required for Spring 2019

Introduction by the Headmistress

At the core of my vision for the future of Malvern St James is a deep commitment to building enduring and imaginative partnerships and relationships, as well as continuing to develop and improve our facilities as a leading boarding and day school.  We have an ethos which is deeply committed to service and the community, whether local or far wider. We wish to cultivate a strong sense of identity and fellowship amongst our leavers each year, building on the rich heritage of girls’ education in Malvern.

The women who set up our founding schools, Malvern Girls’ College, St James’s School, The Abbey and Lawnside - were all pioneering trailblazers who were passionate about providing girls and young women with a modern, forward looking and holistic education.  Our School has both an international and home presence bringing diversity of cultures and making our connections local and national, and our reach global.

We have a number of distinctive and exciting projects that we want to carry forward and the new post of Director of Development will play an integral part in shaping and then helping to realise these ideas.  The Director will work closely with the Members of Council and will be a member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team.  We are undertaking a long term strategic review, within which the work of the Development Office is central.

Olivera Raraty


The School

Malvern St James (MSJ) is a leading boarding and day school which presents an imaginative vision of education for girls from the age of 4 through to 18, taught within a positive, purposeful atmosphere.  MSJ fosters creativity and bold-thinking, challenging and encouraging every girl to extend her personal horizons and realise her full potential.

MSJ is located in the heart of Malvern in Worcestershire, two hours from London and one hour from Birmingham, having excellent transport links.  Great Malvern station is situated opposite the School.

The School is home to a warm and welcoming community – girls, parents, staff and governors alike, enjoying the friendly and buoyant atmosphere of shared celebration, extolling personal success in every field of endeavour.  MSJ offers a range of boarding options (ages 7 – 18) to fit in with the demands of modern family life and girls can choose from full, weekly, or flexi-boarding.  Ofsted recognised the exceptional standard of boarding with an ‘Outstanding’ inspection judgement, which extends to all areas of Malvern St James.  Malvern St James also received the highest rating of ‘EXCELLENT’ in the ISI’s Educational Quality Inspection in May 2017.  The two outcomes which the Inspection Report covers are:

‘The quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements’: ‘EXCELLENT’

 ‘The quality of pupils’ personal development’: ‘EXCELLENT’

The School has excellent facilities which include modern Science Laboratories, Music Department, Drama Studio, four ICT suites and a multi-media Language Laboratory.  The School also has a state-of-the-art £4.4 million Sports Hall and there are immediate future plans to significantly upgrade the Astroturf. 

Greenslade, the Year 13 Sixth Form Boarding House has recently been transformed with an extensive, highly contemporary, refurbishment programme to provide a transition house for university and there are plans to continue this programme of improvements within boarding.  There are also further exciting projects to enhance Teaching and Learning which will be announced with the publication of the School’s Strategic Plan in the New Year.

Girls take full advantage of the enviable setting and superb facilities, which inspire a wonderfully rich and imaginative extra-curricular life.  They leave Malvern St James as poised, self-assured young women who are able to meet and embrace, with integrity, the challenges and risks of our modern world.

We are keen to extend access to the School’s excellent educational provision through fundraising in support of our bursary programme. A legacy campaign was launched last year to support our Founders’ Award Scholarship which seeks to provide a transformational educational experience to Sixth Form students who might otherwise not have the means to benefit.  The Director of Development will play a central role in building on this work. The School hopes to raise sufficient funds over the next five years to increase bursary support for eligible students further down the School and to fund at least ten Founders’ Awards Scholarships on an annual basis.

The Role of Director of Development

Reporting to the Headmistress, the Director of Development’s over-arching goal is to enhance, sustain and support a dynamic and engaged School community, thereby ensuring an institutional culture of philanthropy, participation and support. While a considerable amount has been achieved in developing alumnae relations and initiating a bursary programme, the successful candidate should be able to think creatively in order to drive the momentum forward.

Working closely with the Headmistress, the Director of External Relations, Director of Finance and other senior members of staff in Marketing and Admissions as well as senior members of the academic team, Members of Council and the Old Girls’ Association, the Director will extend and develop a plan to maximise fundraising income in support of the School’s strategic goals, sustaining its core values. 

The Director of Development leads on development activities, setting strategy, overseeing its projects and, in consultation with the Headmistress and Chairman of Council, agrees fundraising goals and timelines.  This Director of Development will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team and will direct the activities of the Development Department and oversee External Relations.

Key elements of the role

These include:

  • Providing clear direction and strong leadership of the development function, sustaining morale and effectiveness.
  • Ensuring that the relationships and achievements established to date are continued, nurtured and stewarded in affirmation of the School’s appreciation of the generosity and expertise that has been the hallmark of the fundraising to date.
  • Devising and implementing a realistic fundraising strategy which complements achievements to date, embracing regular giving, major gifts and legacies.
  • Oversee the creation of inspiring, persuasive and measurably successful events and communications in support of the overall strategy of the role of development at Malvern St James.
  • Managing Development’s income as efficiently as possible and monitoring expenditure, in liaison with the Headmistress, Director of Finance and Chairman of Council.
  • Maintaining excellent working relationships with members of the School’s academic and support staff and other key stakeholders, leading to further integration of development, fundraising and communications initiatives into School life.
  • Directing the activities of the Development Department to provide guidance and support to ensure a high level of volunteer commitment and activity.
  • Communicating effectively the development message to all constituents, strengthening its perception both internally and externally.
  • Being well informed on initiatives and trends in fundraising, Charity Commission changes and related matters to ensure that best practice is adhered to at all times.

Tasks and responsibilities of the Director of Development 


  • Identify, propose and agree objectives with the Headmistress and the Chairman of Council for campaign targets, annual giving and legacies, devising and delivering appropriate fundraising initiatives.
  • Working with the Headmistress and Chairman of Council, assess the potential of establishing an autonomous charitable foundation whose sole remit is to support Malvern St James through philanthropic activities and which will guide the moral compass for the future fundraising strategy of the School.
  • Identify, organise and attend events to promote the School, its vision and strategy, and build sustained relationships with potential donors.
  • Plan and undertake trips and meetings in the UK and overseas with the aim of developing the Malvern St James network globally.
  • Working with the Director of Finance, manage the accurate recording of donations, ensuring appropriate acknowledgement, and reporting on them to the Headmistress and Chairman of Council on a regular basis.
  • Produce timely, relevant and accurate reports on the progress of all development activities, including producing an Annual Review.
  • Ensure that all necessary policies, procedures and systems are in place and updated regularly for successful fundraising including a Case for Support, setting out the aims and objectives in line with the School’s Ethical Fundraising Policy


  • In liaison with the Director of External Relations, build on established principles, continuing to grow and manage long term relationships with both current and potential supporters of the School.
  • Manage the school’s efforts to raise gifts across the spectrum, with responsibility for identification, cultivation and solicitation of prospective donors amongst the School’s community, grant-making trusts and other appropriate areas. 
  • The Development Director would have responsibility for making approaches to identified prospects, ensuring that all fundraising activities are conducted with propriety and in accordance with charity and fiscal law.
  • Maintain and enhance gift acknowledgement and stewardship strategies for all levels of donors.

Research and Data Management

  • Oversee maintenance and management of the Donor Strategy database system, increasing the scope of information regarding alumnae, current and former parents, former staff and friends of the School.
  • Ensure a comprehensive and structured approach to research and identify potential major donors and plan appropriate individual approaches to secure high level gifts.

Publications and Communications

  • Take responsibility for budgets, tone, content and style of the variety of development-related publications in conjunction with Malvern St James brand guidelines and Marketing and External relations.
  • Take responsibility for the planning and implementation of mailings associated with the development.
  • Build constructive relationships at all levels with the School and keep staff informed of the work of the development office.
  • Maintain a detailed understanding of all elements of Malvern St James in order to inspire potential donors and support other advocates.
  • Work with the Director of External Relations, and Director of Marketing and Admissions to ensure that the Development Office aims are suitably communicated via the Malvern St James website including the alumnae website/portal and other media: Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media presence.

Awarding of Bursaries

The Headmistress and the Director of Finance are responsible for the awarding of bursaries.  The Director of Development shall ensure he/she has a good working knowledge of the selection procedure and provide any relevant feedback received from donors and potential donors as well as feedback to donors about the progress and achievements of bursary recipients. In addition, gathering testimonials from bursary recipients and their parents for use in campaigns is essential.

Selection Criteria

A broad combination of skills is required for the role of Director of Development.  It is anticipated that candidates will have differing experiences that may encompass:

  • Experienced development professionals either currently leading a development operation or ambitious deputies ready to step up to a director-level post.  Candidates will be highly effective fundraisers with a track record of significant donations, managing and delivering a major campaign and general skills in marketing, communications, external relations and community building.
  • Those with appropriate transferable skills and expertise that could include a strong practical background in marketing and/or communications, possessing demonstrable achievements in relationship building and reputation enhancing skills, and experience gained in corporate, consulting or charity sectors.

We understand that it is unlikely that one candidate will possess all the skills and have the overall experience required and that candidates may well be stronger in some areas than others.Particularly important is that regardless of a candidate’s background, he or she should intuitively be able to quickly become part of the Malvern St James community and establish and develop relationships throughout.


The Director of Development’s salary and remuneration package will be competitive and reflect the significance of the role and the experience and skills of the successful candidate. 

Experience and qualifications

The new Director of Development will have:

  • The ability to lead and motivate individuals and groups, and will be a team player with creative flair and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrate an empathy with, and be successful in, fundraising at all levels and particularly at high net worth.
  • Experience of developing strategic, operational and financial plans, and a record of successfully implementing them.
  • The ability to prioritise a diverse workload, to meet deadlines and budgets and to work effectively under pressure.
  • Energy, commitment and enthusiasm, a willing and positive disposition, and a sense of humour.
  • The motivation to achieve, and be comfortable with, challenging targets.
  • The position is highly visible inside and outside Malvern St James and will involve working outside regular hours.
  • Educational attainment to degree level or equivalent.  A business qualification would be advantageous and an understanding of the independent schools’ sector is highly desirable.
  • The presence and credibility to represent Malvern St James at all levels and to a variety of audiences, both internal and external, and the ability to forge relationships with key people in a short space of time.

Leadership Competences and Personal Characteristics

  • External awareness – has developed successful methods for maintaining high levels of awareness of the external environment and for translating this into actionable intelligence.
  • Internal awareness – is sensitive to the organisation and is prepared to play a full and active role in the Malvern St James community and to build relationships with its various stakeholders.
  • Creative and strategic thinking – thinks in new ways about problems and issues, pursues creativity and acts strategically.
  • Openness of communication – is a confident communicator with a clear and concise style; is a good listener who encourages dialogue; is receptive to new ideas.
  • Team leadership – is a strong team leader as well as a team player who is prepared to be hands-on.
  • Relationship building – is able to establish, sustain and share relationships with relevant groups, including parents, current and former staff, pupils, alumnae, the Council Members, friends of Malvern St James.

Personal characteristics to include:

  • Diplomatic, sensitive and persuasive.
  • Credibility and presence to earn respect.
  • Maturity of judgement, resilience and personal stature.
  • A lively intellect: astute, intuitive and able to provide clear thinking.
  • Understanding and adhering fully to the need for confidentiality.
  • Commitment to the Malvern St James mission and values.
  • Willingness to be visibly engaged in the daily life of the School.

General Requirements

All school staff are expected to:

  • Work towards and support the school vision and the current school objectives outlined in the School Development Plan.
  • Support and contribute to the School’s responsibility for safeguarding students.
  • Work within the School’s Health and Safety Policy to ensure a safe working environment for staff, students and visitors.
  • Work within the Equal Opportunities Policy to promote equality of opportunity for all students and staff, both current and prospective.
  • Maintain high professional standards of attendance, punctuality, appearance, conduct and positive, courteous relations with students, parents and colleagues.
  • Engage effectively in the performance review process.
  • Adhere to policies as set out in the Staff Handbook.

The job description is not necessarily a comprehensive definition of the post; it is to be enabling rather than restrictive.  It will be reviewed at least once every two years and it may be subject to modification or amendment at any time after consultation with the post holder.

Terms and Conditions

The successful candidate will be subject to DBS checking and references will be taken up before the appointment is confirmed.

The client is happy to conduct telephone interviews for overseas candidates.

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.