|Senior Development Manager|
|University of York|
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A day in the life of a Senior Development Manager in the United Kingdom
Major gift fundraising and development professional working in strategic growth for charity and higher education sectors.
What I do
I lead fundraising and development for the Science Faculty at the University of York. My job includes making and managing approaches to individuals, companies, trusts and foundations. I also lead York's Trust and Foundation Fundraising team and am a board member for a number of regional charities.
Skills I use and how I developed them
I studied Music at York and this gave me a fantastic grounding in the importance of confident and creative communication.
It also gave me early experience of planning and delivering new projects, motivating others and making sure that every time you perform it has to be at the very best of your ability - be that in the world of music, or in business.
Throughout my time at York and after graduation, I made sure to develop these skills both at work and through volunteering. My first 'real' job was with the children's charity Barnardo's which gave an astonishing insight into working in incredibly diverse and challenging environments.
I went on to develop my career in the charity sector before moving back to York to join the fundraising time here.
What I like most
Seeing the positive impact of philanthropy and getting to work with brilliant students and academics. It is also genuinely exciting to meet and work with individuals who have reached the very top of their professions and are interested in giving something back to society.
What I like least
Fundraising is a career of fantastic highs and occasional lows - you need to be resilient to periods where things don't go to plan and to keep learning from these.
What surprised me most
Fundraising is sometimes seen as a 'sales job' for good causes. It is that, but at the same time so much more.
Fundraisers are close to the heart of almost all charities and play a vital role in developing new ideas, communicating the impact of the work to the public and of course raising and stewarding the gifts needed to keep delivering vital services.
My career goals when I graduated
I initially wanted to work within my comfort zone of professional music performance or arts management.
It was a revelation to realise soon after graduating that there is of course a very wide world of possibility in the wider not for profit sector and that fundraising is a great way to build a rewarding professional career.
My career history
Major Gifts Officer, Barnardo's
Development Manager, Family Rights Group
Funding Consultant, Shoreditch Trust
Head of Development, Anne Frank Trust UK
Senior Development Manager, University of York
My advice to students considering work
Build up a strong CV of work and voluntary experience from as early a stage as possible. Take advantage of advice and guidance from the Careers team - again at an early stage in your University life.
My advice about working in my industry
Experience speaks louder than ambition and confidence alone. Think of as many ways as possible to get involved in fundraising while at University - RAG, YuStart, fundraising for a well know national charity.
Happy to speak about careers in the not for profit sector, higher education development and fundraising
If you like the look of Paul’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Paul a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Paul to be your mentor.