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NEWS > General > Major Donor Officer -- Focus Ireland

Major Donor Officer -- Focus Ireland

The Major Donor Officer is of strategic importance to the development of Individual Major giving, working closely with the Head of Partnerships & Philanthropy, other senior management.
14 Sep 2021

Balmer Dawson Executive Search is delighted to partner with Focus Ireland in their search for a suitably qualified Major Donor Officer to join their motivated and collaborative team. This is a brand-new position due to expansion of the department.

Focus Ireland works with people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes across Ireland. They are driven by the fundamental belief that homelessness is wrong.

Focus Ireland has developed a new ambitious strategic plan to prevent homelessness ever occurring for as many people as possible, to provide effective support and solutions to homeless for those who do become homeless.

Since its foundation, Focus Ireland has continued to grow and its research and advocacy work ensures that the rights of people who are homeless remain on the political agenda. In addition to its Dublin projects, it now has services and housing projects across Ireland including in Waterford, Kilkenny, Cork, Sligo and Limerick.

Values should make it clear what is expected of both leaders and employees in the organisation. The expectation is that for every employee the values of Focus Ireland are reflected in work practice, written documentation and in their relationships with each other, with customers and tenants, volunteers, partners, donors and funders and the wider public.

Focus Ireland’s models of service provision are dictated by the needs of their customers. Therefore, the quality of services delivery is equally as important as the kind of services they provide. These values underpin their behaviour and attitudes in the provision of service to all stakeholders.

Role Purpose:

The role of the Major Donor Officer is a brand-new role due to the expansion of the team and will report into the Philanthropy Manager. It is of strategic importance to the development of Individual Major giving, working closely with the Head of Partnerships & Philanthropy, other senior management including the Fundraising Director and CEO office. The role will manage and develop strong pipeline of individual major donors, utilizing a moves management approach.

The Major Donor Officer will utilise proven research skills and strategic techniques to support all major gifts identification, activity and cultivation of potential major donors and where appropriate to assist in the recruitment of volunteer leaders.

This role requires a strategic focus with major gift, sales or development experience, relationship development skills, and proven project and event management.

The Major Donor Officer will:

  • Be responsible for the delivery of ambitious fundraising targets as a key member of the Partnerships & Philanthropy team.
  • Represent and act as an ambassador of Focus Ireland, working with senior management to develop and implement an ambitious major gift function to ensure transformative funding is achieved.
  • Play a key role in Focus Ireland and lead in improving and developing major gifts learning, experience, culture and techniques within the organisation.
  • Work closely with all members of the Fundraising team with a focus on major donor acquisition.
  • Drive and manage the cultivation and stewardship of the donor portfolio and to put appropriate systems in place to manage this effectively.
  • Conduct research, briefings and major gifts request meetings in conjunction with relevant Focus Ireland leaders, staff and external leaders.
  • Ensure high quality, timely and accurate completion of gift acknowledgements, mailings and invitations.
  • Manage and deliver major donor cultivation events as required.
  • Build relationships with donors and create opportunities to expand giving, including working with Focus Ireland Women’s Philanthropy Circle.
  • Arrange and represent Focus Ireland at meetings, conferences, events, networking opportunities and seminars as required.
  • Develop and submit persuasive proposals for philanthropic support.
  • Compile and share detailed reports / performance analysis / identify areas for leverage and opportunity.
  • Develop on-going high quality campaign materials as required.
  • Analyse the major gift area to maximise opportunities and use learnings for area development.

General Responsibilities:

  • To demonstrate creativity, drive, dynamism, commitment, attention to detail and best practice in all activities.
  • To work closely with the Strategic Digital and Marketing Manager in relation to content, branding and profile. 
  • To ensure that all messaging is appropriate to the audience and is promotes excellent person-centred approach.
  • Ensure information systems are maintained and kept up to date as appropriate.
  • Ensure compliance of charities regulation, data protection acts, governance and best practice.
  • Well experienced in MS Office and CRM software (Microsoft Dynamics desirable but not essential).
  • To keep abreast of current developments in the NFP sector.  

The successful candidate will have:

  • Minimum 3 years relevant experience with proven track record of securing 5+ figure Major Gifts.
  • Relevant 3rd level qualification (business/marketing/communications/social studies/social sciences etc.)
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills.
  • Previous experience in briefing and working with third party agencies/consultants desirable.
  • Proven project and event management skills.
  • Proven experience in stewardship and developing new business.
  • Proven success in fundraising target achievement, along with project and budget management.
  • High level of emotional intelligence.
  • Flexibility, innovation, initiative and a growth mind-set.
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as proactively working alone.
  • Strong computer skills to include MS Office  - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and experience in the use of one or more CRM/Database system.
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • Strong business and commercial acumen.
  • Proven ability to deliver on financial targets.
  • Excellent presentation, communication (written & verbal) and organisational skills.


  • Salary will be in the region of €40,000 - €43,000 (Depending on Experience)


  • Annual Leave –25 days, with flexibility to carry annual leave days to following calendar year.
  • Concession days – 3 days – Good Friday plus 2 days following St. Stephens day.
  • Pension - Defined Contribution – 5% employee contribution and 7% employer contribution.
  • Education Policy  - provision of financial support for upskilling/qualifications.
  • Cycle to Work scheme.
  • Tax saver scheme.
  • EAP – Employee assistance programme –staff counselling.


  • This role will be based in Christchurch (when restrictions allow) but with requirements for travel and out of hours activities.
  • Focus Ireland has developed a hybrid working policy which will commence once Government restrictions allow. This will see a mix of in office and home-based work for all employees where possible.

Application process:

  • To apply, please submit your CV and Cover Letter (maximum one page) outlining how your motivation, experience and skills fit the role to Gilly Balmer or Zena Dawson at the following email address: 

Closing date: 

  • The closing date for applications is Friday, 8th October by 5pm

15 - 17 Leinster Street South
Dublin 2

t. 01 541 4770

RCN: 20043964
CRO: 335412

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