Partnerships and Fundraising Officer (16-2021)

Hours per week: Full Time, 35 hours per week
Contract Type: Permanent
Grade: Grade 6
Salary: £26861 to £40121  per annum
Closing Date: 23.59 hours BST on Sunday 17 October 2021
Interview Date: 27/10/2021

Who We Are

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) delivers world-class research, learning and teaching that transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.

Our Vision

We want a more equitable and sustainable world, where people everywhere can live their lives free from poverty and injustice.

What We Do

Through equitable and sustainable partnerships, we work with governments, philanthropic foundations, non-governmental organisations, academics and civil society to transform approaches to progressive social, political and economic change in ways that ultimately make a difference to people’s lives. 

We have helped foster innovative new partnerships that have generated millions of dollars in additional tax revenues in Africa that can be reinvested in countries’ national development. We have worked to provide solutions to environmental problems that build on local people’s knowledge and practices. We have highlighted the role of local communities in bringing an end to deadly epidemics like the Ebola virus.  We have nurtured hundreds of exceptional development leaders and champions including political leaders, country Ambassadors and government officials, civil society leaders and entrepreneurs.

Our reputation for research and international outlook is second to none and reflected in our performance in the latest QS World University Rankings where we are ranked first in the world for development studies, together with the University of Sussex. We are also ranked as the number one international development think-tank by the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

For more information go to:


Job Description

The Fundraising and Development Office

As a leading research and teaching institute in International Development, IDS works closely with a number of partners around the world and the nature and scope of the partnerships range a great deal. We are working all the time to use these partnerships and networks to develop new opportunities and resources, extend our reach and impact, and deepen the quality of our work. 

We recognise that effective partnering works in two directions and we seek to improve our communications and relationships with partners on this basis. IDS’ 2020-2025 "Transforming Knowledge, Transforming Lives" Strategy sets out how we will build on our current strengths and approaches to address a refreshed set of critical impact areas, pursue a set of strategic priorities to enhance the internationalization of our work, and commit to new actions to align our everyday operations more strongly with our vision and values. 

For partnerships, this will include maintaining and mobilizing the institute’s partnership knowledge base; supporting the implementation of strategic research initiatives and our international mutual learning hubs; identifying and nurturing strategic partners at cluster and institutional level; undertaking gap analysis and partner scanning to support colleagues to identify and engage with new partners; and providing internal support to colleagues to facilitate partner engagement activities. This post will be situated in the Fundraising and Development Office (FDO), and will report to the Head of Fundraising and Development, while also working closely with the Development Office as well as te Institute’s research clusters and Communications and Impacts Units. 

The FDO leads a number of critical functions for the Institute, including: 

1.Building donor relationships 

2.Fundraising and horizon scanning 

3.High net worth private philanthropy

4.Large and cross-cutting bid support and proactive thinking 

5.Building systems 

6.Frameworks and consultancies 

7.Facilitating partnerships management 

8.Engaging alumni 

The FDO team works closely with staff across the Institute in research and knowledge clusters, hubs, Communications and Engagement, Finance and the Directorate to develop a strategic and powerful approach to fundraising and development. As such, the Office is critical to the overall intellectual, financial and reputational success of the Institute. 

The Position 

This work requires an experienced professional with outstanding communication and organising skills, who will work with others across the Institute to develop, support and implement an effective strategic partnerships strategy. Recognizing that many research and knowledge units are responsible for supporting and working with their own partnerships on a regular basis, the post-holder needs to be adept at understanding the Institute’s mission, objectives, core themes and activities; be able to work across all clusters and units in the Institute, and to have the organizational skills to develop and maintain a systematic approach for partnership working across the Institute. S/He should have a demonstrated commitment to and understanding of working in partnership and collaboration with others, including excellent written, digital and oral communication skills.

Key responsibilities

We expect the post-holder to deliver a programme of work that results in stronger relationships and networks, identification of new opportunities for work and resources, access to new funding streams as well as to broadening the scope, impact and quality of our work. The post holder will report to the Head of Fundraising and Development Office, while also working closely with others, for instance, the Director of Research, the Director of Impact and Communications, the leaders of International Development Mutual Learning Hubs, and knowledge and research clusters and the Contracts and Compliance Manager. Specific responsibilities will include: 1Develop and manage the strategy for partner relations and communications. 

Specific components will include: 

a.Work with the Head of Fundraising and Development Office, Director of Research and others, to identify a core group or groups of institutionally strategic partners 

b.Develop and maintain a system of ongoing two-way communications with these partners, designed to maintain good relationships, generate and identify new resources and opportunities; help to steward existing and future partner relationships 

c.Support leads to implement strategic research initiatives on emerging critical topics and the convene the international development mutual learning hubs through a systematic partner mapping process, including ways of maintaining and building strategic relationships; support SLG to engage institutionally strategic partners in mutual learning hub and SRI activities; developing processes and procedures to support partnership working including coordination of MoUs and IDS memberships held by the FDO 

d.Support SLG and senior researchers to engage strategic partners in dialogue during key processes, such as in developing new institutional, thematic or country level strategies including International Development Mutual Learning Hubs and Europe Strategy 

e.Using data to identify and plan strategic events, meetings, and networking opportunities, linking the colleagues or other key staff to strategic partners and their networks and to alumni 

f.Coordinate and provide a brokering role in partner meetings and dialogues 

g.Develop and contribute to published materials, including the Annual Review 

h.Lead on a strategy for making our partnerships more visible on the IDS website, working with CEU 2Further develop data and systems for monitoring and reviewing partnerships across the Institute, including ways of maintaining and building strategic relationships. 

Specific components will include: 

a.Coordinate systems and processes to support implementation of the International Development Mutual Learning Hubs: ocoordinate planning meetings ooversee event planning, owork with champions to develop concept notes ooversee budgets ocoordinate fundraising efforts with Head of FDO and CEU oProvide governance support, linking to alumni networks, hub partnerships development including stewarding existing and new partners, annual planning, facilitating links between hubs, and supporting hub activities 

b.Working with hub managers and others, embed the system of tracking partnerships specifically mobilising CRM to capture and manage information at all stages of the partnering process and linking information to partner records to produce information which informs research and knowledge staff/proposals 

c.Continue ongoing work to map existing partnerships across the Institute 

d.Support partner mapping processes (which may include data visualisations) for IDS, Clusters and Centers that show the density of relationships, geographic distribution, and over time other relevant data, to help with annual reviews and planning, and/or to inform retreat sessions 

e.Maintain the database of existing MoUs; and advise researchers and others on MoU data and support the development of these relationships 

f.Use partnerships data to support and inform the planning of strategic events, meetings, and networking opportunities, helping to link the Director or other key staff to strategic partners and their networks 

g.Support the Business Development Officer in communicating with the Institute’s core strategic partners and helping to steward existing and future partner relationships and to identify new partnership opportunities 

h.Help to develop and maintain a system for maintaining quality in partnership arrangements including working with the Contracts and Compliance Manager to ensure the code of conduct, best practice guidelines and complaints procedures are complied with, drawing on the wide IDS experience of partnership working in decentralised partnerships. 

i.Embed the IDS Values in Practice for Partnering in work programmes, including at inductions with new staff, through internal training opportunities and as part of work to support emergent consortia and partnerships 

j.Help to advise on institutional guidance for assessing and selecting partners 

k.Gather, document and sharing lessons and practical tools for effective partnership building, capacity building and day-to-day partnership working 

Additionally, as needed, support the agenda of the Grants Office and Head of Fundraising as follows: 

a.Provide help as required in organising proposal review meetings, including identifying and contacting suitable reviewers 

b.Participate in and contribute to grant meetings and events, particularly providing expertise and guidance on consortia-based programmes, partnership management and governance, brokering dialogues where relevant 

c.Participate in cross team working, where required specifically through the provision of information on historic partners and programme relationships to the Development Office in support of proposals 

d.Support any other fundraising duties as appropriate, commensurate with the grade of the post


Person Specification

Skills and experience
Selection Criteria Description Essential [E] or
Desirable [D]
by *
Degree in a relevant discipline, or equivalent E A/I
Relevant post graduate qualification D A/I
In-depth understanding of the issues involved in developing and managing effective partnerships and networks in a development context

Familiarity with knowledge management systems and data base management

Familiarity with communications technologies and approaches, including social media
Knowledge of international development, alumni, partnership development and/or communications and/or networks/collaborations

Alumni engagement

Public Relations and fundraising in academic context
Proven data management and analytical skills

Proven communications and networking skills

Excellent interpersonal skills - influencing skills, empathy, mentoring and active listening skills, ability to motivate self and others

Excellent written and verbal communication skills - tact, assertiveness and the diplomatic abilities needed to establish constructive links with a range of people and organisations
Minimum of 3 years’ experience of developing and implementing partnership development and/or networking activities

Experience of working with development organisations and building effective, long-term relationships

Experience in knowledge management, social media, network mapping or similar

Alumni engagement
Working in a developing country

Organising events, workshops or conference internationally

Fundraising and project proposal development

Working with academics/in an academic context
An excellent networker, with the ability to make links between issues and organisations, and to build relationships with people at senior levels and from different backgrounds.

Commitment to achieving progressive social and development outcomes as reflected in the IDS mission.

A commitment to learning, reflection and flexibility in work.

Ability to work at a high level of autonomy within agreed frameworks.

An enthusiastic, creative and energetic approach to work.

A highly organised approach, including the ability to prioritise multiple tasks, cope with tight deadlines and work under pressure.

An entrepreneurial flair in spotting and following up opportunities.

Ability to work collaboratively and in multi-skilled teams.

Attention to detail and a commitment to the quality of outputs.
This post may involve travel on a regular basis within the UK and internationally. E A/I
*A - Application I - Interview

Information to Candidates

Benefits At IDS we offer a number of additional benefits to staff. These include:

The successful candidate will be based at the Institute of Development Studies on the University of Sussex campus. The University of Sussex is located 10 minutes away from the lively and cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton on the UK South Coast, 60 minutes away from central London, 30 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport and is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Sussex South Downs. Situated between the sea and the South Downs, Brighton is one of the most vibrant and unique cities on the South Coast, for more information please go to

How to apply

Please apply using the online application form.