Fundraiser - Trusts and/or Major Gifts (COVID-19 Support)

Fundraiser - Trusts and/or Major Gifts (COVID-19 Support)

Short term project
At a glance


  • Fundraising research / Bid writing
  • Fundraising strategy


London, WC2B 4BA
Mainly at home, or remote opportunity.
Travel limit? None


Mostly during office hours Estimate of time needed:
Over 7 hours / week or short term project: 15-90 hours, completed within 4 months
To be determined together with the candidate, but probably a minimum of 3 months.


30 Sep 2020

Beyond Words invites an experienced volunteer fundraiser to develop and implement fundraising with Trusts, Foundations and/or Major Donors which will allow the charity to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism.

What will you be doing?

The Fundraising is responsible for delivering Beyond Words' fundraising strategy in two stages.

Stage 1 - Identification of potential trusts and major donors for Emergency Covid-19 funding. Preparation and timely delivery of applications within a short time frame. We were very quick to produce a range of free downloadable resources to support people with learning disabilities and these resources have been downloaded many thousands of times. We are seeking funding to produce more materials and to widen dissemination through our partners.

Stage 2 - Delivery of our fundraising strategy, recently developed with the help of consultants, targeting Trusts and Foundations, Corporate funders and Major Donors. Beyond Words has been highly successful in attracting funding for new book titles, for evidence-based projects in education and healthcare and, to some extent, in developing new technologies. Our recently developed Covid-19 stories have increased demand for our digital applications (ebooks, StoryApp and eLearning) we are looking for funding to support this technology (new/improved platforms). Also to increase our core funding to ensure our partners in Health and Social Care and Education can provide ready access to their staff in the right formats.

We do have a well developed Case for Support and examples of previous proposals to draw on, however applications need to be specifically targeted, so we need someone with excellent creative, bid-writing skills, who can write successful applications for multiple organisations. We're looking for someone with trust and major donor fundraising experience, or someone wanting to develop their experience in this field.

The Fundraising Volunteer would work closely with the Chief Executive, the Business Development and Projects Manager and four of our Trustees who are involved in the Fundraising Steering Group. Therefore, we seek an individual or individuals who are comfortable dealing at a senior level with decision-makers, with great interpersonal, communication and writing skills, but unafraid to "roll up their sleeves" and take full ownership for their specific tasks. This could be an opportunity for someone to develop their skills at a more senior level.

Previous experience in learning disabilities and/or autism would be a real "plus", but if not, an appreciation and sensitivity to the needs of a vulnerable section of society would be greatly appreciated.

What are we looking for?

First and foremost, we are looking for fundraising experience gained in multiple organisations,with a proven track record of fundraising success. Experience of working with the national lotteries, trusts and foundations is paramount, though additional experience of seeking funding through large corporate organisations and major donors/philanthropists would be much appreciated.

We would anticipate that with this level of experience, the volunteer would be highly accomplished in researching organisations, validating prospects, making initial approaches, analysing funding opportunities and creative bid-writing. Financial understanding and a high level of numeracy would also be expected.

We are looking for well developed communication and interpersonal skills, comfortable working with a range of potential contacts from administrator through to main board level. Particularly in the present environment, skills of social media, electronic communication and conference calling are vitally important.

Our deal candidate would be a "team player", able to operate alone but equally happy to share and pool their ideas, to find solutions and to develop best practice. Similarly they will be able to balance the high level strategy with the operational delivery plan.  

Finally, we are looking for those with a sense of humour and humility and a genuine interest in and desire to help vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

What difference will you make?

Beyond Words has a unique offering in learning disability and autism, but as a small charity we cannot match the resources of larger organisations. In the short term, we are looking for emergency funding to allow us to create more Covid-19 materials and to cover overheads and expenses during lockdown. In the longer term, we have a clear strategy as to how to grow and to broaden the reach of our physical book and ever expanding digital resource libraries. However we do not have extensive experience in fundraising, having been supported in the early years by Government Departments, and more recently thorough a few trusts and foundations who's objectives align with ours. In order to grow and reach many more people we need to increase the number of funding partners and to develop long term strategic partnerships.

What's in it for the volunteer?

This would be an ideal opportunity for an experienced fundraiser to make a significant step change in the funding of Beyond Words. This funding would not only increase our visibility and reputation in learning disabilities and autism, but materially affect the quality of life of thousands more people, through the ready accessibility of our picture-based story materials. 

A few more details

A rapid two-stage selection process, involving the Chief Executive and Trustees, with a final conversation with the Chair of Trustees. We use Zoom Conferencing.

Before you apply

Would candidates please write a short note explaining their fit with the role described and their interest in our charity.
  • Learning disabilities / difficulties
  • Mental health
  • Beyond Words has 30 years' experience with a unique way of communicating in pictures in the Books Beyond Words series. These resources enable people with learning disabilities and autism (around 2...