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1.      Fundraising Support                                                    

Funding has been secured from Arts Council England Catalyst programme to develop and implement a fundraising strategy to maximise fundraising opportunities that contribute to the ongoing sustainability of Ushaw.

This will involve corporate sponsorship, individual giving and grant funding from Trusts and Foundations and will explore opportunities from the whole Ushaw estate but with a focus on the strategy for large capital developments.

We are looking for an experienced fundraiser to work with the existing Ushaw team of managers, staff and volunteers to deliver a project that will enable Ushaw to move from an opportunistic fundraising approach to a strategic plan that embeds fundraising within all aspects of the organisation. This strategic approach will support the cultural and heritage activity at Ushaw to diversify income streams and to be more self-sustaining.

We anticipate engaging a freelance fundraiser for 12 to 15 months between July and October 2019. Working hours will be flexible. A total fee of £16,000 is available. The fundraiser will report to the Culture and Heritage Manager.

2.      Background Information

Ushaw is a multi-functional estate which operates a heritage visitor attraction together with a wide range of commercial activities. A Roman Catholic seminary from 1808 until 2011 the site consists of an outstanding collection of 12 individually listed C19 buildings, five of which are Grade 1&2* and are considered of national historic and architectural importance.

Ushaw began opening to the public as a cultural and heritage attraction late in 2014 for special events including a programme of music concerts and events including performances by the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Kathryn Tickell as well as local music. Public opening to the main house and Chapel complex began in Spring 2015 alongside a series of lectures, guided tours and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions from the collections and the history of Ushaw as well as exhibitions of contemporary art. Learning activities are organised for local schoolchildren linked to the collections, buildings and temporary exhibitions as well as weekend and holiday activities for families. As it is the first time in 200 years that Ushaw has been open to the public most are discovering it for the first time with visitor feedback commenting on the surprise and pleasure people have found when visiting. Visitor figures have grown from 7000 in 2015 to 37726 in 2017 demonstrating a growing interest and public demand.

Alongside the heritage activities Ushaw operates a wide range of commercial activities, including conferencing, bed and breakfast accommodation, management of a willow crop and farmland, lease of office accommodation, Business Centre and artists’ studios.

The local community has begun to engage with heritage activities at Ushaw through volunteering as stewards or guides in the main seminary building and chapel complex and in the gardens. There is also a significant local audience at concerts, events and workshops.

Ushaw’s cultural and heritage programme is currently funded through a variety of sources including earned income from ticketing, donations and grant income. The wider Ushaw estate costs are covered by rental income, conferencing and room hire and income from land based sources. As a relatively new heritage and cultural attraction, Ushaw receives no core funding from statutory sources.

3.      Our Wider Development Projects

Ushaw has secured a Resilient Heritage Grant to advise on capacity and support development particularly in relation to the restoration and integration of the derelict western group of buildings described as Junior House and St Aloysius Chapel, into the rest of the site.

The Resilient Heritage Grant Project include:-

A Business Development Plan – to explore the market, demand and opportunities for our increasing visitor/user numbers and the options for improving income to build a sustainable future. It will establish the viability of the existing heritage and cultural offer together with proposed developments of museum and exhibition display and visitor facilities within Junior Seminary.  This will include reviewing catering, retail sales and admission charges along with potential income from functions, weddings, room/facilities hire, learning activities, performances and events etc. and the wider commercial activities of conferencing, facilities rental, business centre, artists’ studios and farmland. It will also include looking at how we use the landscaped grounds that surround Ushaw and how they can contribute to improving what we do and our net income. The work will result in a preferred business and financial model for the future of the heritage offer at Ushaw.

A Governance Review & Organisational Development Plan – looking at how we are constituted and organised now, how we govern ourselves and manage and deliver our activities and  where this needs strengthening. The work will help us understand how we need to build and enhance our organisational structure and capacity both to manage and run the cultural and heritage activities at Ushaw and any new facilities in the future and to deliver a significant programme of capital works. It will look at issues such as greater future involvement of the local community, volunteers and schools and the use of the project for providing training and employment opportunities for the local community. It will define what additional resources our trustees need, their training needs and how we might supplement their skills with new members. It will also define a new governance model for the future and in anticipation of the capital and organisational development we need to make Ushaw more resilient and more sustainable.

An Architect Development Study of Junior Seminary and St Aloysius Chapel – defining a design scheme combining heritage and commercial activity including a museum, exhibition spaces and visitor facilities with self-catering holiday accommodation. The study would prepare sketch drawings of the design scheme, establish the overall scope of the project (RIBA Stage 1/2) and its costs along with a preliminary development programme

Collections Management and Access – developing policies, plans and practices in relation to collections management and care that will enable Ushaw to achieve Museum accreditation and researching the educational potential collections and buildings for use in early years, primary, secondary, further and higher education and lifelong learning.

Completing this work will help inform our proposals for governance and organisational change as well as our proposals for any capital project. It will give us accurate information on which to base a possible HLF Round 1 bid and set out a roadmap for its implementation and the transformation of our capacity to meet the future challenges the project will present.

Work will commence on the strategic development commissions during summer 2018 with a view completing the work by August 2019 and if appropriate leading to a full Heritage Lottery Fund Round 1 bid in late 2019.

Completing this work will help inform our proposals for the project, give us accurate information on which to base a possible HLF Round 1 bid if significant capital improvements are identified as being essential and set out a roadmap for its implementation and the transformation of our capacity to meet the future challenges the project will pose.

4.      Our Fundraising Strategy Brief

Over the past two years Ushaw has begun exploring new fundraising initiatives to support the development of its cultural and heritage activities. We have seen increased success in securing grants from Trusts and foundations towards our charitable activities including grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a World War One project and grants from the Barbour Foundation, Aurelius Foundation and the Sir James Knott Trust amongst others towards conservation, garden and volunteering projects. A Friends of Ushaw organisation was established in 2016 and now has over 100 members. The Friends made their first donation to Ushaw of £5000 towards visitor access improvements in the Chapels and have recently established a fundraising committee.

These new fundraising initiatives have been undertaken by a number of Ushaw staff with some support from volunteers. However we lack capacity and skills to take a more co-ordinated approach to fundraising and to exploit the potential to develop corporate and individual giving. We would therefore like to engage a fundraising consultant to provide training and support to Ushaw staff and to develop a framework from which we can expand our fundraising portfolio.  A range of staff will continue to commit time towards fundraising and implementing the strategy developed from this project.

The programme of work outlined below will help to build skills and capacity within the Ushaw team to more effectively develop and pursue fundraising campaigns targeting individual giving and corporate sponsorship, thus extending the funding mix that will make Ushaw more sustainable. For all three strands of work we would engage a consultant to work alongside Ushaw staff and volunteers. The consultant(s) would provide a framework and range of tools for fundraising activity together with training and mentoring that would enable the new strategy to continue to be implemented beyond the life of the project.


Fundraising Strategy

The appointed consultant will review our current fundraising activity and assess potential for development by producing a comprehensive fundraising strategy. A clear strategy will help to embed a culture of fundraising within the whole organisation from Trustees to volunteers. It will provide us with a range of tools and approaches to improve fundraising. The strategy would also review the need for a new CRM system and identify other ways in which we could make better use of ICT in our fundraising. The strategy will review key potential sources of major income from the various National Lottery Funds, government agencies such as Historic England, Durham County Council, grant-giving trusts and foundations, corporate sponsorship, individual giving and others. It will involve an assessment of the specific funding interests and chartable concerns of major grant funders and potential donors and the development of approaches and documentation targeted at their individual interests

The review needs to identify likely funding levels and timescales for applications.


Corporate Sponsorship

Ushaw has no experience of corporate sponsorship of its activities but the concert programme and exhibitions offer an opportunity to develop links with local and regional businesses. The appointed consultant will help us to develop our approach to corporate giving through exploring options for establishing a corporate membership scheme as well identifying suitable businesses to approach for sponsorship of individual events. The

consultant would help us to establish systems and processes for corporate sponsorship that could be maintained by Ushaw staff beyond the life of the project. The appointed consultant will work with Ushaw’s staff and volunteer to provide training and mentoring that will equip the Ushaw team with techniques and skills to pursue business sponsors beyond the life of the project.


Individual Giving Campaign

Working with the Director of Cultural Development, Commercial Manager and Cultural & Heritage Manager, the appointed consultant will support us to develop an individual giving campaign with clear and consistent messages linked to a capital project to renovate the Junior Seminary building which is adjacent to the main Ushaw building. The Architectural Development Study and associated visualisations will inform the individual giving campaign. The consultant will work with the Friends of Ushaw to extend this scheme as well as identifying potential targets for the individual giving campaign and establish a donor database system. The consultant will also explore options for bequest/ legacy giving. They would also work with the St Cuthbert’s Society (the College Alumni society with over 500 members) to identify how best to approach for them to support the capital project.


In addition the appointed consultant will be responsible for:


·         Preparing draft fundraising brochures and related material

·         Development of a preliminary communications plan for supporting the fundraising activities and engaging press and media interest – seeking and securing media ‘champions’ for the project

·         An assessment of the matching funding requirements for any development funding sought as part of any HLF Round 1 bid and an implementation plan for securing any necessary matching funding prior to any HLF Round 1 submission

·         Establishing the structure and status of a fundraising group within the overall business structure and its governance and reporting mechanisms

·         Initiation of the agreed fundraising implementation strategy over the period prior to any major lottery bids

·         Supporting the senior management team at Ushaw with compliance with grant terms including preparation of monitoring reports.

·         Preparing appropriate funding applications to Trusts and Foundations that support the overall aims of the project

·         Create and maintain relational databases that comply with data protection regulations.


Applicants for fundraising position are asked to provide a full CV and covering letter outlining the experience and skills required to cover the above activities and show the added value of what they can offer through highlighting any other related activities. An outline of proposed fees should be included with the letter. Applications should be submitted by email to by 5pm on Monday 18 June. Interviews will be held on 26 and 28 June 2018.

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