This is a pivotal strategic and hands-on role, leading the development and implementation of the fundraising strategy, delivering the required additional revenue to drive the 3 core programmes and building a fundraising team to secure the OCT’s future development.


The Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) is an Ocean conservation charity focussed on creating a healthier Ocean, through 3 core programmes:

OCT’s Habitats programme, Blue Meadows, is centred on Seagrass, protecting existing seagrass and restoring what has been lost. The aim is to develop a cost-effective way of protecting and restoring Seagrass meadows at scale.

OCT’s Advocacy programme, Think Ocean, is centred around people, creating a more Ocean literate world, understanding the importance of the Ocean and taking action to improve Ocean health.

OCT’s Experiences programme is centred around the National Marine Aquarium (NMA), the UK’s largest Aquarium, which it owns and operates on the shores of Plymouth Sound, the home of the UK’s first National Marine Park. The NMA hosts over 280k visitors a year, including 30k young learners and community groups. Ocean conservation is all about people, creating emotional experiences and understanding, leading to pro- Ocean behaviour change.

The OCT employs a staff of c80 FTE and has a turnover of c£5m pa.


An exciting opportunity has arisen for a committed and motivated individual to deliver the OCT’s ambitious fundraising requirements. In addition to the funds raised through the NMA, the OCT needs a more diverse income stream to drive its core programmes, through the development of corporate, philanthropic and donation initiatives.

The successful applicant will need to understand the core programmes and develop appropriate schemes and campaigns to build a wide support network to secure a lasting pipeline of donations. The role is part of a diverse team and will be accountable for achieving specific funding goals to deliver the outcomes of the 5 Year Plan.

The post holder will work and liaise with a range of other staff to ensure integration with activities such as communication, research, membership, publications and data and information services among others. In addition, they will be key to maximising use of the new customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Applicants for the post will have a minimum of five years of fundraising leadership in the charity or non-profit sector with a proven track record of target-driven corporate giving, membership,

philanthropy and grant application. Experience of working in a marine or science related organisation would be beneficial but not essential.

The post is based at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, UK but requests for flexible working arrangements including some homeworking will be considered.

Overall, this role will be pivotal in developing the Ocean Conservation Trust as the leading Ocean conservation charity in the UK, generating significant new revenue streams to drive the Charity’s ambition.


· Salary up to £45k, depending on experience and funding delivered

· Company pension scheme with a matched employer’s contribution of up to 5%

· 28 days paid holiday per annum (including bank holidays)

· Up to 5 days additional holiday dependent on length of employment

· A day off on your Birthday

· Working for an Ocean Conservation Charity of repute

· Potential for some flexible working / home working

· Life Assurance scheme

· Length of service awards

· Employee Assistance Programme

· Discounted on-site parking

· Staff discounts up to 50%

· Complimentary family ticket each month on successful completion of probationary period

Key Responsibilities include: Please follow this link for the full Head of Fundraising Job Description.

Essential skills/qualifications

• Significant experience of fundraising leadership in charity or non-profit sector

• Demonstrated track record of successful fundraising

• Thorough understanding of fundraising principles.

• Experience with individual giving, legacies and regular giving programmes from a range of socioeconomic groups

• Experience with campaign-driven projects with specific targets

• Proven success with donor prospecting, nurturing, stewardship and recognition

• Experience in managing a donor pipeline

• Proven success with grant applications

• Experience in utilising CRM systems to grow and manage fundraising prospects

• Ability to lead / manage team(s) to provide operational and strategic direction

• Ability to manage an area of responsibility including working with budgets and creating and contributing to the construction of a business plan

• Excellent communication skills with ability to confidently interact with individuals at all levels, internally and externally with stakeholders and customers

• Contract negotiation/experience skills

• Passion and an inquisitive and inventive mind

Desirable skills/qualifications

• Knowledge of marine biology / science as a discipline

• Ability to produce a coherent and accessible written narrative for campaign development

• Understanding of relevant GDPR protection and Gift Aid legislation

For further information, please contact Heather Hine

To Apply: please send a covering letter and CV with details of 2 referees to: (Reference: Head of Fundraising application).

The covering letter should:

· outline your previous and most relevant experience

· explain why you are right for the role

· confirm you are available during interview week

Closing date: 18th November 2022. We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if a suitable candidate is found.

Interviews will take place during the week of 28th November 2022.

In line with current legislation all applicants must be eligible to live and work in the UK. As part of the recruitment process you will be asked to provide documented evidence of eligibility.

The OCT operates an Equality and Diversity Policy and is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. All applications will be judged solely on merit.