Head of Operations

Requisition ID:  26694

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  14 May 2024


Salary: £45,585 to £48,350 with progression to £54,395 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 26 May 2024



Newcastle University (NU) Advancement is the driving force behind fundraising and alumni and supporter engagement across the University.


Our work transforms lives, inspires ground-breaking research and creates opportunities and communities that have a profound impact across the University, the city, the region and beyond. The guiding mission for all our fundraising activity is to create a spirit of philanthropy across the University and its community of 30,000 students, 6,000 staff, and 250,000 alumni.  Our ‘Campaign for Newcastle’ is an ambitious multi-year campaign to substantially increase the visibility and scale of philanthropy and engagement across all areas of the University’s activity.


As a member of Advancement’s Senior Management Team, and reporting to the Director of Advancement, you provide management-level leadership in systems, operations and technology for the University’s fundraising and alumni relations team (NU Advancement).  You will be responsible for supporting the NU Advancement team with the systems needed to work with a global community of over 270,000 alumni and supporters. 


The Team’s work includes mass market and personalised communications, running fundraising appeals, managing volunteers, holding online and in-person events and maintaining a network of relationships with high-net-worth individuals and organisations with an interest in supporting Newcastle University. 


Working alongside a team of c. 30 colleagues, we are looking for someone who can lead on systems and operations across the full range of fundraising and alumni relations activity. You will also be responsible for developing new ways to achieve greater efficiency and impact through digital transformation for alumni and supporter engagement. 


We are committed to the professional career development and you will benefit from a range of excellent development opportunities including internal and external training, active participation in specialist networking groups and opportunities to gain experience in other areas of Advancement and University professional services.


To apply please upload a CV and cover letter of no more than 2 pages outlining how your knowledge, skills and experience align with the person specification below.


Please contact Aerian Rogers at Aerian.Rogers@newcastle.ac.uk for a chat about this opportunity.


Key Accountabilities

•    Take an active lead in the management of the NUA internal and external governance structure, this includes legal requirements for donation and personal data management.

•    Provide strategic management for Newcastle University’s technology requirements including the alumni and supporter engagement CRM (currently Blackbaud Raisers Edge) working with the Database Manager on future Advancement requirements, platforms and suppliers.

•    Deliver a data analytics and reporting structure for both internal and external stakeholders. 
•    Develop, implement and manage the Annual Delivery Plan for Advancement Operations. This will include recruiting and managing the Advancement Operations Team, leading on financial and budget planning, ensuring all that all expenditure is within limits, achieves a strong return on investment and delivers maximum value for money. 

•    Lead on NU Advancement’s Data Protection framework, ensuring that appropriate systems are in place for identifying, retrieving, and storing information, and that retention policies aligned with UK-GDPR are in place.

•    Lead on the development of the Department’s prospect identification and research strategy in order to ensure an effective pipeline of donor prospects based on UK-GDPR compliant research and data analytics. This will include identification of prospects at all levels from regular giving to major gift philanthropy. 

•    Collaborate with the Head of Philanthropy to deliver the University’s donation acceptance and donor due diligence framework on behalf of the Director of Advancement, Faulty Executive Boards, University Executive Board and University Council.  

•    Develop a programme of competitor and sector trend analysis to inform strategic development of the work of NU Advancement, including the annual benchmarking return for the Insights survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education. 

•    Manage the procurement, contract management and review processes required for IT systems required by NU Advancement. Proactively providing guidance on developments in the field of Advancement Operations.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Experience of managing a team including recruitment and induction, effective delegation, developing training opportunities, supervision and performance review and supporting team members to achieve their longer-term career goals

•    Management level experience of developing, implementing, and evaluating strategies and operational plans 

•    Experience of data management and other forms of system management 

•    Experience of financial and budget management including planning, developing, monitoring, and reporting against income and expenditure budgets. 

•    Experience of developing standard operating procedures and providing guidance, training and coaching to ensure that these are adhered to.

•    Excellent verbal and written communications skills including the ability to present procedures and instructions.

•    High level analytic and numerical skills including the ability to design and interrogate large data sets.

•    Excellent IT Skills including use of MS Office packages (or similar) and formal Customer Relationship Management systems. 

Attributes and Behaviour

•    Confident interpersonal skills including the ability to engage effectively with colleagues from a wide range of disciplines, to gain trust and to influence decision making 

•    Highly organised with close attention to detail and an ability to effectively manage conflicting demands 

•    An ability to explain complex information to a non-technical audience 

•    An ability to act as an inspirational and trusted ambassador for the work of NU Advancement within the wider University community

•    Excellent negotiation and decision-making skills with confidence to make important strategic and operational decisions on a regular basis

•    A willingness to learn and a commitment to ongoing professional and career development 

•    An understanding of and commitment to the values of Newcastle University Advancement including the importance of valuing diversity, treating others with respect, kindness and sensitivity


•    University degree or equivalent experience (essential).

•    Professional training and / or accreditation in any of the following (or related) areas: Project Management, Team Leadership and Management, Information Technology Management.



Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 


Requisition ID: 26694