• How to apply: Complete the online application form
  • Application deadline: Wednesday 30th November at midnight
  • Work location: From the charity’s London office, from home and from other business or charity premises as necessary; we will consider suitably qualified applicants outside of London who are able to travel to London as required
  • Line management: Chief Executive
  • Start date: As soon as possible after appointment
  • Contract: Full-time, permanent
  • Salary: £39,000 – £41,000
  • Expected travel: Some regional and national travel is expected
  • Benefits: 25 days annual leave plus public holidays, access to flexible working, a workplace pension and numerous development opportunities outlined below in the ‘Why work with us’ section

Action for Conservation is looking for a Fundraising Lead to work closely with the Chief Executive to grow support for the charity, enabling us to deliver on our ambitious new five-year strategy.

About Action for Conservation

We are at a critical moment for the earth. It has never been more important to empower every young person to fight for their future and the future of the planet. Action for Conservation is an innovative young charity using pioneering approaches to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders and bring about systemic change in the wider environmental sector and Government. We are uniquely placed to bridge the space between traditional environmental organisations and the burgeoning youth movements. We know that the best antidote to anxiety about the ecological emergency and the inaction of our leaders is to grow connections to place and empower young people to take practical action to protect the living world. To date, we have supported over 5,000 young people to learn new skills; grow their eco-literacy; build a connection to nature; take action to disrupt the status quo and address the climate and ecological emergency, revitalising and diversifying the sector in the process; bring about long-term and meaningful change in their communities; shape the values of wider society; and, build a greener future in which people and planet thrive. Reflecting this success, the charity has grown in a short space of time from start-up to an annual turnover of circa £1 million.

Action for Conservation’s Chief Executive, Hendrikus van Hensbergen, was awarded the People’s Postcode Lottery Rising Star Award for his inspirational leadership and sits on the Esmée Fairbairn’s Foundation’s Our Natural World Advisory Panel. His definitive guide to taking action for the environment for young people, How You Can Save the Planet, was published by Penguin in 2021. Our work is steered by a Board of Trustees that includes leading youth activists; David Macdonald CBE, renowned conservationist and Founding Director of the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit; Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, Ex-Director General of the National Trust; and, Robert Macfarlane, best-selling and prize-winning author on nature, landscape and place, among other inspiring individuals.

Our commitment to diversity

Diversity is one of our core values as an organisation and we are committed to creating an inclusive working environment where diversity is valued and there is equality of opportunity. We also recognise that the climate and ecological crisis disproportionately impacts minority and/or marginalised communities – yet these voices are largely underrepresented in the sector. Currently, the environmental sector is the second least diverse in the UK, with just 4.8% employees from minority backgrounds. If the environmental movement is to succeed in creating a greener future that supports society as a whole, we need diverse voices at the heart of projects like Penpont. We therefore encourage applicants from people currently underrepresented in the environmental movement to apply.

Why work with us?

You will be joining our young, mission-driven team, who truly love what they do. Working with young people is always rewarding, sometimes challenging and never boring – you will get to experience first-hand the positive impact your work has on making what we do possible. It goes without saying that we work hard, but we also maintain a positive work-life balance and spend lots of time outdoors. Some of the benefits of working at Action for Conservation include:

  • 25 days annual leave in addition to public holidays, increasing by one day for each year served up to a maximum of 5 additional days.
  • Four paid volunteer days per year.
  • Quarterly team ‘action days’ and away weekends in the great outdoors.
  • Access to flexible working.
  • A workplace pension.
  • A robust training package and a bespoke personal and professional development plan, co-developed with you and your line manager, to identify and progress your training, development and career aims.
  • The opportunity to grow into the role, learn and develop on the job, and hopefully progress within the team as opportunities arise.
  • Opportunities to share your voice and shape the direction of our work, ensuring that our content is relevant and reflective of your interests and the issues facing your community.

About the role – Fundraising Lead

This is an exciting opportunity for a passionate and experienced fundraiser to take lead responsibility for the development and diversification of the charity’s funding portfolio, including trusts and foundations, individual donors, and corporate supporters. Your work will be a driving and enabling force behind the growth of our team and the delivery of our ambitious new five-year strategy that will see us place today’s young people at the heart of the conversation about tomorrow’s planet and at the heart of coordinated grassroots action that will ensure future generations of all species enjoy a liveable, diverse, and flourishing future. This position suits a self-motivated individual who is an adept relationship builder and skilled communicator, whose values align with our mission, and who is willing to learn and take on responsibility quickly and work closely with the Chief Executive, our Development Board and Senior Management and, in-time, manage member(s) of staff to achieve our fundraising goals.

Key Responsibilities in the Role:

Prospect Research & Pipeline Development

  • Undertake prospect research to identify new funding opportunities from a variety of sources, including individuals, organisations and partnership bids and build a robust fundraising pipeline.
  • Build strong relationships with prospective funders, liaising closely with the team to ensure joined-up donor cultivation. This will include representing Action for Conservation at events, developing donor cultivation plans when necessary, and meeting with funders to understand their interests/priorities, present proposals and provide insight into Action for Conservation’s work.

Income Generation

  • Manage a multi-year pipeline of funding opportunities to ensure that internal and external deadlines are met and income is secured from a diverse and sustainable mix of sources.
  • Draft clear and compelling fundraising materials, including cases for support, funding proposals and concept notes, that align Action for Conservation’s strategic programmatic priorities and budgetary needs with funders’ interests and criteria, whilst steering effective and efficient input by colleagues and on occasion external partners.
  • Design and deliver an exciting programme of fundraising events, both online and in person, that will present opportunities for new and existing donors to support our work.
  • Oversee grant and donor administration and compliance when an opportunity is secured.

Grant & Donor Stewardship

  • Proactively maintain strong relationships with our network of supporters to encourage ongoing and increased support, through meetings, phone calls, regular written communications, including letters and material on our programmes, and informal updates.
  • Draft accurate, detailed and compelling mid and end of grant funding reports that evidence compliance with grant requirements and progress towards key outcomes, steering effective and efficient input by colleagues and on occasion external partners.

Leadership and Management

  • Lead the ongoing development and delivery of Action for Conservation’s fundraising strategy nationally and across priority regions.
  • Develop a deep understanding of Action for Conservation’s mission, strategic priorities and funding needs, and use this to inform the ongoing development of our case for support and funding pipeline.
  • Keep up to date with trends and developments in the sector, and ensure these are communicated to the team in a timely manner and inform internal activities and planning.
  • Support the Chief Executive in coordinating and managing the work of our Development Board.
  • Proactively contribute to the growth of the fundraising team, supporting the recruitment of one or more junior team members in the next 6-18 months.
  • Provide management and support to any freelance or more junior staff, ensuring they deliver on all of their role responsibilities through the development of a positive coaching relationship.

Systems & Processes

  • Develop and maintain good fundraising processes and systems, including record-keeping, fundraising metrics and donor due diligence, ensuring that Action for Conservation adheres to relevant legislation (e.g. GDPR) and best practice standards.
  • Support the development and improvement of team systems and processes to enable effective and efficient collaboration with other teams across the organisation.

This job description is not contractual and is liable to change over time due to the changing needs of Action for Conservation.

Your skills and experience

The following experience, knowledge and skills are those that we are looking for in candidates for the above role. Those listed as ‘Essential (E)’ are those that candidates must have. Candidates who fail to meet these criteria will not be short-listed. ‘Desired (D)’ skills and experience are those that it would be advantageous to have, although it is not essential.

Experience & knowledge

  • Significant and demonstrable experience of working in a fundraising or business development role for a charity, NGO, private or public entity (Essential)
  • Track record of drafting complex funding proposals and bids for support and securing major gifts and multi-year grants (Essential)
  • Experience of working collaboratively to ensure effective and timely input of a variety of internal/external stakeholders into the fundraising process (Essential)
  • Knowledge of a range of fundraising methods and practices and of the funding landscape in the charity / not-for-profit sector (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of key issues and approaches in the environmental, youth and/or education sectors (Desirable)
  • Experience in line management and overseeing the work and development of a junior team member (Desirable)
  • Knowledge and experience of working with CRM systems (e.g. Salesforce) (Desirable)

Skills & abilities 

  • Ability to make strategic decisions in relation to funding opportunities, ensuring alignment of approach/proposal with organisational priorities and mission (Essential)
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to respond to competing deadlines and manage multiple tasks and priorities within a busy working environment (Essential)
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills, with ability to foster positive and effective working relationships with diverse stakeholders, including and especially with funders (Essential)
  • Ability to absorb and understand large amounts of programme-related information and use it to craft compelling and clear funding materials, applications, pitch presentations and reports (Essential)
  • Ability to execute work independently and take the initiative when required (Essential)
  • IT skills (able to use MS Office, teleconferencing (Teams, Zoom) etc) (Essential)
  • Comfortable with remote or matrix management (Essential)
  • Commitment to Action for Conservation’s vision, mission and values, and a working style which reflects this (Essential)
  • Ability to understand financial information and use this to identify funding needs (Desirable)

What do people think of us?

“In a relatively short space of time, Action for Conservation has made a huge impact. They have helped to re-energise the environmental movement by building young people’s passion for the natural world in schools and communities across England and Wales. Through their programmes, they show that you don’t need to work in a traditional environmental role to take action and be an environmentalist. Their project in the Brecon Beacons is the UK’s first large-scale, intergenerational nature restoration project, bringing together farmers, young people from diverse backgrounds, landowners and scientists, and supporting them to learn from each other. Shaped and driven by young people, Action for Conservation is an ambitious organisation that is working to challenge problems with inclusion in the sector to enable a new and diverse generation of leaders with the power to tackle the nature and climate crises.”

Dame Caroline Mason, Chief Executive of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

“Predictions are hard, famously so about the future, but two are certain: humanity’s well-being is inseparable from the health of the environment and its biodiverse working parts, and that future will grow from the ideas and actions of today’s young people. These two things, care for nature and young people, are the energising heart of Action for Conservation, and I am in awe at just how fruitfully that heart has beaten in the six years that have transformed Action for Conservation from a twinkle in the eyes of a dedicated band of first-movers to a major force in youth environmentalism; our new strategy reveals that the next five will catapult it to national prominence at the visionary intersection of youth, nature and inclusivity. There might have been a time, at the start, when we Trustees thought we had something to teach the young people whose engagement with nature we longed to catalyse; now we know just how much we have learnt from them – I am delighted, and very proud, to be Chair of this inspirational force for good”

Professor David Macdonald CBE, Action for Conservation Chair of Trustees

Next steps and how to apply

To apply, you must complete the online application form by Wednesday 30th November at midnight. We are looking to hold interviews for this position from 5th December.

As part of this application process you will be asked to submit your CV and provide details that demonstrate how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience requirements listed above.

All applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

Please let us know if you have any access requirements of which you would like us to be aware during the recruitment process.

For further information or if you would like to discuss the role informally before applying, please contact


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