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Director Development Arts

Date: 16-Jul-2021

Location: London, UKM, GB

Company: British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. 
We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. 

These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

Role Purpose

Arts has been central to the British Council for more than 80 years, enshrined at the heart of the Charter, and fundamental to our mission to create lasting, mutually beneficial relationships between the UK and the world


This is an exciting opportunity to work with the UK’s largest global arts and cultural organisation. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution, changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.


We are looking for a dynamic change-maker to implement and develop a new global arts fundraising strategy, bringing together over a hundred hubs worldwide and working across all art forms, with a particular focus on flagship initiatives, such as the British Council Collection and the UK in Venice programmes.


You will have considerable experience of raising seven figure sums for the arts and be a leader who can inspire a small results-driven team to raise £5m + annually, from the private sector, to support our work and create an extraordinary global engagement programme for corporate and individual philanthropists.


You will be developing a new team of five and creating a community of advocates within the British Council and supporters internationally, working closely with the Director of Arts and wider British Council teams in the UK and globally.


Main opportunities and challenges for this role:

  • Implement and develop  a strategy for philanthropic giving, trusts and foundations and corporate sponsorship, in line with the overall Arts, Cultural Engagement and corporate  strategies for new revenue generation responding to the unique opportunities and challenges presented by the British Council global Arts programme and the organisation’s complex status in the UK and internationally.
  • Recruit and develop a new in-house development team.
  • Working closely with the Business, Strategy, Performance and Partnership Engagement team (BSPP) ensure that the Arts fundraising strategy contributes to and complements the overall Cultural Engagement and corporate revenue generation strategies.
  • Ensure that the Chairman and the Board of Trustees are enabled to support the new  fundraising strategy.
  • Achieve income targets set for philanthropic, trusts and foundations and corporate sponsorship in 2021-22 and following years.


Role specific knowledge and experience:

  • Evidence of substantial success in Arts fundraising –both as an individual and as part of a team
  • Substantial experience of philanthropic, trust and foundations and corporate fundraising in the Arts sector
  • Experience leading an in-house development team


Further Information

Pay Band –  SMP

Contract Type – 2 Year Fixed Term Contract with option to renew

Location –   UK Flexible

Requirements – Legal right to work in the UK

Closing Date –  1st September 2021


A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality Statement


The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. 
The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


  If you have any problems with your application please email askhr@britishcouncil.org

Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.