Fundraising Development Manager at RCET

RCET Office, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN

up to £30,000 per annum dependent on experience

Reporting into:


Closing Date:
Monday 24th September 12 noon

Interview Date:
Thursday 4th October (lunchtime onwards)

More Info

Our History

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET) owes its origins to the Highland Society of London. In 1808, its members decided to launch an appeal to raise money to house and educate the many Scots children orphaned by the Napoleonic War. Eight years later, sufficient funds had been raised and the Caledonian Asylum, as it was then known, was established by Act of Parliament on 14 June 1815. The Act provided for the incorporation of a “Charitable Institution called The Caledonian Asylum for supporting and educating Children of Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, Natives of Scotland and of indigent Scots parents, resident in London, not entitled to Parochial relief”.

The first Asylum was opened in December 1819, in Hatton Garden, and was replaced in 1826 by a newly built Asylum in Copenhagen Fields, Islington. In 1852, Her Majesty Queen Victoria became Patron and the Asylum was renamed the Royal Caledonian Schools. The Caledonian Road in Islington is named after the Schools.

By the end of the 19th Century, it became clear that the existing building was inadequate and in 1897, the Directors were authorised to move the school to the northern suburbs of London. In 1902, a new purpose-built residential school opened in Bushey, Hertfordshire. After 1948, as a result of the reforming 1944 Education Act, children continued to board at the school but were educated at local state schools.

The 1990s represented a period of decline. In 1989 there had been 124 children enrolled, but by 1994 this had reduced to only 54. It is estimated that between 1819 and 1995, approximately 10,000 students spent time at the Schools. In 1995, the Directors decided that the Trust’s objectives could be better met for a modern era as a grant-making body. The Bushey premises were sold and the proceeds invested to produce an income which allowed for educational grants to be made to qualifying individuals and organisations.

We were renamed the Royal Caledonian Education Trust in 2012 to better reflect the contemporary nature of our work and we currently support the educational and wellbeing needs of the children of Scots who are serving, or who have served in the Armed Forces. In 2016, after 201 years, the Trust moved all its operations to Edinburgh.

RCET Today

In March 2017, the Trustees began considering the next stage of the Charity’s development. Significant time and energy had been invested in the move to Edinburgh and both the current Strategic and Operational plans ended in 2018. Up until this point, RCET operated two key programmes; an Education Programme and a Grants Programme. The Trustees were clear that both those programmes had been rightly lauded over the last few years and had made a real difference to the lives to Armed Forces Children and Young People.

However the Trustees felt that we were only touching the tip of the iceberg and that the Charity could offer significantly more. In addition, our Objects which were over 200 years old were not fit for purpose in the 21st Century.

The Trustees at that point approved a number of recommendations from the CEO notably;

  • 2017/2018 should be regarded as a transition year.
  • A period of research and analysis in relation to the future direction of RCET would begin and run through to September 2017. The terms of reference included;
  • Is our current service delivery fit for purpose?
  • The potential for new service delivery
  • Potential funding models
  • The appropriateness of RCET’s Objects.
  • The CEO would develop a new Strategic Plan and present this to the Trustees in March 2018.

A range of work was then undertaken including commissioning Forth Road Consultancy to facilitate our strategy considerations; staff meetings; discussions with solicitors Turcan Connell regarding changing our Objects; commissioning Children in Scotland and Parenting in Scotland to undertake a small scale study into the needs of children within veteran families and finally a CoD away day in November 2017.


We will pursue our vision by working in partnership with individuals, groups, government, educational, military and other institutions to respond to the education, training and well-being needs of children of the Scottish Armed Forces community by:

  • Providing financial assistance
  • Providing training and resources
  • Providing direct services
  • Listening and advocating on behalf of children and young people
  • Gathering information and commissioning research
  • Raising awareness
  • Influencing policy

Our Fundraising function

In 2014, RCET appointed its first ever professional fundraiser. Originally on a temporary contract, the post was created to both capitalise on the organisations 200th anniversary in 2015 and to test the potential for longer-term fundraising activity.

Creating a fundraising operation was a significant challenge. No systems, structures, strategies or plans were in place and much had to be created from scratch. However four years on, particular success has occurred and a very strong and stable base has been created from which the next stage of our fundraising can be developed.

Last financial year just under £100k gross was raised and we have over 1500 supporters on our database. An individual giving programme has been created, we have had particular success with a number of Trusts and Foundations and last year 100 supporters took part in challenges events for us. We have made positive connections with a number of corporates and from a standing start our key messages are expanding out from our traditional base within the military community.

This is an exciting opportunity to both shape the future direction of our fundraising operation and to raise increased income in support of our work. The Board of Trustees are looking forward to receiving a new fundraising strategic plan in 2019 and the successful candidate will play a key role in supporting its development.

To develop and deliver a programme of fundraising raising income and support through a variety of sources particularly, but not exclusively, Individual Giving, Trusts and Foundations, Armed Forces charities, Third party events and key support groups. To manage all elements of the Fundraising operation including volunteers and a yet to be recruited, Fundraising Assistant.

  • Review and then lead the fundraising strategy and operational plan within the context of the wider RCET five year strategy.
  • Build and develop the fundraising networks and programmes across Scotland to attract support from individuals, groups, trusts and foundations and Armed Forces charities.
  • Create, deliver and own fundraising operations that will excite and motivate donors to support RCET and our work across Scotland.
  • Ensure that annual fundraising targets are met or exceeded and that expenditure is kept within agreed budgets. Monitor and report on income and expenditure as required.
  • Maintain and grow existing supporter relationships, providing excellent supporter experience across a range of income streams.
  • Maintain and if necessary develop new administrative systems to ensure that all fundraising activity recorded and tracked (including data management through the central ThankQ database).
  • Ensure all donations are banked and supporters thanked in a timely manner.
  • Deal with ad hoc fundraising enquiries from supporters.
  • Support the recruitment of a Fundraising Assistant and subsequently manage that post.
  • Work with the Fundraising Assistant to establish and maintain a stewardship programme that delivers a compelling donor journey.
  • Develop a stewardship programme to cultivate medium/major donor relationships.
  • Identify opportunities to bring on board new donors.
  • Undertake research to identify new prospects and make relevant approaches.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to secure ongoing support.
  • Work with Connect Communications to develop fundraising materials.
  • Work with colleagues to ensure that RCET maintains and grows its profile on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Attend and actively contribute to team meetings.


Applicants must apply for this position by 24th September 2018 12 noon. Please click on the button below and fill out your details…


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