Title: Head of Fundraising & Marketing, DEBRA Ireland

DEBRA Ireland is the national charity established in 1988 to provide patient support services and to drive research into treatments and cures for those living with the genetic skin condition, epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Our patients who have EB, have skin that is as delicate and fragile as the wings of a butterfly, and just as easily damaged.  EB has been described by a Consultant Dermatologist in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital as “easily the most debilitating and devastating disease I have ever seen.”   The condition is extremely painful and leads to disability.  Many of our patients who survive childhood face the frightening reality that they could develop a very aggressive form of skin cancer, due to the constant breakdown of their skin.

DEBRA Ireland is an ambitious, patient-led charity with a powerful case for support. The charity is very clear on its vision and mission and is passionate about achievement and excellence. The Head of Fundraising and Marketing role is an exciting role with the opportunity for innovation and growth.

DEBRA is just about to embark on the next 3-5 years strategic plan and the new Head of Fundraising and Marketing will have a chance to direct this strategy. DEBRA has a proactive board led by a strong Chairperson. The CEO comes from a marketing and fundraising background and understands fundraising’s critical role in delivering services that change lives. DEBRA is has an open and positive culture, with a very passionate team and a super loyal donor base.

Current fundraising income comes from corporates, events, individual donations, raffles, standing orders, charity shop, schools and community fundraising with income doubling in the last four years. Celebrities working with DEBRA include Johnny Sexton, Colin Farrell and Ray D’Arcy.

The Role

This is a challenging but rewarding Senior Management position that brings together the major elements of the Marketing, Fundraising and Communications functions.

The Head of Fundraising and Marketing will provide strategic direction and ensure effective delivery of fundraising, marketing and communications. This role will be responsible for DEBRA Ireland’s relationship with the public to ensure growing levels of financial and non-financial support.  There will also be an international element to the role as DEBRA Ireland works closely with DEBRA International in order to put EB on the global clinical and research agenda.

The Head of Fundraising and Marketing will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer. The position will have a number of direct reports so experiencing in managing a team is important.


To develop & implement an integrated fundraising strategy at DEBRA Ireland and to be an active and inspiring ambassador for DEBRA Ireland’s brand.

Strategy Development and Implementation

  • To develop and manage the implementation of DEBRA Ireland’s marketing and fundraising strategy within the context of the organisation’s current preparation of a new strategic plan.
  • To contribute strategically and tactically to the future growth of fundraising through ongoing analysis of the market, including regular reviews of fundraising activities, fundraising trends, the external environment and competitor activity.
  • To set and deliver on annual financial and non-financial targets & KPIs.
  • To ensure there is sufficient balance within the fundraising mix to adequately manage financial risk to the organisation.
  • Ensure DEBRA Ireland’s fundraising practices meet all good governance and legal requirements.


  • To lead, support, motivate and develop the fundraising team.
  • As a key member of the Senior Management team, to contribute to the wider strategic development of DEBRA Ireland.
  • To work closely with the board, accounts, patient care, advocacy and research team.
  • To set clear examples of excellence and best practice.

Fundraising Operations and Financial Management

  • To innovate and bring new ideas to fundraising at DEBRA.
  • To ensure there are adequate systems and processes in place to effectively support DEBRA’s fundraising activities, including IT, financial management and risk management.
  • To set and manage budgets, with particular focus on cost to income ratio and restricted and unrestricted income.
  • To manage key internal and external relationships with donors, supporters, volunteers, employees and suppliers.
  • To work collaboratively with the Senior Management Team to ensure that new funding initiatives are developed which support the work of the charity over the long term.
  • At least quarterly attendance at Board Meetings to give updates on fundraising strategy.

Marketing and Communications

  • To build the DEBRA brand and ensure consistency across all DEBRA communications.
  • To ensure that opportunities across the organisation are maximised to promote DEBRA Ireland’s work to new and existing audiences, encompassing all stakeholders.
  • To develop an effective marketing plan including internal communications, digital, media and PR, brand marketing, advertising and print material.

In addition

  • To make strong connections with people living with EB and their carers.
  • To play a part in DEBRA International fundraising and communications strategy. This would include an element of international travel to attend annual DEBRA International conferences and connect with peers in other DEBRA’s.
  • To undertake any other duties that may reasonably be required to fulfil the duties of this post.
  • A flexible approach to working hours – including evening and weekend working as required.
  • To attend meetings with funders, prospects and networking events.

Person Specification

Training, Experience and Qualifications

  • At least five years senior fundraising experience in a not for profit or sales & marketing experience in a commercial organisation.
  • Strong individual giving experience.
  • Good experience at managing and leading a team.
  • Very strong CRM capabilities.
  • Proven ability to build external relationships.
  • Track record of innovation in fundraising.
  • Good understanding of digital fundraising.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Excellent communicator that can encourage colleagues in a fast moving environment.
  • Proven track record of achieving outstanding results in fundraising.
  • Good understanding of the Irish fundraising landscape.
  • Proven commercial acumen and self-starter.
  • Strong influencing and people skills.
  • Energetic self-starter.
  • Results driven with a passion for going above and beyond.

A competitive salary depending on experience, option of a 4 or 5-day working week, flexible hours, phone, laptop and receipted expenses.

The closing date is the 7th February 2020.

To apply: Please email your CV and cover letter to recruitment@debraireland.org