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Senior Fundraiser

Job Description


Stakeholder Engagement



Reports to

Marketing and Communications Manager


Wellington Office


August 2021


Role Purpose


·         Responsible for the planning and delivery of the Fundraising programme, and growing donor income to achieve targets with a focus on direct mail and regular giving (including digital).

·         Responsible for the retention of all donors by focusing on the full donor journey and life-cycle.

·         To provide accurate insights and interpretation of performance data to identify patterns and trends in relation to donor engagement.

·         To build and maintain networks within the Fundraising industry in Aotearoa and overseas to inform good practice and identify opportunities that enhances VSA’s income generation.

Direct Reports


Budget Delegation



About VSA

Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) is a New Zealand-based international development agency that engages volunteers on long and short-term volunteer assignments within the Pacific region and remotely from Aotearoa. These assignments enable New Zealanders and those with a strong connection to the Pacific, to share their skills and knowledge with communities striving for sustainable change across the wider Pacific.

VSA focuses on people-centred development. We give great importance to manaakitanga, which means we value respectful partnerships, working and learning together, cross-cultural understanding, and the spirit of volunteering. VSA's values and our strategic focus reflect our commitment to bringing the spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to the way we work through our international development programme.

We have staff working from our National Office in Wellington, , as well as  staff and volunteers located across the wider Pacific in  the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.

VSA works in partnership with a range of partners across the Pacific and Aotearoa including Non-Government Organisations, as well as private, public and academic organisations and institutions.

VSA's work is primarily funded through its strategic relationship with the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but also receives independently generated income through individual donors and funders.

VSA is an independent, secular, and not-for-profit organisation, governed by an elected Board known as the VSA Council. VSA is a registered charity and an incorporated society. You can find out more information at

 About the Team

VSA’s Stakeholder Engagement Team focuses on four main areas of work: Communications and Marketing (including events); Business/Partnership Development; Fundraising; and wider stakeholder engagement. This role is central to VSA’s fundraising activity focused on securing funds that support VSA activities, growing the fundraising base, and actively engaging in donor stewardship.

Critical Success Factors

Broad Area of Responsibility:

Evidenced through:

Fundraising Campaigns and Activities

·         Achieving annual income targets for fundraising activities. Income targets are reviewed annually.

·         Working with the Manager to deliver five direct mail appeals each year.

·         Managing and growing the regular giving programme.

·         Researching and creating opportunities to move supporters up the donor pyramid*, capitalising on donor behaviour and motivators.

·         Targeting appeals to relevant audiences through effective data segmentation.

·         Successfully managing campaigns to meet specific objectives including deadlines, budgets, processing, and data recording.

·         Ensuring campaign budgets are kept within allocations, advising the Manager in advance if budgets need to be reviewed or altered.

·         Liaising with executors and lawyers about gifts in wills, ensuring all required paperwork is received. Advising the Manager of gifts received.

·         Ensuring the cash to committed funds are received.

*A donor pyramid is a mechanism for assessing a prospects engagement levels in terms of the frequency and volume of donation.

Donor Acquisition

·         Developing and executing annual plans to identify and acquire a wide range of new donors and supporters.

·         Assisting the Fundraising Coordinator with the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Programme where necessary.

·         In collaboration with the wider Stakeholder Engagement Team, managing fundraising events or assisting with VSA events where it may affect fundraising.

·         Ensure all fundraising promotional collateral is up to date.

Data Management, Analysis and Reporting

·         Managing the use of the Fundraising CRM (currently e-Tapestry) and recommending future systems, ensuring all records are accurate and up to date.

·         Ensuring that accurate and relevant income, expenditure and performance statistics are maintained for all fundraising projects.

·         Tracking and reporting on campaign ROI, response rates and achievement against targets as required.

·         Reviewing benchmarks for each campaign, and making adjustments in accordance with macro environmental factors that may impact donor behaviour.

·         Interrogating data, reporting on patterns and trends, and identifying opportunities to inform and maximise strategy and timelines for campaigns and other communications.

Special Grants Coordination

·         Coordinating the VSA Special Grants Programme to ensure effective distribution of funds.

Relationship Management

·         Developing and maintaining relationships with donors and other stakeholders to keep them engaged with VSA, and moving through the stakeholder engagement journey.

·         Working as part of the Stakeholder Engagement Team to deliver appropriate and timely engagement to existing and new audiences with a particular focus on income generation.

Industry Knowledge & Networks

·         Connecting with peers in the Fundraising sector to keep up to date with relevant trends on income generation and undertaking professional development.

·         Staying informed on what market leaders and suppliers are doing to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

·         Keeping up to date with any changes in relevant legislation and developments in fundraising, and advising the Manager of any changes that need to be made to ensure VSA is compliant and delivering best practice.

Health and Safety

·         Taking reasonable care for personal safety and wellbeing in all VSA workplaces, project sites, and if and when driving vehicles.

·         Acting in accordance with all reasonable Health and Safety instructions, policies, and signage making sure that acts or omissions do not adversely affect the safety and wellbeing of yourself or others.

·         Reporting all occupational injury, illness, near miss incidents, accidents, environmental spills or fire (regardless of its severity) to your manager.

·         Reporting all hazards which may result in an injury, illness, spill or fire, to your manager, and to the HR Coordinator.


At VSA there will be times when we all pitch in to do additional tasks that are outside our regular roles. This forms part of our culture and celebrates collaboration, courage and professionalism.

At VSA all staff are encouraged to contribute to continuous improvement: to support innovative thinking, smart work practices, how we engage across teams, and the overall culture and work environment.

There will be opportunities to participate in forums, committees, and working parties across the organisation and with third parties.

Key Relationships



·         Director, Stakeholder Engagement

·         Marketing and Communications Manager

·         Fundraising Coordinator

·         Marketing Communications Advisor

·         Visual Communications Designer

·         Business Development Manager

·         Programme Managers

·         Volunteers in pre-deployment and on assignment



·         Partner Organisations – in-country and NZ based

·         Fundraising sector

·         Mailhouse

·         Printers

·         Community


All staff are expected to develop professional relationships with other staff throughout the organisation during their tenure at VSA.


Skills / Competencies / Attributes

  • Proven experience working in a paid fundraising role (5+ years). You will need to demonstrate a good understanding of fundraising principles and practice.
  • Proven experience in managing, supporting and delivering campaigns (DM, e-DM, and regular giving) on time and within budget.
  • Experience working with CRMs, reporting and data analytics. Experience in e-Tapestry would be an advantage.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Proven experience and working knowledge of market segmentation modelling and demographic profiling.
  • Highly organised, disciplined, resilient, and capable of managing a wide range of competing priorities while remaining composed.
  • An ability to think strategically, applying common sense and political nous, judgement and insight.
  • Excellent interpersonal relationship management skills, with an ability to relate to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with a proven track record in writing and editing.
  • Proven experience working across a wide range of media, in both the traditional and digital media space as well as developing content for both internal and external audiences.
  • Experience using online Content Management Systems in addition to a working knowledge of MS Office programmes, email.
  • This role is likely to suit someone with at least 5-6 years’ experience within a fundraising environment.


Please note: A Covid-19 vaccination is mandatory for any member of VSA staff required to travel overseas on business. You may also be required to undertake pre-departure Covid testing prior to deployment to Pacific countries.

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