Work for us - Debra Ireland

Work for us

We are here to be a positive force for all those living with EB and all those whose lives have been impacted by EB. To help in all kinds of everyday ways, to listen, support, empower and alleviate unimaginable pressures.

We are here to lobby those in the halls of power. To command attention, demand and drive research and ensure imperative progress is made.

Open vacancies

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Head of Philanthropy

We are seeking an exceptional experienced candidate that will play a critical role in developing and implementing effective fundraising strategies to secure financial support from Corporate Partners, Major Donors as well as Trusts and Foundations and Events fundraising.

This position offers a unique opportunity to use your business development, project and people management skills to make a tangible impact by fostering relationships with businesses and individuals and raising funds to support our services and strategic initiatives.

The Head of Philanthropy will be responsible for securing, managing and delivering the management of middle to high value relationships (with a value of over €1million).

In carrying out the role, the post holder will lead the team in developing plans, budgetary goals, and key performance indicators to help Debra achieve our growth ambition.

This person will prioritise the provision of outstanding supporter journeys and be responsible for developing plans, setting targets, and managing the effective performance of their team.

This role will be expected to work in a strategic and integrated way with the Head of Strategic Communications and Supporter Engagement to achieve income targets.

The role will report directly to the CEO and be part of the Senior Management Team.

About the job

Role’s responsibilities

Cultivate relationships with corporate partners and secure corporate donations:

  1. The role will have lead responsibility for delivering the organisation’s income target.
  2. Develop clear prospect pipelines and activity trackers for all current and prospect corporate partners including, but not limited to, donations, COTYs, brand partnerships, etc., focusing on securing financial contributions, sponsorships, and in-kind donations.
  3. Manage the team to ensure Debra builds and maintains strong relationships with existing and potential corporate partners.
  4. Regularly communicate and provide updates to corporate partners on the impact of their contributions.
  5. Attend networking events and corporate meetings to promote Debra’s work and identify new partnership opportunities.
  6. Negotiate mutually beneficial partnerships and sponsorship agreements with corporate donors.

Cultivate relationships and secure donations from major donors (including foundations and trusts):

  1. Manage the major donors portfolio, cultivating and soliciting and stewarding high-capacity prospects and donors, elevating the calibre and impact of the major gifts program, meaningfully contributing to revenue.
  2. Identify new donors and work with existing supporters, to secure 5 and 6 figure gifts.
  3. Lead the annual process of developing the major gifts team’s collective work plan, including setting goals, objectives, strategies, activities, and revenue targets.
  4. Prepare and manage the annual major gifts revenue and expense budget. This includes monitoring progress, re-forecasting, and adjusting work plans where needed to meet goals.
  5. Oversee a robust and results-oriented major gifts program that is effective at every stage in the donor cycle, develops and utilizes compelling collateral materials, fundraising packages, proposals, and impact reports, and existing and new in-person engagement opportunities and events, and supports the development and completion of targeted fundraising campaigns.
  6. Ensure a recurring pipeline of applications for foundations and trusts is in place.

Develop and execute Philanthropy, Corporate and Events fundraising strategies plans and calendar of activities:

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy and pipeline to grow a more balanced fundraising model and build long-term sustainable income from events.
  2. Develop and deliver an events roadmap including a range of audience-led cultivation and special fundraising events designed to engage donors and supporters and ensure a consistent and sustainable stream of annual income.
  3. Create and implement innovative fundraising events and initiatives to engage multiple tiers of donors.
  4. Oversee the planning and execution of a steady calendar of events, including existing and new events, led by the Community and Events Manager.
  5. Oversee the management and stewardship of events and nurturing of leads to become major donors.
  6. Represent Debra and use various forums to generate quality leads for Debra, including meeting with potential new supporters and presenting both the organisation’s work and specific programme-focused work to them.

Conduct donor stewardship, and recognition: 

  1. Develop clear prospect pipelines, activity trackers and supporter journeys for major gifts, corporate gifts fundraising, and event participants.
  2. Implement strategies for donor recognition, reporting on impact, and stewardship, ensuring that supporters and partners feel valued and appreciated.
  3. Coordinate and oversee the fulfilment of sponsorship benefits and ensure timely reporting to corporate partners.
  4. Maintain accurate donor records and provide regular reports on fundraising activities to the senior management team.

Collaborate with internal stakeholders:

  1. Collaborate with the Marketing and Communications team to create effective marketing materials, cases for support and sponsorship packages in line with brand guidelines.
  2. Work closely with the Fundraising team to align corporate, events and major donor fundraising efforts with overall fundraising goals.
  3. Work closely with the Head of Strategic Communications and Supporter Engagement to develop priority projects and campaign messaging to develop engagement and growth.
  4. Coordinate with the internal teams to understand the impact of donations and effectively communicate and report to corporate partners, supporters, and donors.
  5. Engage the development committee in fundraising activity through annual events, prospect identification and introductions.

Team and relationship management:

  1. Lead a small team in setting and managing budgetary goals, key performance indicators, and an operational plan to deliver revenue growth, as part of Debra’s Development and Fundraising Strategy.
  2. Ensure the team is goal-orientated, and performance led, following the highest of standards on processes and procedures.
  3. Manage relationships with funders and partners, ensuring timely reporting on impact and key success metrics. This will include the co-ordination of internal stakeholders to ensure that partner contract terms and expectations are met and there is a clarity around roles of responsibilities, budgets, activity, and reporting frameworks across all stakeholders.
  4. Ensure all data and information gathered by the team is up to date and recorded accurately on the database.
  5. Generate regular analysis and produce reports on fundraising activities for Debra’s senior management.
  6. Foster a team culture of accountability, innovation, and learning.


  1. As a key member of the Senior Management team, to contribute to the wider strategic development of Debra Ireland.
  2. To work closely with the Board, accounts department, Patient Care and Research team.

Person specification and qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Marketing, Communications, or a related field.
  • Over 5 years of proven experience in corporate fundraising, business development, or excellent sales skills.
  • Strong understanding of fundraising principles and techniques.
  • Excellent communication written and verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • A strong and adaptable Head of Philantrophy, comfortable at working collaboratively with senior stakeholders both, internally and externally.
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with corporate partners, major donors.
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to manage and coach a team to inspire, motivate and develop high performance, delivering gifts with a value annually.
  • Demonstrated negotiation and persuasion abilities.
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills.
  • Proficient in using fundraising databases and software.
  • Passion for the mission and vision of Debra.


  • Attractive salary: €70,000 + depending on experience.
  • 20 days annual leave + 5 discretionary leave days: Good Friday, Christmas Eve, working days between Christmas-New Year
  • Generous paid Sick Leave entitlement
  • Employer matched Pension Scheme up to 6%, following 6-month probationary period
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Bike to Work Scheme
  • Opportunity for flexible/hybrid working


Primary place of work will be Debra’s office based at Butterfly Cottage, 8 Clanwilliam Terrace, Dublin 2. Flexible working (a mix of remote/office based) is facilitated and embraced.


To apply, submit your CV and Cover Letter (maximum one page), in Microsoft Word format, outlining how your motivation, experience and skills fit this role profile. Please make your application for the attention of BOTH Gilly Balmer and Zena Dawson at the following email address: 

Closing date: 

  • The closing date for applications is Friday 23rd February by 5pm (GMT)

Position is subject to Garda Clearance and reference checks. Candidates must be legally entitled to work in Ireland at the time of application.

Campaigns and Advocacy Officer

Reporting to: Head of Advocacy Research and Policy
Type of Contract:  Full Time, Permanent, 37.5 hours per week.
Salary:  €35,000 – €40,000
Location:  Debra’s office is based at Butterfly Cottage, 8 Clanwilliam Terrace, Dublin 2. Flexible hybrid working.

Debra is in the middle of implementing an ambitious three-year advocacy plan as part of its organisational strategy. This advocacy plan focuses on developing our capacity as an advocacy organisation, ensuring the voice of people living with or caring for someone with EB is engaged and amplified across advocacy messages, implementing a series of campaigns and projects to achieve our policy priorities, and developing a network of political EB champions.

A member of the Advocacy, Research and Policy team, the Campaigns and Advocacy Officer will be involved in running all of Debra’s advocacy campaigns. This presents an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated advocacy professional to make a meaningful impact for those affected by EB in Ireland.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Facilitate development of all Debra advocacy campaigns and work with the Advocacy, Research and Policy team on campaigns from start to finish, including evaluation. Such campaigns may include an annual pre-budget submission campaign, Election 2025 campaign and a campaign on access to medicines.
  • Communicate advocacy campaigns and successes to key stakeholders, including people impacted by EB.
  • Work closely with the family support team to ensure advocacy campaigns reflect the needs of people living with or caring for someone with EB.
  • Work with the Advocacy, Research and Policy team in commissioning and overseeing evidence generation to support access to better services and treatments for those living with EB.
  • Work closely with the communications team to develop campaign material and collateral and drive media and digital engagement.
  • Develop and maintain a diverse network of political and policy contacts and champions.
  • Contribute to national advocacy forums.
  • Engage with Debra International and other groups at an international level.
  • Ensure adherence to the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 and make required returns.
  • Carry out other roles or duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the post, as requested.


Person Specification

  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience in a related advocacy / campaigning field.
  • Degree level qualification in a related field.
  • Experience in developing advocacy campaigns through stakeholder engagement.
  • Strong knowledge of the Irish political environment, with a distinct advantage if this is in the area of health or disability.
  • A clear ability to communicate concisely and directly in an accessible manner via a range of platforms and to varied audiences.
  • Exceptional project management and computer skills, with excellent attention to detail.
  • Flexibility to occasionally travel and work outside standard hours.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.


Personal Attributes

  • Personable, with excellent communication skills and an ability to build relationships and work with professionals at all levels.
  • Self-motivated, highly capable of working independently and with a strong work ethic.
  • Disciplined, organised and thorough.
  • Strong empathetic nature, with a genuine passion and care for people impacted by EB.



  • Annual leave of 20 days.
  • Five discretionary leave days: Good Friday, Christmas Eve, working days between Christmas and New Year.
  • Employer-matched Pension Scheme up to 6%, following 6-month probationary period.
  • Employee Assistance Programme.
  • Bike to Work Scheme.
  • Opportunity for flexible/hybrid working.


Please email your CV and accompanying cover letter outlining your suitability for the role to by 5pm on Friday, 23rd February 2024, with the subject line as follows: First Name Last Name – Campaigns and Advocacy Officer. Informal queries to

The position is subject to Garda clearance and reference check. Candidates must be legally entitled to work in Ireland at the time of application. Debra is an equal opportunities employer. Management reserves the right to amend or change this job description as required.


What's in it for you?

Flexible working

We believe in work-life balance. We offer flexible working and/or hybrid opportunities.


We offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

Holiday and leave

We offer a generous annual leave allowance.

Family friendly

We understand people are managing work around other commitments. We offer generous carer and parental leave, and family friendly policies.

Training and development

We want to help our staff learn and grow.

Financial security

We offer competitive salaries and a pension scheme.