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Director of Fundraising and Communications


Dementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia. The charity provides specialist dementia nurses, called Admiral Nurses. Admiral Nurses are a lifeline to thousands of people, providing psychological support, advice and information to family carers. Dementia UK also runs a national helpline and email service for family and professional carers, people with dementia and those worried about their memory.

The Challenge:

Set against a backdrop of increasing public awareness of dementia and the pressure increased dementia care was placing on NHS services, Dementia UK had embarked on a new strategic focus to expand its Admiral Nursing care. We sought to secure an inspiring and experienced Director of Fundraising and Communications to develop and implement a fresh fundraising and communications strategy that would grow existing income, promote Dementia UK and raise the charity’s profile. With a focus on a broad range of income streams, the Director of Fundraising and Communications would also direct the organisation’s strategy as a vital part of Dementia UK’s small senior management team.

Implementing the search:

Prospectus conducted an intensive search of senior fundraising professionals in the civil society sector with experience of a range of income streams, including trust, corporate, individual giving, community and legacy income experience. Our fresh search targeted experienced fundraisers in the health and disability fields in particular and included hospices and the Royal Colleges. We also reached out to our existing networks, our extensive database and underwent an online advertising campaign to ensure a transparent approach.

We interviewed an exceptionally strong long-list of ten candidates and supported the recruitment panel to reduce this to five final candidates. These candidates underwent a site tour to meet the team and the Chief Executive before returning for a formal interview with the recruitment panel and a presentation to the fundraising and communications team. Following the panel’s discussions an appointment was made to a candidate who demonstrated the experience, knowledge and fit for this post, which was accepted.

The Appointment:

Dementia UK appointed Martin Bishop as their new Director of Fundraising and Communications to start in August 2014. Martin’s broad fundraising experience and communications awareness from his most recent five year role of Director of Fundraising at Action on Hearing Loss impressed the panel and they found his highly personable style a strong fit with their cultural ethos. Martin’s experience of leadership at Action of Hearing Loss was particularly evident during the charity’s rebrand where he protecting and increasing income from alienated donors. Previously in his career Martin had developed his fundraising skills in corporate fundraising in a number of large national charities, giving him a thorough grounding in best practice to be able to share with Dementia UK.