Helping to define and fill a key role

ronald mcdonald house charities

"Tracy was able to understand our workings and stage of the journey and hence the type of person we needed. She was good at defining the role in detail and made us work hard to better sell the benefits of the charity. When you’re taking a step into the fundraising unknown, I would recommend using Action Planning to sense check that you’re recruiting what it is that you actually need."


Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) provides free 'home away from home' accommodation to families while their child is in hospital. Corporate funding is an important revenue stream for the charity to keep building more houses in more hospitals. However, the charity didn’t have a corporate fundraising function.

RMHC approached Action Planning for help in recruiting a senior corporate fundraising manager. They had advertised for the position previously but without success and wanted expertise in developing a proper understanding of the type of role they needed to fill, the level of management required and the marketplace for such recruitment.

Action Planning assigned the task to Tracy Madgwick, an HR consultant with extensive experience in the charity sector. Tracy set up a meeting with the charity’s HR manager and Chief Executive Jon Haward, to get a clear understanding of the role required and put together an accurate job description.

She compiled a comprehensive corporate pack for prospective candidates, including a personal letter, the job spec and organisational charts, so that candidates could be absolutely clear about the role they were applying for. The job was then advertised on the main job boards and another Action Planning consultant, Hayley McDonald (no relation), carried out a proactive LinkedIn search for suitable candidates. A total of 26 candidates applied for the role.

Tracy shortlisted seven candidates and conducted one-to-one interviews. Her assessment and recommendations were submitted to RMHC and she then sat in on the second interviews to ensure consistency throughout the recruitment process. Once the successful candidate had been chosen, Tracy brokered the terms for the appointment and took up references.

RMHC were able to choose a strong recruit from two final candidates, who both had the required skillsets but offered very different attributes. This resulted in the choice of a well-qualified Corporate Partnerships Manager with the appropriate level of experience to grow into this emerging role.

Consultant’s insight:
Corporate fundraisers are particularly scarce and recruiting for this role can be challenging. I encouraged RMHC to really focus on the key aspects of the role, which then helped them define exactly the type of person they were looking for to fill the role. In such a competitive marketplace, potential employers really have to sell the role to potential candidates. It was great to see how open RMHC were to offering the role on a four or five-day-a-week basis. I also encouraged them to really promote the substantial staff benefits that were available to candidates and did set them apart from other charitable employers.

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