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Wexford Festival Trust

Archived: Friends Development Executive

Wexford Festival Trust, Ireland

Millington Pope Executive Search and Selection has been retained to recruit a new Friends Development Executive on behalf of The Wexford Festival Trust. The Trust  produces the world-renowned Wexford Festival Opera, in addition to owning and operating the Festival’s home – The National Opera House, Ireland’s only purpose-built opera house and one of the country’s most modern multi-disciplinary performance centres. Founded in 1951, Wexford Festival Opera  plays a central role in the cultural life of Ireland and is one of the world’s leading and most respected opera festivals, recently winning the Best Festival award at the 2017 International Opera Awards. Famed for enabling local, national and international audiences to indulge their passion for unjustly neglected opera, Wexford Festival Opera performances are all presented to the highest professional standards, while providing access to and a platform for, new and emerging Irish and global performing and creative talent.

Already a leader in cultural philanthropy in Ireland, Wexford Festival Trust continues to grow, receiving philanthropic, corporate and institutional support. In order to fully support this growth and achieve greater sustainability through enhanced levels of voluntary income generation, an experienced membership development executive is required.

The Role

Reporting to the Head of Development,  the Friends Development Executive (FDE)  will be an integral part of  Wexford Festival Trust’s (WFT) Development Team with responsibility for growing the Company’s membership base and stewarding existing members  in Ireland, UK, Europe and North America. The Friends Executive will also support the philanthropic efforts of the Head of Development through prospect research, in line with the Company’s Development Strategy. This role will actively contribute to ensuring that all supporters of the Company have an enhanced user experience, engendering loyal support for years to come.


  • Engaging and developing strong enduring relationships with existing/prospective donors and Friends; cultivating loyalty and a sense of community
  • Managing the membership database, acting as the key liaison person for all current and prospective individual and corporate Friends and cast sponsors, and the overall management of the Friends Membership.
  • Capitalising on the potential from the Friends – current, lapsed, and new by:
    – Actively ‘selling’ the Friends Membership to the Company’s current and lapsed Friends.
    – Marketing the Company’s Friends Membership to new potential Friends including organising appropriate events.
    – Undertaking ongoing and comprehensive market research into Friends/Patron models of similar leading opera and cultural organisations to generate initiatives for providing further value added to the Company’s Friends Membership, attracting further subscription, and ensuring box office revenues.
  • Planning, implementing and managing all Friends marketing/sales campaigns according to the Development Strategy.
  • Working to meet established targets according to metrics devised by the Head of Development.
  • Providing updated information on funding under the Executive’s responsibility for the regular development department financial report, and for any other reports requested by the Head of Development or CEO.


The new Friends Development Executive will possess:

  • An understanding of membership development programmes and individual giving.
  • Prior Development/CRM/CX experience, with proven capabilities in the donor/customer management and cultivation process 2 years+ min; 
  • Event management experience. 
  • Proficient written and verbal communications with strong interpersonal skills and excellent presentation skills.
  • Strong administrative skills, including a high standard of database management and computer literacy.

Ideally, the successful candidate will have experience of working to targets in either the not-for-profit or commercial sectors. S/he will have an interest, enthusiasm and affinity for fundraising and working with people, preferably with knowledge of arts philanthropy and current relevant policies regarding best practice governance and fundraising principles.

Location: Dublin City Centre location, with regular attendance in the Festival’s main office in Wexford as required by the Head of Development. A successful candidate from the South East can be based in the company’s head office in The National Opera House in Wexford. Travel to the UK and Europe will also be required on occasion throughout the year. A presence in Wexford during the Festival for a three week period from mid-October to early November, and at other times of focused Friends’ activity during the year, will be obligatory.

Salary: Competitive

Closing date: 5pm Friday 4th August 2017.

To apply or for further information:

For an informal and confidential conversation please contact Millington Pope directly. Alternatively, please submit your CV and letter of application to in the first instance.

Due to the expected volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to successful applicants.

Email: DD: +353 (0)1 640 1925 UK: +44 (0)207 1010701
For more information on WFO please visit

Wexford Festival Trust is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to a transparent and robust recruitment process. The final decision will be based solely on merit. Canvassing will automatically disqualify candidates. Applications are invited from suitably qualified female and male candidates.