REF is seeking a Fundraising Consultant - 12 month position


Terms of Reference

Fundraising Consultant 


The Roma Education Fund’s (REF) mission is to invest, education and engage Roma children and youth, parents, governments, institutions and policy-makers in the ultimate goal to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. 


The objectives of REF include:

  • Expanding Romani children’s access to quality early childhood education and care
  • Improving primary education outcomes for Romani children aged six to fourteen
  • Boosting academic performance and graduation rates from secondary education for Romani pupils
  • Supporting access to tertiary education, improving graduation levels and strengthening identity of Romani university students
  • Expanding employment opportunities for young Romani adults


REF operates its activities in close links with civil society and institutional partners in 16 countries of Central and South Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine). 


Roma Education Fund has recently completed the development of a new strategic direction for 2021-2030. This document defines a new strategic direction for REF based on an assessment of (1) REF’s operations (lessons learned, what works and what does not), (2) trends and approaches to promote inclusive education and counter discrimination (derived from consultations with experts) and (3) priorities to achieve its mission as defined by the Strategy Workgroup (SWG). 


To complement the Strategic Framework 2021-2030, REF is seeking the assistance of an experienced professional to develop a Fundraising Strategy for the purpose of diversifying REF’s donor base over the next five years. 



Scope of the position


The Fundraising Consultant is a short-term expert located remotely from the REF HQ premises. 


The role of the consultant is to identify strategies and potential donor opportunities to support REF’s interventions, map potential funding instruments at country and at regional levels, and secure new donors. 


The Fundraising Consultant reports to the Executive Director at REF headquarters in Budapest, and also has the support of the Communications and Fundraising Officer. Duration of the contract is 12 months in which the Consultant will serve up to 40 days. 


The main scope of this consultancy will focus on nurturing trust relations and cooperation with wide range of development actors and educational institutions, preferably top universities:

  • research and identify institutional funders appropriate for REF, including trusts, foundations and government agencies. 
  • prioritize potential funding opportunities with private sector and private individuals, groups which until now have not been targeted;  providing recommendations for next steps in approaching these sources of funding
  • synchronizing relevant REF communications activities with fundraising priorities
  • initiating meetings/discussions with and securing funding from potential new donors

Consultants will work with their own equipment (ex. laptop, mobile phones, skype equipment, etc.), from home and can also work from headquarter when necessary


Description of responsibilities 

  • Provide vision and strategic planning for REF network financial development and sustainability. 
  • In consultation with the Executive Director, develop a strategy for maximizing the long- term income to REF from institutional donors.
  • Identify and follow up with funding opportunities.  Liaise with donors (visit/communicate with prospective donors to present REFs concept or proposals). 
  • Write concept and full proposals, in consultation with the relevant REF bodies, and provide follow-up support. 
  • Collaborate with partner organizations in fundraising and promoting development of joint proposals. 
  • Ensure that all prospect development and donor management is delivered through a structured database system that allows follow-up and evaluation.



Complete vision and strategic planning document for network development and sustainability:  

  • Design of fundraising strategy and five-year action plan 
  • Database of potential international and national donors (foundations, government agencies, business sector, high net worth individuals) prioritized according to the best possible match between the scope of REF activities and donor interests. 
  • Database of potential business donors, i.e. major national and international companies in the region, and their levels/types of CSR activities. Multinationals should be compared regionally and globally.
  • Communication engagement plan to support the fundraising strategy/action plan 
  • Approach, i.e. talking points (“sales pitch”) for potential donors

Submit quarterly reports on fundraising activities carried out on behalf of REF. Quarterly reports should include the following activities performed during those three months:

  • Funding proposals sent to at least two donor agencies, based on input and collaboration with REF staff. 
  • Five lobby/advocacy meetings with companies. 
  • Development of at least two cooperation proposals with top universities, including follow up actions needed to reach institutional partnership with REF.
  • Documentation of communication with potential donors, including written correspondence, phone calls, meetings, etc.

Submit final report of complete results of fundraising carried out during the year and an outline of future action for the following year


The final outputs are the property Roma Education Fund.


Required education and experience 

  • University degree, preferably in marketing or communications 
  • Five years of professional experience in similar consultancies 
  • Understanding of Roma issues, disadvantaged groups
  • Experience in promoting difficult issues and challenging stereotypes
  • Proven track record / Evidence of successful fundraising assignments
  • In-depth knowledge of the fundraising challenges in the region

Skills required

  • Familiarity with all types of donors – foundations, corporates, individuals 
  • Ability to communicate ideas in a manner conducive to their practical application
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills
  • Strong communication and networking 
  • Fluency in written and spoken English; knowledge of language(s) of the regions is an advantage 
  • Persuasive writing skills with proven record of responses received
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to write compelling and inspiring communications
  • Excellent project management skills, from conception to completion against a budget and financial target
  • Ability to create and deliver presentations to a range of different audiences
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to work to deadlines
  • Ability to undertake in-depth research
  • Highly computer literate with experience of MS office software 
  • A team player with the ability to work flexibly and independently, to fundraising targets
  • Ability to interact with a wide variety of people in different circumstances, to achieve positive financial outcomes and to establish long-term relationships and partnerships

Ability to interact with a wide variety of people in different circumstances, to achieve positive financial outcomes and to establish long-term relationships and partnerships



A complete application includes:

  1. Curriculum vitae or resume
  2. Statement of interest, that should include: 
    • Your academic / education related to fundraising
    • Previous experience in fundraising and development
    • Your previous experience working with Roma communities, non-profit sector, private sector or other relevant stakeholders
  3. Brief methodology clearly describing Consultant’s understanding of the assignment and challenges, as well as a proposed timeline of activities (max. 2 pages)
  4. Financial offer expressed as consultancy fee per number of anticipated working days in EUR. In case of traveling for the purposes of the assignment, REF will cover eligible travel and accommodation costs.

Application must be in English and must be submitted at the latest by December 14, 2018 to the following address: Please include in the subject line “Fundraising Consultant”.

For further details and Terms of Reference see attached pdf.