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Head of External Engagement

£55,000 - £60,000 depending on experience

The Head of External Engagement is a key leadership post within the organisation. The role encompasses responsibility for the development and delivery of the organisation’s external activity, including profile, brand identity and stakeholder engagement, fundraising, and driving income generation.

Sound and Music
London (but postholder can work remotely from anywhere in the UK)
Contract Type
Full-Time Permanent
Start Date
3rd June 2024 (depending on notice period)
Closing Date
14th April 2024 at 23:59

Contract & hours: Permanent contract, 0.8 to 1.0 (4 to 5 days a week, and open to flexible working arrangements)

Reporting to: Chief Executive

Created: March 2024

General Information

The Head of External Engagement is a key leadership post within the organisation. The role encompasses responsibility for the development and delivery of the organisation’s external activity, including profile, brand identity and stakeholder engagement (including the public), fundraising, and driving income generation in new areas, notably commercial partnerships. It also forms part of Sound and Music’s senior management team, who under the leadership of the Chief Executive are responsible for overseeing the organisation’s programme of activity, strategic development, external profile and a positive and productive organisational culture.

An experienced fundraiser and communicator, you will lead the external engagement team and support the delivery of its strategic and operational plans. The broad remit of the role means the successful candidate will be a strong and confident communicator who builds networks easily and prioritises exceptional stakeholder management and relationship development.

Sound and Music operates a hybrid working model with a mix of in person and remote working, so we welcome applications from anywhere in the UK. Our office is in London and the minimum requirement will be to attend one day per week.

The post holder will support Sound and Music’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion, contributing to a culture of respect and collaboration in the organisation’s internal and external activities.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and management

External leadership:

  • Represent Sound and Music publicly, including through stakeholder and supporter events
  • Work with the Head of Programmes to ensure Sound and Music’s advisory groups are meaningfully engaged
  • Be the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead for Sound and Music

Internal leadership:

  • Shared strategic responsibility and accountability for Sound and Music’s three core aims and their associated objectives, outcomes and outputs
  • Shared accountability (with other senior management colleagues) for the successful delivery and implementation of the organisation’s Business Plan
  • Lead the organisation’s External Engagements team. This team includes a Communications and Insights Manager and Fundraising Coordinator (both line managed by the Head of External Engagement) plus support from other Sound and Music team members

Development and fundraising

  • Develop and support the Chief Executive on the overall business and development strategy for the organisation to ensure we meet fundraising targets (£200k in 2024-25) for annual programmes and major projects
  • Develop an ambitious fundraising programme which builds our supporter base and individual funding streams, including individuals, major gifts and public funders
  • Drive income growth by identifying and negotiating commercial partnerships and contribute to the development of an enhanced commercial mindset across the organisation
  • Develop and cultivate the existing trusts and foundations pipeline
  • Prepare documents and reports for key funders including Arts Council England
  • Build and maintain positive and productive relationships with key funders, commercial organisations and stakeholders and cultivate existing relationships within the organisation
  • Establish new income streams, for example, by maximising the intellectual property created within the organisation
  • Engage the Board of Trustees and senior management team in fundraising activities and the ongoing strategy to optimise donor management and stewardship to develop a culture of fundraising across the organisation
  • Maximise the opportunities provided by the new CRM system and contribute to the development of a data-led mindset across the organisation

Communications and campaigns

  • Develop and lead the overall communications and reputation management strategy for varied stakeholders to ensure we increase our visibility and influence in the sector
  • Support the Chief Executive to build the profile of our brand, drive the media messaging and oversee and power our content media campaigns
  • Support the Chief Executive to build and maintain positive and productive relationships with government and culture and media opinion formers

Strategy and planning

  • Work with the Chief Executive and other senior management team members to monitor, evaluate and review KPIs, strategies and activity so as to maximise Sound and Music’s impact. This includes reporting and presenting to the Board and externally to help build engagement and relationships in the sector and with funders
  • Assess the reputational, financial, delivery and other risks associated with current and new projects and partnerships
  • Empower, model, support and encourage cross-team working to realise the full income generating possibilities of projects

Finance and governance

  • Contribute to creating and monitoring the overall organisation budget
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive, Head of Programmes and Finance Manager to formulate financial strategy against specified budget areas, and to ensure that the programme activity is sufficiently resourced, planned and delivered to budget
  • Ensure close monitoring of income and expenditure for relevant budget lines and contribute to senior management team financial planning and review
  • Attend Board and Financial Subcommittee meetings to present and report impact on a quarterly basis

Special Conditions of the Post

  • Travel within the UK, as required by the role
  • A willingness to represent the organisation internationally on an occasional basis
  • Evening and weekend working to attend and network at events will be required (time off in lieu is taken afterwards)
  • Satisfactory completion of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (if offered the role, and paid for by Sound and Music)
Candidate Profile


  • A demonstrable commitment to Sound and Music’s vision, mission and values
  • A track record of generating income across different channels, meeting targets, with the ability and experience to manage and develop long-term and sustained fundraising relationships (for example, with major donors and trusts and foundations)
  • Leadership (a strong combination of these are essential):
  • A track record of leadership, including leading or working at a senior level in an organisation during a period of growth and change
  • Excellent team leadership skills, with high emotional intelligence and generosity, a genuine enthusiasm for encouraging the input and ideas of others
  • Strong budgeting and financial planning skills, and the ability to work collaboratively on this
  • An entrepreneurial mindset: success in leveraging income, developing new income streams and value through commercial acumen and effective strategic partnership building
  • A track record in championing and addressing under-representation in culture and a deep-rooted commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion


  • Experience of increasing brand profile, developing brand awareness, and expanding audiences for a specialist product or service
  • Understanding of the current political, economic, social and technological climate, including the context for culture and public funding and an active engagement with technological developments in creativity
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: able to engage confidently with different audiences and areas of the sector both publicly and on a 1:1 basis
  • Excellent understanding of digital communications and infrastructure and how it can build reach and engagement, including using data to drive decision making

If you feel you have just some of the required skills and experience but meet the person specification, we would still encourage you to apply; we are very open to continuing the training and development of individuals who are self motivated to acquire new skills and knowledge relevant to the role.

How to Apply

If you are interested in working with us, please apply by completing the application form via Airtable. Further details can be found on our website. If you need this form in another format, email Grace Bailey at

For any other questions, please contact Cathy McCosker ( and Jo Bates ( at Reality HR.

Closing Date:
14th April 2024 at 23:59
29th April - 2nd May 2024

About the Provider

Sound and Music

Sound and Music is the national charity for new music. Our work covers composer and artist development, partnerships with a range of organisations, audience development, touring, information and advice, network building, and our education programme.

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