Major Donor fundraising consultants


Whatever the size of your organisation, we have the experience and skills to help you implement a plan that will see your charity increase support from Major Donors in the UK and internationally even during a pandemic. In certain circumstances we can implement the plan with you, making contact and developing relationships on your behalf. 


Major Donor fundraising can be an incredible source of income for charities, NGOs and social enterprises. However, it is vital to understand (as I am sure you do) that this is about building relationships, understanding what a donor wants to achieve and being absolutely transparent at all times.  The lead-in period can take a couple of years and like all fundraising, there are no guarantees.


It’s not just about the money

Many philanthropists will also give valuable hands-on support to organisations, or offer the resources of their companies.  That business knowhow could be invaluable to a charity. In our experience of supporting and working with High Net Worth Individuals, they are generally people who are extremely focussed and able to make good decisions relatively fast, because they can see quickly what is needed to make a success of a project and then work through a plan to make sure it happens. It sounds simple but so many people get distracted and lose sight of the goal.


Major Donor fundraising is not rocket science  

People give to people. It is really that simple. Trust is at the heart of it. Trust in the charity. Trust in the CEO and the Trustees and Trust in the strategy. Donors want to feel valued and appreciated and they do not want to be treated like an ATM or a solution to your problems. They want to make a difference to people’s lives or to the environment – just like you.


What you need to keep in mind when developing your Major Donor fundraising plan

  • Donors are just people like you that want to make a difference in the world. It is your job to present to them projects that they are interested in and can have impact in the shortest possible time.
  • Projects must have strong outputs and represent good value for money.
  • Donors want to see a transparent organisation where they can track their donation and see what the end result will look like.
  • Charities need to produce evidence that their work is effective and can be held to account
  • Remember many donors are willing to take risks.
  • Donors understand projects are not always successful.
  • Donors hate surprises. If something is running over budget or there is likely to be a major change in strategy then tell the donor at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • Donors are not just making a donation they are making an investment in the organisation.


Remember many donors are willing to take risks

Our services

  • Carry out a full evaluation of your work, management and position in the sector
  • Research your current donors (Individuals, Companies and Trusts)
  • Carry out external research into individuals that may be sympathetic to your work
  • Carry out in-depth analysis of similar charities to yours that run Major donor fundraising campaigns internationally


If the research carried out above proves positive 

  • Prepare critical path/action plan to include who and what organisations that need approaching. May include Wealth Management firms and Banks.
  • Develop a 12 month detailed pipeline including asks and full details of High Net Worth Individuals
  • Work with your team, Trustees and senior management on the approach
  • Provide bespoke training in-house if required


Why choose Abbey Solutions?

John Abbey has significant experience of HNWI fundraising in the UK, MENA, Asia and the USA. John has recruited new donors for charities and is highly successful at re-engaging with past donors. His skills are backed up by great research to ensure the best possible outcome for your organisation.


What you should be aware of before you commit to a major donor fundraising campaign

  • Can take two years to realise your first donation
  • Having a superb researcher is critical but so is having an individual with flare, diplomacy and energy that can develop relationships. This could mean hiring two new members of staff and that may cost you at least £80,000 per annum
  • You need a strong USP and a fundraising campaign or project that is really going to grab the attention of wealthy individuals. Impact and sustainability is everything.
  • HNWIs need to see real passion and professionalism and a charity with a strong management team and track record
  • The CEO and Trustees need to be fully engaged
  • Your finances must be totally transparent


For more details please call Joanna on 020 7859 4701 email:

Useful information 

Coutts Million Pound Donor Report 

IoF Guide to Major Donor Fundraising