Major Donor fundraising consultants

Whatever the size of your organisation, we have the experience and skills to develop and implement a major donor fundraising strategy, that will see your charity increase support from wealthy individuals.

We have strong  partnerships with private banks, including Julius Baer, a private bank present in over 25 countries and around 60 locations, with assets under management (April 2023)  amounting to CHF 429 billion.  We are supporting their clients with philanthropy advice.

Abbey Solutions works in the UK and internationally. Our consultants have relationships with a broad range of HNWI and UHNWI individuals.  In some circumstances we can help introduce your organisation to them. We have a dedicated site focussed on major donor support, asiphilanthropy.org

Major Donor fundraising can be an incredible source of income for charities, NGOs and social enterprises. However, it is vital to understand that this is about building relationships, understanding what a donor wants to achieve and being absolutely transparent at all times.  The lead-in time 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 and will help to cement a lasting relationship.

Major Donor fundraising is not rocket science  – It’s all about trust

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. They want to make a difference, see real change happen, but above all they want to see that you have realistic goals and strong outcomes.

For many philanthropists, it’s not about making a donation, but rather making an investment.

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.
  • Projects must have strong outputs and represent good value for money.
  • Donors want to see a transparent organisation where they can track their donation.
  • Charities need to produce evidence that their work is effective
  • Donors understand projects are not always successful
  • Donors hate surprises. If something is running over budget tell the donor
  • Donors are not just making a donation, they are making an investment

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 mapping links)
  • Provide wealth screening of your current donors and members
  • Carry out external research into individuals that may be sympathetic to your work and from that engagement develop a strong pipeline
  • Carry out in-depth analysis of similar charities to yours that run Major donor fundraising
  • Help to open doors on your behalf
  • Develop an engagement strategy
  • Help develop an Appeals Board
Why choose Abbey Solutions?

John Abbey and Claire Glazebrook have significant experience of major donor fundraising in the UK, Asia and the USA.

For example, John recently raised £3 million from one donor, while Claire has successfully developed and implemented a comprehensive major donor strategy for a large charity in the UK.

We are also directly supporting major donors and have an independent website focussing on this area, asiphilanthropy.org

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 to 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 £120,000 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
  • Donors 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
  • The charity’s finances must be totally transparent

Find out more about our consultants

Useful information 

Why Philanthropy Matters

IoF Guide to Major Donor Fundraising