Major Donor Fundraising Conference 2019

Major Donor Fundraising Conference 2019

Date: Monday 21st Jan 2019

Venue: De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms
61 - 65 Great Queen Street

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Major Giving has long been a crucial income stream for charities large and small. Despite the threats of late - GDPR, Brexit and increased media scrutiny on the charity sector, the relationship between charities and wealthy individuals has never been stronger. Last year alone, over 300 philanthropists donated £3.2 billion to good causes in the UK.

At our annual Major Donor fundraising conference, we are bringing together some of the sector’s leading practitioners and experts, who will reveal the most effective strategies used to grow the major donor programmes in their charities.  

Join fundraisers from across the UK to hear about current topics and trends in the sector. 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Unless otherwise stated, the sessions will be in the Cornwall Room on the second floor of the Grand Connaught Rooms


Opening remarks from the Chair

Ikhlaq Hussain, Head of Major Gifts, Orphans in Need


Current UK trends in philanthropy and major giving

Caroline will open the day by giving us an overview of some of the key trends in the philanthropy landscape that help to inform our fundraising work. 

Come and hear about some of the big trends – good and bad – that your charity needs to be aware of, to help prepare for the future.

Caroline Underwood OBE, MInstF, CEO, Philanthropy Company


Raising the bar with your major donor fundraising

In our first case study best practice presentation of the day, hear how the Southbank Centre have recently built their major giving team, their brilliant recent major campaign, which  reached and surpassed target by securing a string of mould-breaking major gifts from their supporters.

Joanna will take you through the key stages of this transformation and lessons learnt in the process. 

Joanna Newell, Head of Philanthropy, Southbank Centre


 Coffee and networking


Breakout A (large charities)

Cornwall Room (2nd floor)

Breakout B (small/medium charities)

Cambria Room (3rd floor)



What sort of mid-value/unrestricted giving product is right for you?  

Mid value giving is slowly but surely becoming more of a priority for investment for lots of charities and fundraisers.

As well as providing the basis for a major gifts programme, adding significant income annually and long term, it also provides a loyal band of potential legacy pledgers and informed advocates for the cause. 

Where do you start though and how do you know what sort of mid value giving product will be right for your charity and then how do you grow it?

This unmissable session will cover all the answers to these questions and more!

Kate Hogg, Director, Beneficial Fundraising

Starting from scratch as a small charity

In the last two years, Orpheus, a small charity, has developed its major gifts programme in to a successful income stream for the charity.

Come and hear from Moira how they started from nothing, to going on to attract some really key high net worth individuals.

Moira Lambert, Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Orpheus



Attracting High-Value Principal Gifts – the recipe for success

 The presentation will look at the strategies one can employ to grow a donor from smaller gifts to high-level principle gifts and also how to keep them engage to ensure multiple donations. It also covers what a fundraiser needs to know in order to identify a potential high-net worth support or lack thereof.


Keith Kibirango, Senior Philanthropy Advisor, Save the Children

How to grow your major donors programme using an innovative new model

 HCPT, a medium sized charity, had tried many times to get its major donors programme off the ground, but with little success.  Now 12 months in to the rollout of a new major donor fundraising strategy, the charity has beaten its six figure fundraising target. 

Come and hear George present on the charity’s incredible journey to major donor fundraising success.  

George Overton, Head of Fundraising and Communications, HCPT  


Is best practice in Major Gift Fundraising enough to be successful in 2019?

This interactive session explores the debates and innovations happening in organisations of all shapes and sizes as they answer the question, “What if we didn’t follow the rules in Major Gift fundraising, what would be right for this charity at this time?”

Get an inside look at the systems and processes that are being re-written, the new skills that are being harnessed, the new benchmarks that are being set and new ways teams are organising themselves.

Tony Gaston, Head of Philanthropy, EMMS

Dave Hillyard, Director of Partnerships and Philanthropy, Oxfam GB

Kim Van Niekerk, Fundraising Consultant and teacher trainer


Lunch break


 Million Pound Donations: Who Gives them? Who gets them and Why?

In this presentation Dr Beth Breeze will share key findings from her ten year study of Million Pound Donors in the UK. She will highlight trends in the amounts given, the causes supported, and the types of donors making these biggest gifts. She will also share insights into the people behind the donations, and the fundraisers who succeed in working with them.

Dr Beth Breeze, Director, Centre for Philanthropy


 Donor cultivation and stewardship     

Four heads of philanthropy/major giving join Mike Bartlett in this panel discussion on what we can do to build successful relationships with those high net value individuals.  They will give examples of donor journeys that have proven effective, as well as cultivation steps that haven’t worked and everything in between. 

Chair: Mike Bartlett, Senior Consultant, Money Tree Fundraising
Dhivya O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Children with Cancer UK
Arti Chhatralia, Major Gifts Development Manager, Moorfields Eye Charity
Michael Winehouse, Philanthropy Manager, London's Air Ambulance
Rachel Molho, Philanthropic Partnerships Manager, Plan International UK


Coffee break and networking











Meet the philanthropists

The moment you've all been waiting for: a chance to hear from the philanthropists themselves!

In these two unmissable sessions, Michael Wegier, Chief Executive of UJIA will interview one of the charity's most dedicated and generous supporters Geoffrey Ognall and Sarah Gray of IFC will interview Chris Letcher, a passionate advocate and generous supporter of Plan International UK.  Both philanthropists will speak candidly and openly about their relationship with the charities, their motivations for giving and what makes them tick. 

There will also be plenty of opportunity for the audience to ask questions too. 

Fireside chat with Geoffrey Ognall, Philanthropist and Supporter of United Jewish Israel Appeal 

Michael Wegier, Chief Executive of United Jewish Israel Appeal 

Fireside chat with Chris Letcher, Philanthropist and Supporter of Plan International UK

Sarah Gray, Senior Consultant, International Fundraising Consultancy


 Event close


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IoF Individual member


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Non-member PLUS IoF Membership (1 year)

Book your conference place and join as a Member - explore the benefits of membership


Non-member (Not-for-profit)




Small Charity (under £500,000 annual turnover)

(To secure your small charity rate please email with your charity number) 


More information on IoF membership options



Further details and contact information

Events Team
Telephone: 0207 840 1040

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