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University of Aberdeen

Case Study
Feasibility Study and Interim Director of Development Support

Halpin was commissioned by the University of Aberdeen to assess its readiness to deliver a major strategic fundraising campaign. This would be the first major campaign since its successful ‘Sixth Century Campaign’ to align with its award-winning institutional strategy ‘Aberdeen 2020’.

As part of our work on the feasibility study, we conducted research interviews with external partners, interacted with the leadership team, and held conversations with key members of staff. We also carried out a prospect assessment and provided support regarding the development of a new Case for Support. An important driver for this work involved nurturing the substantial, positive relationships that the University has with its community and alumni.

Our work with the University of Aberdeen concluded with confirmation of its ability to hold a major philanthropic campaign, with key steps identified to ensure the positive development of a major campaign to tie in with support of the ‘Aberdeen 2040’ institutional strategy. We continued our work with Aberdeen in the position of Interim Director, to ensure momentum would not be lost by the retirement of the then-current Director of Advancement.


• Confirmation of the University’s ability to hold a successful major philanthropic campaign
• Benchmarking to understand the University’s place in the fundraising landscape
• A series of recommendations around leadership, strategy, resource, communications and building the prospect pipeline, with priorities highlighted for ease of adoption
• Full and comprehensive evidence and opinion gathering

“Halpin has been a source of stability and energy for the University of Aberdeen Development and Alumni Relations team and has provided excellent advice and support to our Senior Management team following the departure of our Director of Advancement. They have allowed us to maintain momentum as we plan our next philanthropic campaign. Their mix of expertise, people skills and flexibility has been outstanding.” Professor George Boyne, Principal, University of Aberdeen