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University of East London

Case Study
Fundraising Assessment

Halpin was commissioned in January 2022 by the University of East London (UEL) to assess its readiness for a strategic and comprehensive fundraising programme. The focus of the assessment was to test the interest of alumni and external stakeholders in supporting UEL philanthropically, to review the potential of a fundraising operation, and to make recommendations based on our findings.

The University of East London had made considerable strides in recent years from the challenging times in the past. Despite good progress, UEL still had significant work to do around engaging, building and maintaining relationships with older alumni.

Our work with UEL included in-depth review and research, including prospect research, and meetings with leadership and current staff, as well as liaising directly with alumni and external stakeholders to understand their perception of UEL and its activities. Our assessment also included cross-referencing our observations with CASE-Ross benchmarking data.

We found that the University had had previous engagement with fundraising work, which would need to be consolidated both internally and externally to secure ongoing philanthropic income. With the recommendation of forming a new team solely focused on supporting the prospect pipeline, UEL would be well placed to capitalise on its clear institutional objectives – future graduate, future professional, future life and sustainability – and to strengthen warm relationships, in order to establish a strong base for future fundraising.


  • A total of 22 recommendations, mapped against our 5 key areas for fundraising effectiveness
  • Identification of resource to drive philanthropic income
  • Suggested structure for a new philanthropy team
  • Series of concrete, achievable actions recommended
  • Proposal of enhanced CRM usage to drive usable data collation
  • Set of realistic but advanced fundraising targets

“Working with Halpin has enabled us to not only thoroughly investigate our fundraising potential but also provided clear recommendations that are simple and manageable and therefore easier implement operationally, which hasn’t always been the case with other external agencies.  We found Halpin to be proactive, transparent and continuously supportive in terms of helping us manage internal stakeholder expectations as well as answering questions outside of the audit timeframe that supports our growth.  We would not hesitate to work with the team again and are already looking at the ongoing support they can offer as we kickstart activities.”
Kelly Atkins Associate Director of Engagement and Advancement