Halpin Partnership was commissioned in September 2022 by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (‘ODAR’) at the University of West London (‘UWL’) to undertake a fundraising assessment. Our task was set to complete the first of two typical phases in a fundraising assessment. This first phase was to assess the maturity of UWL’s fundraising function, including an evaluation of current resources, benchmarking analysis against comparable institutions, and the provision of prospect insights – all with the view to improving fundraising at the University.
UWL is rightly proud of, and capitalises on, its reputation as a ‘student first’ university, that is focused on the student experience and student outcomes. Throughout Phase One of this project, we found an energetic, ambitious and collaborative development and alumni relations team. We found the team’s determination to succeed a great strength that could propel its strategic efforts even further forward over the coming years.
We focused our work on an internal assessment of the University’s fundraising documents and materials, its database and prospect pipelines, as well as interviewing five members of the University’s senior management team and six members of ODAR. We also conducted a desk review of resources and benchmarking data so that we could get a holistic view of the current fundraising and alumni relations operation.
We recommended that UWL primarily focused on the resources needed to build a robust prospect pipeline, including new posts in prospects research, alumni relations, and administrative support. We also suggested a new set of KPIs for the team to assist with focused use of the resources they had. Our recommendations were designed to create a holistic approach to the University’s fundraising, and should result in the increased efficiency and effectiveness of UWL’s fundraising.
- A total of 17 recommendations, mapped against our 5 key areas for fundraising effectiveness
- New proposed team structure
- Methodical approach to help the team consolidate some financial KPIs
- Set of realistic but advanced fundraising targets