Conferences & Training
Speakers - Regular Giving Conference 2018


Kurstin Finch Gnehm
Head of Individual Giving and Legacies
Royal Academy of Music

Kurstin Finch Gnehm is the Head of Individual Giving and Legacies at the Royal Academy of Music. Previously, she served as Regular Giving Manager for Imperial College London, where her team recently won a CASE Award and the 2016 London Marathon award for most money raised per charity runner. She has also worked in Regular Giving at the University of Aberdeen and the University of St Andrews. Kurstin started her fundraising career at Linfield College in the United States and holds degrees from Linfield, Oregon State University and the University of Iowa, where she has also taught communication and gender studies classes. She serves on the Learning & Development Committee at the Institute of Fundraising, and writes a blog about Americans living in the UK, called From Salem to St Andrews.

Edd Pickering
Head of Fundraising
University of Reading

Encompassing regular giving, face to face fundraising and Trusts & Foundations Edd leads the fundraising team at the University of Reading to connect potential supporters to projects that achieve their philanthropic objectives through the work of the University. Edd also has responsibility for the project portfolio for IMAGINE; the University's first integrated fundraising and volunteering campaign. In addition to this Edd manages a portfolio of prospects and donors.
Prior to this Edd had a senior role at Buffalo Fundraising Consultants, working with a range of clients across Higher Education, the school sector and the Arts to develop their Regular Giving Programmes.


Heather Bellamy
Regular Giving Manager
University of Sheffield

Heather Bellamy became Regular Giving Officer at the University of Sheffield in January 2017 and has since gone on to become Regular Giving Manager. Heather has been responsible for coordinating a successful programme of telephone fundraising and stewardship. During this time, Heather has introduced targeted cash-to-committed calling and has innovated Sheffield's stewardship, resulting in a significant increase in donor retention. Heather also has a background in project management, having worked in the translation industry prior to joining the University in 2015 as part of the Alumni Relations team.


Adrian Beney
More Partnership

Adrian Beney is a Partner at More Partnership. Before More he was a fundraiser at the University of Durham for more than 20 years, establishing the Development office, and programmes in Alumni Relations, Major Gifts, Regular Giving, Prospect Research and more.

With More Partnership, he has been involved in a wide range of work involving donors, institutional leaders, governors, volunteers and staff. He was one of the authors of the Pearce Review of Philanthropy in Higher Education and the subsequent workforce development review. He led the data analysis for each of these projects and for subsequent projects with a range of clients in the UK, continental Europe and the United States.

Adrian has coordinated the six years of the Regular Giving Benchmarking project which analyses 10 years of lower level giving data for a consortium of universities. 35 British and Irish universities have taken part since 2010, and the most recent exercise involved over 60,000 donors and the solicitation of 3.8 million people. Adrian has been deeply involved in the response to the "Olive Cooke" affair and subsequent Etherington Review and establishment of the new Fundraising Regulator.

He was the first non-North American recipient of CASE's Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, a member of CASE's Philanthropy Commission, and a faculty member for a number of Spring Institutes in Educational Fundraising. He was given CASE Europe's Distinguished Service Award in 2015. He has been a speaker at numerous fundraising events in the UK and overseas. He was for seven years a Lay Member of Chapter of Durham Cathedral and is now a Canon of Tamale Cathedral in northern Ghana. Illustrations for his talks may come from the worlds of sailing, photography, aviation, gardening or fishmongering, as well as fundraising, of course.

Giedrė Biržytė
Director of Alumni Relations
Vilnius University

Managing relations with Vilnius University alumni, creating opportunities for engagement, mobilising and strengthening community, energising alumni movement in the University. Since the start in the new position, in one year I created a strategy and the plan for the development of close University and Alumni Relations.

I intensively advocated and succeeded to include Alumni projects into Strategic multi annual plan of the University. Consequently, the significant sum of money was allocated.
Currently the major projects are ongoing, like: opening the Universities' services to the alumni (University has thousands of them), creating the communication platform, introducing a fundraising system, creating physical spaces and occasions for cooperation, including alumni in the decision making process at the University, running public communication campaign.

Chris Bobby
Senior Development Officer, Supporter Engagement
The University of Edinburgh

Chris joined the University of Edinburgh as a Systems Officer in May 2011 before starting his current role in 2015. He started his career in fundraising on a temporary 2 week contract with Capability Scotland that lasted 2 years. After a year working at a local hospice as a Database Officer he joined Edinburgh at the tail end of their £350 million Edinburgh Campaign. Chris manages the in-house Telethon at Edinburgh that runs calling for 15 weeks each year and raises an average of £375,000 per year. A lover of all things data, Chris completed his Master degree in Information Systems Development in 2016.

Robert A. Burdenski
Robert Burdenski Annual Giving

Chicago resident Bob Burdenski is a twenty-year friend of CASE Europe and an internationally-recognized expert, author and consultant in annual and regular giving fundraising strategies. He has worked with more than 200 institutions around the world, and is the author of the best-selling CASE books Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Departures That Worked, More Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Global Departures That Worked, and the new CASE e-book, Online Innovations in Annual and Regular Giving: Ten Dozen Departures That Worked.

Burdenski is a ten-time faculty member of the annual CASE Europe Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising at Loughborough University. In this role, he has taught hundreds of CASE Europe fundraisers their introduction to regular giving. He has also presented multiple CASE Regular Giving Masterclasses in the UK over the years, and presented CASE's first-ever regular giving programs in Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland and Singapore. This past month, he served as chair of the CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals.

Known for sharing many examples from many institutions in his talks, he is a 2008 recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple for his excellence in educating - and entertaining - his audiences.


Heather Campbell
Director of Advancement Operations and Administration
Imperial College London

With more than a decade of experience in Higher Education fundraising, Heather has held various roles at Imperial. As Head of Regular Giving, she oversees a programme which uses direct marketing techniques to drive income across all channels including direct mail, telephone, email, web, mobile and social media. The team recently raised more than £1m in a financial year for a second consecutive year - a first in the programme's history.

In November 2017, Heather added campaigns to her role and is in the initial planning stages for a comprehensive fundraising campaign for the College.
In September 2018, Heather has taken on the maternity cover for the Director of Advancement Operations and Administration.
Heather was previously the Head of the Annual Fund at the LSE where she revamped the gift club structure, implemented Direct Debits and managed the allocation process. Heather first fundraised as a student caller for her own university's Annual Fund.

Kat Carter

Kat Carter
Digital Fundraising Specialist & Head of UK Customer Success

Kat Carter has worked within the UK Higher Education sector for over 10 years - starting her career at the University of Southampton. Kat is currently a digital fundraising specialist and head of UK customer success at Hubbub. Within her role at Hubbub, Kat works with over 50 universities, colleges and schools, providing best practice guidance and useful strategic insights for how digital fundraising (crowdfunding, digital campaigns and giving days) can be an integral component of any fundraising strategy. Kat is a previous chair of the CASE Europe Regular Giving Conference and she has been involved with CASE more widely as a speaker at previous conferences in both the UK and the US.

Rosie Dale

Rosie Dale
More Partnership

Rosie has worked in higher education fundraising for over 15 years and is now a Partner at More Partnership, having previously been head of communications and regular giving at the University of Bristol. Rosie's areas of expertise are in regular giving, donor stewardship, benchmarking, direct marketing, telephone fundraising, data segmentation, database management and analytics. She is a strategic manager and forward thinker who has combined donor-centred approaches with data driven strategies to successfully grow regular and leadership giving programmes, focus engagement activities and build long-term donor loyalty.

Paul Doubleday
Digital Partnerships Manager
Blackbaud Europe

Paul's career spans work across charities, schools and universities to boost their social fundraising income. He is passionate about increasing awareness of the work of the education sector, whilst helping implement and develop new strategies to engage supporters through the use of digital technology. Utilising the 10+ years working with charities, Paul continues to adapt learnings and insights from the traditional non-profit space to deliver solutions and technologies to boost fundraising and engagement in the education sector through JustGiving's network.

Lee Durbin
Research and Insight Consultant
Holly Palmer Consulting

Lee is a fundraiser and storyteller who makes the message behind the numbers memorable. Prior to joining Holly Palmer Consulting he worked in various data-related roles at The University of Nottingham's Campaign and Alumni Relations Office, followed by a year as The Donkey Sanctuary's Reporting and Insight Manager. As well as using his statistical wizardry and data visualisations for social good, he regularly engages with industry issues, trends, and debates, contributing to research and think-pieces on fundraising ethics, strategy, regulation, and innovation.

Lucy Gabe

Lucy Gabe
Supporter Engagement Manager
University of Edinburgh

Lucy joined the University of Edinburgh in November 2016 as Supporter Engagement Manager. With over nine years of direct marketing and fundraising experience, Lucy has worked both charity and agency-side for the biggest non-profits in the UK and Canada. Lucy is responsible for the Supporter Engagement team, who look after all donors to the Edinburgh Fund. Gifts from these 6,000 donors amount to over £1m in fundraising income per year. Lucy's team also manages Community Fundraising through Fundraise Your Way.

Jerisha Gordon
Director of Development
Delaware Children’s Museum

Jerisha Gordon loves the written word and has made a career of helping nonprofit organizations develop content that engages and inspires friends to become supporters. Jerisha has worked in healthcare and education and currently leads communication and advancement efforts as the Director of Development for the Delaware Children's Museum. With Kate Lucas, a colleague she met while working in development at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, she consults for small nonprofit organizations seeking affordable solutions.

Jemma Gurr
Individual Giving Manager
Sheffield Hospitals Charity

Jemma joined Sheffield Hospitals Charity as Individual Giving Manager in November 2018. Prior to this, she spent five years at the University of Sheffield, where she significantly developed Regular Giving - introducing a successful mail programme whilst overseeing the team's phone, email, face-to-face and stewardship activity. Jemma has experience fundraising for healthcare, education, arts and animal welfare causes.

Teppo Heiskanen
Director, Advancement and Corporate Engagement
Aalto University

Teppo is Director for Advancement and Corporate Engagement at Aalto University in Finland. The integrated advancement office at Aalto includes corporate relations, donor engagement, alumni engagement, career and recruitment services, as well as CRM development and analytics. Before joining Aalto in 2016, Teppo was an independent consultant in fundraising and international cooperation for five years, supporting Finnish universities in the governmental matching funding campaign of 2015-2017. From 2003 to 2011 he worked for the Nordic Council of Ministers in Lithuania and Denmark in governmental relations, and organizing the international support for the European Humanities University, the Belarusian university-in-exile in Lithuania. Teppo has a master's degree in religious studies from the University of Helsinki.

Laura Hughes
Alumni Relations Team Manager
University of Westminster

Laura started her career as Development Officer at the University of Reading, where she delivered various regular giving activity, including telethons and direct mail campaigns. Laura then moved into alumni communications, becoming editor of Reading's various printed and online alumni publications. In 2013, Laura joined the University of Westminster as their Alumni Relations Manager. Laura's team have recently won two Gold Awards in the 2018 CASE Circle of Excellence for their innovative alumni programmes.

Lauren Huss
Stakeholder and Supporter Relations Manager
Keele University

Lauren is an experienced fundraiser and supporter relations manager with over 8 years experience working within both the private and Higher Education charity sector. Since 2017 Lauren has managed the regular giving programme forging a holistic relationship between Alumni relations and Fundraising. Lauren implements a supporter engagement strategy that synergises lifelong student engagement, purposeful alumni relations and successfully engages new audiences beyond the traditional academic context; using an innovative programme of communications.

Jhumar Johnson
Director of Development
The Open University

Jhumar is the Director of Development at the Open University. She joined the team in 2014 and came to the OU with a background in major gifts consulting and practice. Previously Jhumar was Director of Kingston Smith Advisers, a boutique major gifts consultancy housed under Kingston Smith LLP, a top 20 accounting firm. She has worked for and advised not for profits including Marie Curie Cancer Care, Save the Children, Barnardo's, University of Westminster, Crimestoppers, Cats Protection, Sightlife, NHS Trusts, CRY India, Internews amongst many others.

Her focus at the OU is to deliver the University's first fundraising campaign and the ambitious philanthropic income targets therein, build a high performing, talented team and strong ties across the University to identify funding opportunities and harness the impact of philanthropic giving.

Mariya Kauser
Fundraising Administrator
Aston University

Mariya Kauser joined Aston University's Development and Alumni Relations team in 2017 as a Fundraising Administrator. During her first year Mariya has designed and implemented a new digital strategy and worked with Hubbub to deliver Aston's crowdfunding platform, GO! The platform recently completed a successful test phase.

Natalie Lloyd

Natalie Lloyd
Head of Development and Supporter Engagement and Associate Director
Keele University

Natalie has over a decade's experience in Higher Education. She joined Keele in April 2017 to develop the advancement strategy: synergising fundraising and alumni relations to deliver successful advancement for Keele. Prior to Keele, Natalie led the fundraising team at the University of Birmingham, where the team raised over £190m for the Circles of influence capital campaign, increased donor numbers and broadened the participating constituencies by integrating alumni relations, regular and major giving, trust and foundations, and a sector-leading legacy programme.

Kate Lucas
Director of Development
Friends of Howell Living History Farm

Kate Lucas has a passion for education and exploring outdoors. Kate currently serves as Director of Development for the Friends of Howell Living History Farm and as lead Pre-K/K teacher for Fernbrook Farms Environmental Education Center. As a working professional, with over 10 years of fundraising experience, Kate's roles allow her to engage the next generation of nature lovers while inspiring others to support essential preservation efforts and educational opportunities.


Becki McKinlay
Managing Consultant
Graham-Pelton Consulting

Becki has nearly a decade of fundraising experience, and has recently joined Graham-Pelton, a global fundraising and not-for-profit management consulting firm.

Previously, Becki was head of individual giving at the University of Oxford. Working across the collegiate University, Becki's role was to run a full annual giving and legacies programme as part of the "Oxford Thinking" campaign, the largest educational campaign in Europe. Prior to this Becki was at the University of Reading for over five years, where she broadened the annual giving programme to more than double philanthropic income.

Becki is also the 2012 winner of the prestigious Iain More Award, which recognises emerging fundraising professionals that have also contributed to the sector.

Mark Mcdonnell
Campaign Director, Regular Giving & Legacies
University College Dublin

Mark spent a decade achieving consistent income growth in advertising and marketing roles at a VP level with large corporates including Bank of America and GE before turning his hand to fundraising. He subsequently assumed a seat on the national committee of a human rights NGO before working as a fundraiser for Trócaire, a humanitarian charity focused on international sustainable development.
Since joining UCD's Development & Alumni Relations team and assuming the role of Campaign Director for Regular Giving and Legacies, he has overseen a 5-fold increase in Regular Giving Income, launched a successful Legacy rebrand and delivered more than €1 million to the programme through leadership and mid-level giving. UCD's Regular Giving Programme was recognised in recent months, receiving Silver at the 2018 CASE Circle of Excellence Awards.
With a background in Marketing and Psychology, Mark's primary focus is on finding improved methods of connecting with and talking to supporters and prospects in a way that is meaningful, driving behaviours that generate optimal results. He believes that a clear strategy driven by data analysis, an alumni focus and attention to detail is essential to achieving sustained fundraising growth.

Stephanie Miller
Operations and Supporter Engagement Manager
Edinburgh Napier University

Throughout her career in higher education fundraising, Stephanie has had the pleasure of looking after regular giving donors numbering from 20 to 2000. No matter the size of the donor pool, or the number of competing fundraising priorities, she enjoys taking the time to find creative ways to add personal touches to the thanking process.

Prior to joining the team at Edinburgh Napier University in March 2016, Stephanie managed the regular giving programmes for Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen.

Peter O’Connor
Development Manager (Asia)
Imperial College, London

Peter joined the Global Development team at Imperial College as Development Manager (Asia) in December 2017. He is responsible for raising philanthropic support for the College across East and Southeast Asia, and he travels almost monthly focusing his work on China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. He also promotes the College's broader strategy and mission with Imperial's alumni and friends, and acts as a point of contact across the advancement division with respect to working in Asia. He insists he "doesn't suffer from jetlag", but drinks suspiciously large quantities of coffee when on the road.

Prior to joining Imperial College, Peter worked for Merton College, University of Oxford. He first worked as Annual Fund Officer, with responsibility for the College's regular giving programme. He then took up the role of Senior Development Executive at Merton, working on raising significant Philanthropic income from individuals across the UK, the USA and Asia - whilst continuing to apply the data driven, regular giving lessons he learnt to his work as a major gifts fundraiser.

Whilst completing his studies at Oxford, Peter first worked in fundraising as a student caller, and later a student supervisor, at the University of Oxford Development Office.

Tara Jayne O'Donnell
Vertical Lead - Education - everydayhero

Tara has worked at Blackbaud for 10 years supporting Advancement & Development initiatives for Higher Education, consulting, designing, and implementing major gift and digital fundraising programs for institutions of all sizes. Focused on peer-to-peer and crowdfunding solutions, her work at Blackbaud advances educational fundraising tools for social networks and new media.

Holly Palmer
Alumni and Supporter Experience Consultant
Holly Palmer Consulting

Holly specialises in understanding alumni, donors, and volunteers, and uses this insight to strengthen fundraising and engagement programmes. Since starting her consulting firm in 2016, she has worked with several leading UK education institutions to deliver qualitative and quantitative alumni and supporter research studies. Holly began her education fundraising career in donor relations at The University of Auckland and later led the University of Nottingham development team's strategic planning and project management function.

Tracy Playle

Tracy Playle
CEO and Chief Content Strategist
Pickle Jar Communications

Tracy, a CASE Crystal Apple winner, is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Content Strategist at Pickle Jar Communications. She has worked with over 160 education institutions in more than 20 countries to help advance their content strategy, digital marketing and communications. Before founding Pickle Jar Communications in 2007, Tracy worked as Head of Research-TV and in a number of in-house communications roles at the University of Warwick. She is currently writing a book on content strategy in higher education.

Chris Rainford
Head of Business Development
Buffalo Fundraising Consultants

Chris has been at Buffalo for five years, where he began running our telephone campaigns and now manages our entire Business Development Team. He has worked with a huge variety of clients on their regular giving programmes and through his thorough knowledge of our products and his experience in the sector, Chris has helped raise over £1 million for our clients to date. Chris is also responsible for working with our clients who require help and support with GDPR.

Nicola Reames

Nicola Reames

Reames became a Director of Execucare UK in 2015 after a secondment to Execucare's New Zealand office where she had been recruiting development professionals in the education and arts sectors throughout Australasia. Previously she had been with Execucare UK for eight years. Reames has recruited a wide range of senior development and fundraising roles across the not-for-profit sector.

Geoff Savage
Head of Individual Giving
Aston University

Geoff Savage has worked in fundraising since 2001. Since 2007 he has specialised in university regular giving, managing over 50 telephone campaigns as an agency consultant for a wide range of institutions. In 2014, he was appointed Head of Individual Giving at Aston University, where he oversees in-house Telephone, Direct Mail and Crowdfunding campaigns.

Lindsay Triggs
Regular Giving and Stewardship Manager
University of London

Lindsay has worked in HE fundraising for 2 years and is now Regular Giving and Stewardship Manager at the University of London. As the first person in post in this role, Lindsay has spent much of the last 18 months laying the foundations for the University's Regular Giving Program as well as taking the reins on the University's stewardship strategy. Prior to this, she spent 6 years working within the charity sector with a particular focus on telephone fundraising.